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The Box - D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant CD (album) cover

D'APRÈS LE HORLA DE MAUPASSANT

The Box

 

Crossover Prog

4.20 | 42 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Box hail from Quebec, Canada. They were, apparently, more of a pop outfit in the '80s, but reformed in the '00s and released two albums that were closer to progressive rock, of which this is the second, and my first experience with them.

The opener, "Ouverture", starts off quiet, before it introduces a spacy section with distant "na na na na"s. Then the guitars and drums make a quick intro, before it changes again into what sounds, to my untrained ear, like an accordion. Ultimately, the song is about a simple theme, but the way that it is presented is quite excellent.

The second track, "Incubus", is built on atmosphere, but there is one instrument that makes a strong impact on me here - and that is the bass guitar. It makes its presence known, and even though I wouldn't call it a lead instrument, it does not hide in the background either. It makes its presence known throughout. The vocals are french, so for the non-french, the lyrics may not make much sense. Fortunately, the music is so good and the vocals work so well within it, that they enhance the sound regardless. The song builds up until the end, where horns have joined in and give the atmosphere some additional edge.

The strong bass work continues with "L'eau, Le Lait, Le Vin" (which, if my french is not too rusty, translates into "the water, the mlik, the wine"). The transition between the two songs is actually rather seamless. Like in the first track, The Box demonstrate their ability to craft a great musical piece around simpler ideas. Keyboards provide the texture for the first half of the song, but it's a punchy guitar riff and the vocals that carry the second half, aided by a good keyboard solo and some excellent drumming.

Mont Saint Michel continues the trend of combining atmosphere with great, catchy music, with an atmospheric first half that builds into a very, very catchy second half. The album continues to demonstrate, song after song, that The Box are masters of both atmosphere and writing catchy music. I would like to stress once more that the music is the strong point here, and not understanding the vocals does not make them sound in any way worse. (Although, from what I understand, the lyrical content of the album is also quite good - maybe it's time to learn french?)

The album ends on "Super 61", which is a bit more toned down than the rest of the album. I am not quite sure what "Super 61" is, but it is sung in English, in female vocals that do not exist anywhere else in the album, making me curious about their inclusion here.

Overall, a great album that is a delight to hear. There is not a weak track on the album. Stronger tracks include: "Souse Hypnose", "L'eau, Le Lait, Le Vin", "Incubus", "Super 61", "Mont St. Michel" and "Un impenetrable Mystere" (over half the album!). Highly recommended.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |

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