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Guillaume De la Piliere - Requiem Apocalyptique CD (album) cover

REQUIEM APOCALYPTIQUE

Guillaume De la Piliere

Eclectic Prog


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Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This third solo venture from former Versailles member Guillaume de La Pilière deserves some credit; even if it is somewhat of a mixed effort.

I mean, he calls the album "Requiem Apocalyptique", he plays all the instruments on it himself - and the album is a 45 minutes long epic. And despite some shortcomings in terms of interesting and fascinating moods the composition comes across as just that - a complete piece of work. It could probably have been divided into 10 pieces or so, but it manages to come across as a united rather than an assembled effort; which in itself requires skill and talent.

The opening and closing sequences on the song are the main negatives for my sake; too many swirling guitars and eerie, weird vocal performances makes them unique, certainly innovative but alas also taxing and somewhat grating to the ears as the passages continue on.

However, the mid section and final closing passage, with rich, ominous and threatening moods created are fascinating; and when the more annoying sequences aren't overly long either the end result is an enjoyable creation overall; some weak parts and some strong parts - and enough of the latter to make this one worthwhile investigating for curious prog fans of the kind that doesn't mind some French eccentricity.

Report this review (#221278)
Posted Monday, June 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars As Windhawk has pointed out, this is a french piece, and there is plenty of eccentricity in it. A lot of it is also an instrumental affair, with large breaks of up to 10 minutes between lyrics (which are french). It does work as a single piece, and the talent of Guillaume shows, as he is the sole creator of the work. It doesn't seem like he was the only one who made it, but still - that alone shows some immense talent. The piece itself however is not exactly flawless in my eyes. Despite the fact it is constantly involving and always developing in a progressive and unexpected fashion, it hasn't got the mastery of instrumentation or lyrical (even if I don't know french) depth that an album such as Thick as A Brick might have. That isn't to say it's not a fun ride to take, so I'm split between a 3 and a 4, rounding down because it's not an essential work by any stretch, but as a 45 minute french journey, it certainly has some originality floating around in its concept album structure.
Report this review (#561967)
Posted Friday, November 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I wish I could get into this. The problem, I feel, is that there isn't enough texture or depth to sustain this on for 45 minutes. That isn't to say there aren't moments of inspiration, (in the instrumental sections more often) where the piece of music truly shows some great potential, whereas other parts feel redundant and unneeded. Sure - I don't understand the french language, though I'll probably try and get around to learning it, but I don't think the lyrics could hold enough texture or depth either.

The parts that stood out were between the 25th and 35th minute, where the instrumentation, finally really flows and gels well. It becomes a really innovative and wonderful piece of music, if only for a short time. The problem of course, is that this innovation doesn't seem to last. There's enough good parts to compensate for the 'less good' parts, but it's hardly essential, but for a pleasant enough change from the norm (what is normal in prog anyway?), it's not the worst album to listen to.

Just hardly the most memorable. 3 stars.

Report this review (#572689)
Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the early Nineties I got in touch with Guillaume his exciting guitarwork for the first time when I was listening to Don Giovanni, the second studio-album (from 1992) by his band Versailles. Meanwhile Versailles has made 4 albums (their latest album Blaise Et Benjamin is from 1998), Guillaume joined other French progrock band Mona Lisa (in 1999 and 2000) and in 2007 he has released this third solo album entitled Requiem Apocaliptique, this review is about that third effort, unfortunately it turned out to be his swansong.

The music on Requiem Apocaliptique is a blend of rock, psychedelia, symphonic rock and some avant- garde/experimental elements. It often sounds dynamic, adventurous but also a bit quirky at some moments. The album contains one composition (45 minutes) that delivers lots of breaks and shifting moods:

swinging rhythms that feature fiery electric guitar,

fat synthesizer flights and theatrical vocals,

a dreamy part with acoustic guitar and soaring keyboards,

a beautiful interlude with Mellotron and strings,

a spacey atmosphere with compelling guitarwork (with the use of slide and volume pedal,

and a grand finale with a majestic choir-Mellotron sound.

I am glad that it's still possible to release this kind of daring progressive music, a big hand for Guillaume his captivating music. And the mindblowing 'gothic-window-shaped-CD', unique!

My rating: 3,5 star.

Report this review (#1953942)
Posted Wednesday, August 1, 2018 | Review Permalink

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