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Jean-Paul Prat - Masal CD (album) cover

MASAL

Jean-Paul Prat

 

Eclectic Prog

4.14 | 22 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Jean-Paul Prat is a very talented Frenchman who seems to be able to play any instrument he gets his hands on given some time to figure it out. He'll be the lead guitarist in one band and the keyboard player in another. He's also been the lead vocalist. On this particular album he's on the drum-kit. In his late teens he was a big fan of DEEP PURPLE and CHICAGO but his biggest inspiration was MAGMA. He would not only meet Christian Vander but he and his 14 piece band who are featured on the 42 minute track here called "Masal" would open for MAGMA on one of their tours. Once you hear this track you'll catch that Zeuhl connection pretty quickly. In fact most sites have this album listed under the Zeuhl genre.The remaining songs on here are bonus tracks and from later in his career with a smaller band and they aren't Zeuhl but more Jazz flavoured. I like how the Wayside site calls this album a Big Band Zeuhl record. Now I must admit i'm not into orchestral music because I don't like hearing 10 violinists and 10 sax players and 10 whatever instruments playing the same notes that create a "big sound". No thankyou ! You can keep your Classical music, but fortunately this doesn't degenerate too much into that. It does enough though for me to keep it at 4 stars lets put it that way.

"Masal" starts off with those deep, dark sounding bass lines as it builds. How good do these drums sound ! Horns kick in around 2 1/2 minutes. Love that growly bass. A calm after 5 minutes then it starts to build with piano, then drums, then bass. So good.The guitar is screaming at one point after 8 minutes. A change a minute later as it picks up and horns come to the fore. Amazing sound 11 1/2 minutes in then it settles back.Guitar then horns return before it settles again before 16 minutes. Drums and horns start to build then it settles again before 18 1/2 minutes and again before 21 minutes and after 23 1/2 minutes. Each time it builds after the calm. Drums pound away 25 minutes in. It settles a minute later. A beat with flute come in. A calm at 28 1/2 minutes then we get laughter as it kicks back in. Horns are prominant.Piano and chunky bass before 32 minutes as drums impress as usual.The guitar joins in and rips it up. A calm 34 1/2 minutes in. Relaxed guitar 38 minutes in. It picks up 39 1/2 minutes in then settles back with vocal melodies and piano. It's building again.What a killer track that is.Definitely a 4.5 star album. A Prog lover's delight.

Most feel the bonus tracks are just as good as the title track but I don't,well not quite anyway. "Maran Atha- Selah" is though. Piano, bass and drums build and this sounds really good. Horns before 1 1/2 minutes then guitar. A change after 5 1/2 minutes as it turns dark and the tempo slows down some. Another change before 12 minutes as it calms right down with piano. It kicks back in after 13 minutes but settles back again quickly. It kicks back in one more time at 15 minutes to end it. "Messangers De Notre-Dame" is very good as well with that good beat along with piano and horns. "Valse Funebre" isn't as good but I still like it. "Origines-Seconde Partie" fortunately is under 4 minutes because I don't like it at all. It's all about choirs and vocals like being in church really.

So 4.5 for the original album that is one long track released in 1982.The bonus tracks are impressive except for the last one in my opinion. So yes don't even hesitate to get this if you like adventerous music with lots of horns and a Zeuhl flavour.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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