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Miriodor - Rencontres CD (album) cover

RENCONTRES

Miriodor

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.24 | 34 ratings

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Man With Hat
4 stars Miriodor, Take One.

The debut of one of the best modern avant-prog bands. Always fun, always addictive, always enjoyable. A defining characteristic of this band is how much their sound changes and evolves throughout their existence. For anyone who is familiar with their later work, this will sound quite different. A strong canterbury flavor is in the mix, with plenty of delicious sax work and dripping with flute passages (something that can't be said for their later albums). Even the next two albums really don't sound like this, making it a unique entry in the world of Miriodor. The sextet version of the band is quite enjoyable, ensuring that many sounds roll out of the speakers, even though keyboards (of all types), and flute are most salient. Moods on this album range from quirky to tense to mysterious to lamentful to exciting. Finally, the compositions are strong and interesting, never sounding to repetitive or wandering. All these factors ensure the listener will not get bored any where through this long album.

Even for a debut album, they have carved out a unique niche, as this doesn't sound too much like any other band. Some stylistic similarities can be drawn to canterbury bands, and more lighthearted RIO/Avant bands, but there is never a time where I hear phrases that could be taken from other bands. (Hell, they don't even sound like themselves!) For a debut, this is definitely an impressive quality. There are really no bad songs on this album, but the best moments include Checkmate (an embryonic form of the "traditional" Miriodor sound), Road To Martyrdom, with excellent organ runs, and the brilliant Fog, with some outstanding drumming throughout, especially at the end. The only downside I can see here is the sound quality. It is not great, but passable. The drums, especially, seem to get bogged down in the mix, as well as the bass to some degree. I suppose recording conditions for (what I assume are) a poor unnknown avant-tingled band in the mid 80s in Canada weren't ideal. This sound quality certainly threw me on the first couple of listens, meaning that this is really a headphone album, where you can just like the music swirl around you and truly get absorbed, without distraction.

All in all, this is an excellent, and fairly unique Miriodor album. Miriodor, in general, are an excellent band for someone who isn't all too familiar with Avant-Prog, or who doesn't generally like that type of music, and this album may be one of the best to begin with, with its more relaxed, canterburyish sounds. May be difficult to find, but if you do, it's well worth it. 4.5 stars. Recommended.

Man With Hat | 4/5 |

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