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Present - this is NOT the end CD (album) cover

THIS IS NOT THE END

Present

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.41 | 29 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars With Roger Trigeaux's passing so too his band will also pass on. Despite what the album's title says. Roger passed in 2021 during the recording process but the sessions were done. Pierre Chevalier has taken the reigns and done a fabulous job admitting there were decisions that had to be made about certain things and they tried to do what Roger would have wanted. I'm not sure where Roger's son Reginald is being a long time member but they brought in guitarist Francois Mignot from NI and PINOIL to take his place.

A seven piece although they include Udi Koomran as the eighth member and for good reason. AHVAK did the same many years earlier and yes drummer Dave Kerman was on that record and on here of course. What a professional this guy is, blows me away. It's actually interesting all the musical connections on here with all of these guys playing together it seems at some point.

In fact ARANIS, 5UU'S and UNIVERS ZERO are well represented here. The chemistry is something. I don't remember ever having this feeling of standing in the middle of a band performing and getting dizzy from the counterpoint, the tempo changes and the interplay all done as one.

So of course Roger is on here playing keyboards and adding spoken words which are gruff and kind of creepy especially the laughing parts. I haven't mentioned Keith Macksoud on bass or Kurt Bude on sax, clarinet and bass clarinet, and finally Liesbeth Lambrecht on violin and she is from ARANIS. Songs are built on rhythm and repetition and are a combo of heavy rock and classical. Read that on the press release I think on the Wayside site.

The opener "Contre" at 8 minutes has some of those spoken words from Roger and laugher. The piano is stark and full of suspense from Chevalier and that will come and go. There is so much going on before that calm after 5 minutes. Kerman is impressive here and we will get hit hard again. "This Is Not The End Part 2" is over 12 minutes and features some killer violin and I love the bass clarinet. Some good contrasts on this one and man it gets almost stifling, suffocating with all that is going on when it gets intense.

The final track is "Part 1" of the title track and is a monster at 26 1/2 minutes. The atmosphere to start makes me nervous. And yes Roger does return speaking and laughing around 3 minutes in. The voice continues for a while the bass clarinet leads then some nasty outbursts before it get dense 9 minutes in, maybe crazy is a better word. Kerman is on fire but then just a quick a calm that lasts a while broken by the violin 12 minutes in. It starts to move after 16 1/2 minutes then a couple of minutes later the tempo speeds up. How long can they keep this up? Violin and drums are nuts late. What a composition!

A top three PRESENT album but I need to have a PRESENT marathon and come up with some kind of an order. They never disappoint. Without question a contender for album of the year for 2024. Beat this!

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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