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Skryvania - Skryvania CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.41 | 52 ratings

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4 stars Skryvania is another one shot wonder that came and went unnoticed, yet it displays those ultimately French attributes that makes this country's prog style so unique, even if the sound sometimes lacks clarity or punch, particularly evident on the piss-poor vocal production. My argument has always been that the material matters more that the technical studio polishing and we must always encourage any attempt to travel well beyond the sterile sludge of formulaic commercial music (aka pap). The dual keyboards are fascinating stylistically, using way more clamorous synth lines that the usual tenebrous Francis decamps-like organ. The guitar is equally engaging (Olivier Marina) in that slippery Hackett-esque tone that we all love and cherish, effect and volume pedals ablaze. The rhythm section is tight and expansive Alain Yvorra's bass thumping along nicely while Benoit Reeves provides some rocky oomph to the proceedings. This group had lofty ambitions, hoping to unseat the big boys of the day (Yes, Genesis, King Crimson and compatriots Ange) and of course, reality set in. But at least they tried artistically if not commercially, mostly unsuccessfully because they refused to bend over and play the fame card by diluting their vision into 3 minute ditties. We can only applaud such chivalrous intentions and give this disc, not just the benefit of doubt but also a wider berth of open-mindedness. This is a gallant effort as displayed on the reverberating 'Tristan & Iseult', the opulent 'Chateau D'Orphee', the gripping 'Renaissance' and the epic 'Epopee', as well as bonus mini-snippets 'Ritual' and 'Close to the Edge' from the 'OUI' guys and 'Hairless Heart' from 'Genese'. Hidden treasures like this need a wider audience and Skryvania is among many others from the Gallic hexagon (Angipatch, Pentacle, Acanthe, Step Ahead, Arachnoid, Neo and Shylock) that deserve more recognition.

This is not only a prized collectors item but reveals that amateur preciousness and rebellious attitude shown by quality musicians who fight against the negative musical currents of a time.

4.5 cache caches

tszirmay | 4/5 |


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