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Miriodor - Parade CD (album) cover





4.19 | 70 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars A double-disc release that combined a long-awaited studio album and, thrown in as a bonus, their live Nearfest concert of 2002. If memory serves, Mekano was their previous album (dating from the previous century or so), where they were a quartet and by their Nearfest performance, they had integrated a duo of cute female musical buddies (Bélanger on violin and Leclair on sax), and that by the recording of the studio album three years later, they where still around but as guests-only (if I can believe the album's booklet). Still in the studio album, SMM's Holmer also contributed to three tracks, both playing and writing, and another cute (I presume, since they all are) Québecois woman Millet played the bassoon on five tracks.

Opening in GG mode, Pyramide is a typically quirky and jumpy Miriodor track that is also reminiscent of their Gypsy jazz roots. Sonically these first few tracks are generally fuller- sounding than their previous adventures, because of the extended line-up, thus increasing the possibilities of interplay and compositional complexity. Some tracks are also more symphonic or standard-prog than usual, sometimes even giving into passages that could feature on an Anglagard album (Cruciverbiste or Frozen Bonsai) or Crimson (Checkpoint Charlie), but on the whole, you're still well within the usual Miriodor boundaries. The last third of the album sees the afore-mentioned Holmer intervening, which means (unfortunately for me) accordion every second track or so (me no like), often accompanied by Millet's bassoon, including Tolrika, a tune that Lars wrote solo a few years back. Millet's bassoon on Danse Chétive gives a Univers Zero touch, more than a Samla feel. The energetic and demented Préparatifs De Vacances is somewhere close Crimson's madness crossed with some hardcore bombastic moods. The closing Deep Forest is a mammoth track to end the aural hostilities, thus forcing your mind to surrender unconditionally to Miriodor's musical kingdom, helped out y their feudal Swedish vassal Holmer.

As for the Nearfest performance, Miriodor opens the set on very weird electronic and percussions, but the Queen Of Termites reassures the public right away with its typical melodic complexity, and then get a bit sombre with Proportions Gardées, which is slightly reminiscent or UZ or Present. Most of the tracks are from Jongleries and Mekano, but you'll find a few from earlier times as well. As the concert goes on, Falaise's guitar seems to get hotter, but never hogs the spotlight. Actually just like in the studio Miriodor doesn't engage in lengthy solo heroics and histrionics, and everyone always remain at the service of the music.

Well, if I tend to like Jongleries and Avanti (their follow-up and latest, so far), the present Parade has the advantage of finding the group as a sextet, therefore giving them more freedom and sonic variety, although I wished they had developed their songwriting a bit more and dared something totally different than their usual (but improved) soundscapes. Somewhat of a missed opportunity! If you're looking for an introduction to Miriodor's musical realm, the present set might just do the trick, with their usual studio soundscapes slightly-enhanced and an excellent live performance, which will demonstrate that the group doesn't resort to studio trickery. Another impeccable Cuneiform release.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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