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VISITORS

Visitors

 

Eclectic Prog

3.66 | 14 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Atavachron
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A desperate cry from the universe is the legendary Visitors LP and as all distant signals from the cosmos, was outdated before it was ever audible to our ears, even in 1974. But the cognoscenti are right about this one; it is a beaut of progressive psychedelia with tons of character and flavor.

As is so common with the best of the great unwashed, Visitors has a power all its own, an urgent need to document what would undoubtedly be a brief moment of clarity, vision, and friggin great rock music that if left unrecorded would never see any daylight at all. Somehow during the craziness of the industry in '74, singer/composer Jean-Pierre Massiera and friends got it done. There is no doubt the session possesses a muddy, obscured sound the finest techs in the world probably couldn't do much for. Massiera had produced it on the go with little time and a huge roster of twenty+ musicians & vocalists, others not slated but sitting-in, and happenings unplanned but welcomed. But like the dusty-tube atmosphere of a surf band's rehearsal basement in 1959, sometimes what we don't hear is just as important. Heartsick prog requiem 'Dies Irae' is a gorgeous eight-minute rock orchestration heavy with guitars, swirling organs and basses, Didier Lockwood's single fiddle, all walled by the druidic Spaghetti Western vocals six & seven deep. The extraterrestrial theme is apparent for tortured 'Terre-Larbour', odd 'Flatwoods Story' features an orator in English and funny golden age sci-fi sounds, but 'Nous' is rather modern for its time as reflected in the MiniMoog of Jean-Claude Tarin. Wonderful histrionics and some very cool violin/guitar/organ playoffs in the title (with a subtle nod to Brubeck) and the short but satisfying set caps with 'Le retour des dieux' reflecting more of the cinematic Ennio Morricone influence.

Under the circumstances of its production and the tiny window available to implement it, the record is quite an achievement and, it should be no surprise, did not sell. The players all went their separate ways - Lockwood to Magma and later Zao, Massiera producing prog band Atlantide - but fortunately did not squander the time and motivation to leave behind this little rock daydream.

Atavachron | 4/5 |

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