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Robert Bériau - Falling Back To Where I Began CD (album) cover


Robert Bériau

Symphonic Prog

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
3 stars Yesterday ROBERT BERIAU was added to Symphonic, not without a bit of controversy, and it may be explained with the fact that he plays a new form of the sub-genre that blends elements of diverse sources, but I believe that the main problem is the Ambient element which is commonly identified with New Age and causes a reaction against the inclusion.

But in this case we have no doubt, despite the different elements present in ROBERT BERIAU'S music, the essence and structure is Symphonic, mainly in "Falling Back to Where I began", his 2005 debut and in my opinion, the reason why the band was added to this precise sub-genre.

The album is opened by "Anyone's Life : Humble Story in Mankind", an excellent instrumental that demonstrates why this artist should be here, the long introduction mainly with Synths and piano presents us a soft track, very melodic that could be too light for the people who believe we are still in the 70's. But after a couple of minutes the changes start, not radical, but clear and well elaborate, reminding me a bit of MIKE OLDFIELD but much more melodic and extremely dramatic, and this is not all, a last and more radical change presents us a faster and elaborate conclusion where the drums mark a strong difference. Not the strongest track, but very goof to warm up the audience for the next tracks.

"Suicide... by those Left Behind" starts mysterious and full of expectations with the dark and haunting keyboards preparing the listener for a first climax, which after an in crescendo guitar and keyboard passage reaches, but not in a frantic section, instead in the form of an obscure piano melody that reminds a bit of KARDA ESTRA. The dense atmosphere can almost be cut with a knife and the nostalgia touches the soul of the listener, even the electric guitar plays a slow and distorted melody. A very sad and dramatic track that raises the level of the album.

"Darkness" marks a radical change, starts faster but again extremely melodic, the piano section is extremely beautiful and again very nostalgic and leads to a section that reminds of RENAISSANCE with the piano played in John Tout's style, but when the rest of the instruments join, we have a strong passage with reminiscences of the debut album by ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. The track ends soft with Jazz touches to enhance the eclecticism of the musician.

"Looking Back" begins harder than usual with a powerful keyboard intro and leads to a lighter passage which again reminds me a bit of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT in "I Robot", then starts to change constantly from hard to soft but sadly leading nowhere except to another almost Neo Classical piano which continues untoil the end of the track without surprises.

"Night Running at -30 C: The Warm Up" And "Night Running at -30 C : The Crusing Zone" are two Jazzy tracks that seem like prepared only to heat the pavement for the 25 minutes multi part epic. Not bad, neither too innovative nor original; nice but not great.

Now it's time for the main song of the album, "The Cycle of Love", which is divided in 4 parts, even when it's mainly a soft track that combines Symphonic with Neo Classical and a bit of Ambient, is a very good chance for ROBERT BERIAU to prove his ability with longer tracks, and he passes the test, being that he manages to keep the interest of the listener for almost half an hour.

The album is closed with "Fell", a very short epilog perfect to finish the album a bit harder with an interesting Moog section, but too short to talk about a track that would define the album.

This is a good album for those Symphonic fans that like the combination of Prog with Neo Classical in the vein of KARDA ESTRA, but if you expect a frantic album, better get ROBERT'S second release "Selfishness: Source of War & Violence", which despite being less Symphonic, is much more aggressive and vibrant.

But I like the delicate blend of Neo Classical and Symphonic plus the obvious skills that the multi instrumentalist ROBERT BERIAU presents us in his debut, to be honest, the proper rating would be 3.5 stars, but there's not that possibility in our system, so will go with 3 stars, being that this is his debut as soloist, and I'm sure there will be chances for higher ratings in next releases.

Report this review (#185899)
Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Once again, I must thank Robert Beriau for providing this album as a prize for the ProgArchives monthly giveaway.

This album, unlike his second release, "Selfishness: Source of War and Violence", is completely instrumental. And on this one, Beriau plays all of the instruments himself. The music is a blend of electronic, light symphonic, and even some psychedelic rock. The best comparison I can make is that it sounds like a blend of Rick Wright of Pink Floyd, with some of Brian Eno's sonic inventiveness, and a bit of Tangerine Dream mixed in. If that sounds compelling to you, come on in.

While Beriau does not show off on any of his instruments, his feel for what sounds, tones and riffs will tastefully fin into his music is nearly perfect. Each song, without straying too far from it's original theme, manages to remain interesting all the way through.

My only (minor) complaint is that on the long piece, The Cycle Of Love, the different sections don't flow naturally from one to another. It sounds like different ideas randomly spliced together. But that doesn't make it a bad song, either.

My first listen of the album came as I was driving down dark New England roads in the middle of the night. The eeriness and mystery of the songs was perfect for the setting.

Report this review (#406592)
Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Canadian multi-instrumentalist and composer Robert Beriau works as a business counsultant since 1996 but has been also a music composer since early-90's with studies in Classical Music, Jazz and Rock.He has composed material and played with Canadian progsters Qwaarn but he also released a solo debut in 2005 under the title ''Falling Back To Where I Began'' on his own Beriau International Records, where he handles all instruments by himself.

Too many studies result in an rather unfocused release and a weird presentation of Beriau's musical background.At moments this all instrumental effort sounds more like an academic release than an album headed to Prog/Rock fans or any other average listener enjoying good quality music.His music relies heavily on Electronic soundscapes, grand piano performances close to Classical/Avant-Garde, Orchestral Rock and synth-based Ambient Music with plenty of sound effects.''Falling Back To Where I Began'' is a rather calm work but with a deep atmospheric background, split between smooth cosmic pieces of music and a few explosions with guitar in evidence, close to a spacey PINK FLOYD approach.The man is definitely skilled but the whole material is far from memorable at the end, maybe a bit hypnotic, failing to either impress the listener or stuck him with his headphones on.

Another mediocre one-man project, where the good skills do not translate eventually into some really good music.Approach with caution, this ones comes only recommended for those searching some good background music stuff with a cinematic film-score edge...2.5 stars.

Report this review (#758883)
Posted Saturday, May 26, 2012 | Review Permalink

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