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Orion - La Nature Vit, L'Homme Lui Critique... CD (album) cover

LA NATURE VIT, L'HOMME LUI CRITIQUE...

Orion

Symphonic Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars By the late 70's the French symphonic prog scene was getting frankly repetitive and clichéd to death, Orion was certainly not about to change that. This quintet (from the Northwest Paris outskirts) presented you typical symphonic prog that ranged from Ange and Atoll to Pulsar, Shylock (their first album anyway) and Carpe Diem. Musea re-issued this album from a mint vinyl (since the master tapes were lost) and changed the artwork to a more "fitting" (as in cliché) artwork and added as bonus tracks the single that they had released as well. The group presents itself as the standard prog quartet plus their leader: a lead singer, guitarist and flutist Laurent Delenne.

The group's music is really along the lines of the groups mentioned above, and the themes are also fairly well matching the usual themes developed, with a slight ecological denouncing of modern society. While it is evident that the group pulled out all of its sweat, ardor, heart and guts into the record, I am sadly thinking that it was all a bit too few and certainly too late: they had started as early as 74 and this album was recorded in early 79, when it was all but over for symphonic prog, even if their single dates from mid-77. Rather standard, typical "French-school" prog, I personally think that you'd better start elsewhere to discover that era of France's scene, but if you are a confirmed fan, while not bottom of the drawer, this could easily fit in your shelves, but it won't floor you.

Report this review (#118349)
Posted Saturday, April 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars Very much from the melodramatic style of French symphonic prog, Orion did not really offer anything new to the scene, especially given the 1979 release date of the original LP, but this would not have been innovative even in the mid 1970s. Overwrought vocals, cheesy synths, lack of a song development, and a faux-folk sheen are all in evidence here, to the detriment of the occasional inspired passages.

A particularly telling observation is that, apart from the pretty title cut, the best song is the bonus cut "Il faut aimer ou mourir" which was released as a single. It owes more to traditional folklore than the symphonic genre, but does incorporate those influences to produce a singularly powerful song. But the low points are just too many, like the squandered "Le Monde Invisible" which starts well but becomes progressively more irritating, "La Rapace" with its preachy manner and silly hard rock riff, while "le Chevalier", like much here, is highly repetitive and goes nowhere fast.

For collectors of the French 1970s prog scene, but be warned that Orion does not live up to its extraterrestrial name.

Report this review (#146254)
Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Underrated little treasure

This band from France released only one album in the late '70's - exactly 1979. The music on this single album is symphonic with a touch of Shylock and here and there Ange but less theatrical. Not very much to add just if you put the hand on this one you want regret it, at least i was very pleasent surprise when i bought this little gem from Musea. Great guitar parts from Franck Mamosa and some very intristing keys passages from Janusz Tokarz - in the same time smooth if the mood needed and very fluent and symphonic if the piece change in a more symphonic aproach. The album is maybe typical for french prog shcool from the late '70's and why not to some of the canadian prog bands from the same period (french part of the Canada) This single album worth to have in your collection, and only for Le Singe De La Vie , Le Chevalier and La Nature Vit, L'Homme Lui Critique the best pieces from here. The album has 2 bonus tracks that didn't make it on the album first time was released. So 4 stars for this unknown but in the same time intristing little gem from the late '70's.

Report this review (#181030)
Posted Friday, August 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Musea's reissue booklet provided great info about this second-wave French Prog band, found in 1974 in Meaux, near Paris, by bassist Patrick Wyrembski, his cousin Janusz Tokarz on keyboards and the cousin of Patrick's wife Laurent Delenne on flute, guitar and vocals.The line-up became complete with Franck Mamosa on guitar and Michel Rousseaux on drums, both played in a progressive combo named Rapace.They had a great live activity, passing the narrow Paris borders numerous times, but their future was somewhat held back, when Mamosa quit to focus on his studies in 1975.He was replaced by Philippe Bedos and later on by Patrice Boudot, but he returned in 1976.A single on the small Olivier label was released in 1977, selling about 6000 copies, and in 1978 the band booked the LSB Studios in Paris for one week to self-finance and record the debut ''La nature vit, l'homme lui critique...''.Only label interested in their work appeared to be the independent Oxygene and the album was eventually released in March 1979.

Orion belong to the second-class bands from France appearing during the late-70's/early-80's and their music had much in common with the sound of OPALE, NUANCE, ONIRIS or GRIMME.Basically this is pretty laid-back Symphonic Rock with intense, French vocals and strong theatrical leanings in the singing lines, divided both in short and longer pieces, with smooth guitar and keyboard plays.They sound quite retro-styled, as ANGE and ATOLL seems to be their creative inspiration, but their style was rather updated to late-70's with the sharp use of synthesizers instead of more vintage keyboards.The compositions are characterized by some playful, soft interplays, typical French-styled vocals, atmospheric keyboard interludes and an attempt on providing some decent melodies.Not the best production or equipment around, the band reputedly worked hard for night and day during the limited time of the recordings and the result is an average mix of instruments, which affects the quality of the compositions.However there is some great stuff in this album with dramatic, instrumental textures, Classical flavors and satirical voices, the combination of which marks Orion as a pretty talented group.Some nice flute work is present unfortunately in rare moments compared to the band's only single, both tracks of which are included in the Musea reissue, and appears to dominate the music, which is still along the lines of French Symphonic Rock.

Decent Progressive Rock in the standard French tradition.Mediocre sound quality is an issue here, but the music is mostly nice, albeir rather unoriginal.Recommended, especially if you like the more theatrical side of French Prog.

Report this review (#1178465)
Posted Friday, May 23, 2014 | Review Permalink

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