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Shylock - Gialorgues  CD (album) cover

GIALORGUES

Shylock

 

Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 50 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Around the same time that Carpe Diem was happening in Nice-Grenoble area , Shylock was also emerging from the same corner of France. While their paths most likely crossed and their sound was fairly similar (both managing to sound a bit like Genesis, but Shylock was more Crimson-like), Shylock was an all-instrumental group and did not have a wind player (as Carpe Diem did), which over the course of their two albums will not be a flaw since they were rhythmically much superior, but probably would've made them much bigger. As good instrumentalists Shylock were, there always seems to lack a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that allowed them to reach the excellent category, even if with their second album, they will come fairly close. But let's first concentrate on this one.

Their symphonic rock is always good but rarely brilliant, mainly due to a certain derivative guitar (just like in Carpe Diem, Steve Hackett's sound is shamelessly copied), but the drumming is maybe the one of their better feature, as it is often inventive (Jamie Muir's percussions comes to mind) and bringing a bit of luster in an otherwise fairly conventional symphonic prog. The album is made of three tracks, two of them lengthy epics, named after the order in which they composed them. I cannot rally accept this laziness of even finding another name for those tracks other than their working titles. Clearly, their fifth ones is the most effective and interesting due not least to a great percussive intro and the influences are shifting from Genesis to Crimson, sometimes a bit shamelessly. It is worthy of note that Shylock will be the first of a few French bands to inspire themselves of the Wetton-era Crimson, such Xaal and Nebelnest will in their respective decades. But this fifth composition (La Cinquième) is easily this album's highlight.

This album was first released as a private pressing (and under difficult conditions) before getting a CBS release the next year. Musea has released this album quite a while ago in Cd format with 5 bonus tracks which do not interfere with the album, but bring nothing new or more to the original album. Certainly not essential (and not anymore than Carpe Diem's works), but nevertheless worthy of the symphonic prog amateurs and having both their albums (especially Ile De Fièvre) in their shelves.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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