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VU D'UN CHIEN

Ange

Symphonic Prog


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Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars O.K. - I'm gonna submit a review on this album....only because I've just spent some time listening to 80's Ange lately. Ange were an island unto themselves - the warbling Viscount Organ, Mellotron, Christian's theatrical vocal delivery - they are all Ange. Unique. This quality is present, even in the 80's releases to an extent - the strong keyboard prescence (not vintage keys unfortunately), the intense vocal delivery, but, as time has it, an even stronger guitar prescence is felt with the 80's-onward albums. We all give nasty 'stick' to Ange during this period (well the song-writing and arrangements were much too straight-forward) - I honestly enjoyed their 1985 release 'Fou' (particularly side 2) upon recent listening. Vu D'un Chien is a product of its times, recommended in the same way as 'Duke' is within the Genesis canon) - by this time, we are greeted with an all-out guitar heavy rock music - upon hearing is not a good sign, however, the opening track Les Tempes Modernes is a little bombastic in a Styx kind of way - a fair tune at best....by the 2nd track 'Les Lorgnons', we have an attempt at being theatrical AND accessible together, which should appeal to prog-heads. Foutez-Moi La Paix shows a more exciting vocal approach with some musical integrity and then leads into an extended piece which is enjoyable but not that exciting - it is not the great prog piece that we expect. Francis' 1979 solo LP 'Histoire de Fou' is much more exciting..... 'La Suisse' is OK as is 'Personne Au Bout du Fil - the backing vox and Sax kill the feel a bit, giving it a very commercial edge which is not what we really like to hear, 'Pour un Rien' is as exciting as 'Heathaze' is to Genesis, and the title track is decent without being anything too special. Good but inessential - go for ANY of the 70's albums.....

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#63584)
Posted Saturday, January 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Another two years break after their superb "Guet-Apens". From the new trio of musicians that joined the band to produce it, only one will stay for "Vu D'Un Chien" (from a dog's point of view - that's what the title means). Guitar and bass will again change hands. We have seen that this turover did not affect their work previously, so I was not too much worried about these ones.

The mood is definitely harder than before (but this is the eighties, right ?). The theatrical Christian's vocals is always present but the symphonic moments are scarce. Guitar has a more important role than usual as well.

Very little long pieces here. The longest one is "Je Travaille Sans Filet", clocking at just over seven minutes. It is a good rocking number but little emotion will filter out of this one. A bit dull. As the opener "Les Temps Modernes" another one of the longest number available (over five minutes).

The best number, IMO is "Les Lorgnons" which keeps on with Ange's tradition : symphonic mood, great keys. It will be the only one of that caliber, unfortunately.

"Pour Un Rien" is also very pleasant. A short and symphonic song which reminds the glory days. It could have been a nice intro of an epic but after 2'45" it is over. "La Suisse" started as "39" from "Queen", and the end of the song is 100% jazz-rock oriented, which is not at all my cup of tea.

"Personne Au Bout Du Fil" is again almost hard-rock oriented. I have of course nothing against this type of music, but it is rather unusual to hear this from Ange. They are not particularly successful in this genre.

The title track is a funny song. As I have said in the intro, it means from a dog's point of view (or perspective). The lyrics will be a long description of what a dog feels when confronted to the human race. Good rhythmics for the third good piece of the album.

"Vu D'un Chien" is not a bad album, but most of the magic from Ange has disappeared. The great symphonic keys moments, the incredible lyrics are gone. What remains is a good French rock band. But Ange has been used his fans to much, very much better work.

I'm afraid that this album opens a serie of rather poor releases form this great band. This one being not too bad : two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#123553)
Posted Sunday, May 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!!

Apparently the group went on a break after promoting their excellent Guet Apens album. For the major fans, this album is where Ange stops being good and it's easy to see why: Brezovar and Haas are well gone and if drummer Guichard remains behind the stool, he's still too fresh to make a difference. So with Vu D'Un Chien, we only have the two brothers remaining and no one to back them up properly. Indeed, replacing Demet, new axemen Defer is very (all too) audible, but obviously the man chomps riffs as if it was a real axe and he had lumber to chop down, but also doesn't play flute like his two predecessors. Gone is the theatrics and prog touches that had made Ange the most successful French group of the 70's all rock styles considered. OK, this album was recorded in the 80's, but it still sounds 70's enough, but much more mainstream rock than prog, but can not be compared to AOR that was now ruling on the other side of the pond. In some ways, this album could fit well in the mould of Eurock (Machiavel, Kayak etc?)

After the very upbeat UFO-ish hard rockin' Les Temps Modernes where Defer brutally overpowers the delicate Descamps harmonies, Lorgnons is a slower where the two bros are still bringing whatever finesse left in the music. The rest of the tracks on the A-side are not fillers, but are not exactly cornerstones either, especially the album-longest Sans Filet that overstays its welcome by a few minutes. Opening the flipside, La Suisse might even be a bit reminiscent of Saga, while the Montrose-like Au Bout Du Fil is ruined by a FM-friendly guitar, complete with a hysteric solo ala Eddie Van Schenker and the following Pour Un Rien is almost exactly that. The title track has again a Saga feel to it and was recorded live (part of it anyway) but it doesn't save the album either.

OK, VduC is a weaker album, but this is mostly due to the music, coz on the lyric side (for those ho master the French language), the texts are still fairly good, even if they might not reach the apex of a few years ago. Like most Ange fans, this is the type of album that usually gets a solid denigration (normally I do), but if you're into UFO meeting Saga, you might still find enough positive to like it.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#269139)
Posted Monday, March 01, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
2 stars Ange enters the 80's and sounds a bit ill at ease. Compared to the excellent Guet-Apens album that preceded Vu D'un Chien is a bit thin on substance and glossy in form.

The dramatic symphonic style of the 70's is not entirely abandoned yet, the sound is still thick with symphonic keyboards and Dechamps compelling vocals and melodies. In the songwriting there is a notable shift from ambitious progressive writing to standard verse-chorus rock clichés. Ange tried to answer to a changed environment but didn't have the vision to look forward like Rush did around that time. Instead they looked the other way and tried to apply the streamlined arena rock approach that had proved a commercial success for bands like Kayak and Saga. The result is somewhat neo-proggish with prominently rocking drums and straightforward compositions.

This album is a step down below anything Ange released in the 70's, but it is still a decent enough melodic rock album with good songs and Ange's known melancholy and passionate singing. From what I've heard, also those strongholds were to disappear completely on subsequent albums.

If you're a big fan of Ange's 70's albums you might consider adding this one as your final addition. 2.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#278807)
Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars To follow a band's discography and see what happens with the music during the years is very interesting. Now I have examined some great 70s proggers late records. I found they(for example Caravan) were great dispite changing members, styles and instrumentation. Ange's "Vu d'un Chien" is another example of that.

Ange's seventh record was made in 1980 and got a mostly blue cover with a picture in a heyhole. At that time Ange consisted of Francis and Christian Decamps, Jean-Pierre Guichard, Robert Defer and Didier Visieux. The two brothers were the only original members left. What's most significant Ange here is the very dramatic vocals we hear right from the start in "Les temps modernes" which is a fast hard rock song with great guitar that screams in the solos. "Les Lorgnons" is a classical Ange song and the best on this record. It also features a great guitar solo and the keyboards reminds me of the German symphonic band Novalis. Just unfortunately I can not speak or understand french. "Foutez-Moi La Paix" is short but special with its uninhibited vocals. "Je Travaille Sans Filet" is also very rocky and in the end we hear a church organ and strong guitars. "La Suisse" is different. It is both mainstream and polished to an intelligent unit with a great perfektion of the sound. And what would the 80s be without languishing saxophone. "Personne Au Bout du Fil" is not very interesting, a fast rock song but "Pour un rien" contains much more interesting stuff. The ending and title track "Vu D'un Chien" ends up with a symphonic background with a praising audience.

In terms of progressivity this isn't the most complicated Ange record but that doesn't make it less good. I think Ange managed to seek out new life forms for their music with keeping its spirits. This is better than "Par les fils de Mandrin" which had som inferior tracks but not as good as "Cimetière..." or "Carricatures".

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Send comments to DrömmarenAdrian (BETA) | Report this review (#981695)
Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013 | Review Permalink

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