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Vital Duo - Ex Tempore  CD (album) cover


Vital Duo

Eclectic Prog

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5 stars Two members from the French progressive rock band Minimum Vital, Thierry and Jean-Luc Payssan, have started a new project called Vital Duo. The music, arrangements and lyrics are done entirely by these two genius brothers, and they're also playing all the instruments by themselves.

The music is an original mix between medieval music and melodic progressive rock. Not surprisingly there are some reminiscences to Blackmore's Night, Gryphon, Jethro Tull and old medieval music. On many of the songs they have managed to create an old sound on mainly new instruments, which is really impressing. Both Thierry and Jean-Luc are magnificent and talented musicians so the final result is nothing else than a masterpiece.

Report this review (#25180)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I agree with another reviewers, this is an excellent album full of medieval feeling. I really like this kind of music when I close my eyes and I can be transported to a different century, such this case. Some tracks in "Ex Tempore" maybe more folk than prog, but music is beautiful at all moment. I can find Gryphon's first album elements meeting some Mike Oldfield touches, but both Vital Duo musicians are evidently inspirated. Listening just the first theme, "La Tour Haute", you'll have an idea about you can expect: a wonderful one hour trip to the past. I enjoy this effort much more than another not so inspired medieval style cds (Blackmore's Night or Bollenberg Experience, by example) and it's easy to recommend it to all prog fans and specially to ancient music lovers.
Report this review (#25181)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The gap between the 97' and 03' albums of Minimum vital can be explained by the fact that the Payssan brothers around the time had focused on an emerging side-project called Vital Duo, where they would get into a more Folklore approach on Prog Rock.Jean-Luc played various string instruments like classical and electric guitar, mandolin, a 16-string sitar, while he also handled most of the percussion parts, and his brother Thierry launched a keyboard fest including a sampled church organ, synthesizers, a couple of pianos and a Hammond organ.The sole album of Vital Duo was recorded between July 99' and September 00' at the Mahatma Studio in Bordeaux and released the next year on Musea Records.

If you call this something like Medieval Prog it's fine, the Payssan brothers just prooved how diverse they were, taking MINIMUM VITAL's follkier parts and pronouncing them with the dominant use of keyboards and acoustic instruments.Medieval-styled tunes, performed through keyboards and strings, supported by some great choir parts, and a pallette of flexible moods, depending on the electroacoustic and keyboard instrumentals.All these lost-in-time atmospheres come in evidence through the troubadour-like vocal lines, the ability of Thierry Payssan to adapt Medieval Music in his keyboard themes, especially the digital church organ, and the acoustic depth coming out of Jean-Luc Payssan's acoustic variety.Echoes from the Baroque, Renaissance and Medieval periods and stylings are revisited with a contemporary sound, which still contains a lot of electric atmospheres.If you have ever listened to MINIMUM VITAL's music, you have an idea of what to expect.Take the smooth electric tunes of the main band, throw in a stronger dose of archaic, European melodies, and reduce the instruments to keyboards and guitars (next to some sporadic drumming).Impressive reincarnation of old music principles, leading to nice, mostly instrumental stuff.

Just before the Payssan's refocused on their main band Minimum vital, they also released a great live performance of Vital Duo's music on the DVD ''Le jardin hors du temps'', which comes also recommended.A unique entry of electroacoustic Medieval-styled Prog Rock, strongly recommended to say the least...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#1313889)
Posted Saturday, November 22, 2014 | Review Permalink

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