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Machiavel - Jester CD (album) cover

JESTER

Machiavel

 

Eclectic Prog

3.72 | 62 ratings

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Matti
3 stars Machiavel is one of the most successful rock bands in Belgium (though internationally less respected than the RIO/Avant act Univers Zero). It could be compared to Dutch KAYAK as they both delivered keyboard-orientated, light symphonic prog and shifted towards more commercial paths - and have continued their existence through decades. Machiavel aimed at high production level right from the start in 1974. The second album Jester introduced Italian-born singer/reed-player Mario Cuccio as well as the new guitarist Jean-Paul Devaux.

The sound is bright and often includes electric piano, which makes me think of SUPERTRAMP's Crime of the Century album, but the songs are more symphonic and longer, and the vocals have some 80's pop feel. As a matter of fact Jester reminds me a lot of Neo-Prog (Marillion, IQ, Pendragon)! Some tracks have Marillion-ish solos for el.guitar or synths and the overall atmosphere is similarly theatrical in the footsteps of GENESIS. The ending mini-epic 'Rock, Sea, and Tree' has mythological lyrics reminding of 'Fountain of Salmacis' but without the clear plotline of the Genesis classic. Maybe 'Jester' has a nod to the King Crimson debut? (And did Fish know this album when Marillion did Script for a Jester's Tear? Hmm, more likely not.) This is an easily enjoyable album, but probably too overproduced for some listeners. I like it but it lacks true originality and sometimes tastes quite commercial. Excellent production for its time, that's for sure. 3 stars.

Matti | 3/5 |

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