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Patrick Rondat - Amphibia CD (album) cover

AMPHIBIA

Patrick Rondat

Progressive Metal


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Greger
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Patrick RONDAT is Jean Michel JARRE's guitarist. This album though doesn't contain music influenced by Jean Michel JARRE. The music is complex instrumental progressive rock/metal with very nice melodies and influences from classical music. There are a lot of good harmonies and tempo changes. Patrick is a true guitar maestro. Would you expect something else from a musician that's working with JARRE? Jean Michel JARRE also produces the album.

Behind the drums are the well-known drummer Tommy Aldridge (ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake, Gary Moore and others). As always his drumming is very heavy and energetic.

The highlights on this album: » The title track "Amphibia" that is split up into six sections, all with different moods.

» Antonio Vivaldi's composition "Vivaldi Tribute" from the concerto in G minor. "L'ÚtÚ" (Summer). Symphony in 3 movements "Presto". This track contains astounding guitar playing. Patrick used to play this piece as practise, and this is truly an intricate piece of work. The album's best track.

» Not very surprisingly there's a cover of Jean Michel JARRE's famous "Equinoxe IV". Here Patrick interprets it in another way. I love it!

» The neo-classic track "Burn Out" that is a live version of a track that was on Patrick's second album "Rape of the Earth". It's so skilfully played that it's hard to believe it's a live recording.

The CD comes with a cover booklet containing comments from Patrick about each track, and a great artwork showing a frog on the front cover. This is a masterpiece that's highly recommended!

Report this review (#32012)
Posted Monday, July 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Amphibia is Patrick Rondat’s third solo album. Released in 1996, presented Patrick’s famous frog that’s associated with all his solo work ever since.

The opening song Amphibia, one of Patrick’s biggest compositions, is, as he himself described it, a “journey through different musical landscapes”. This 28 minutes long composition shifts from melodic passages, arranged for both electric and acoustic guitar, to heavy riffs and back again. It’s a presentation of what Patrick is really capable of both as a guitarist and as a composer. The song is split into six parts with the same theme interleaving throughout the whole piece. The title amphibia is the front cover frog here symbolizing life in two different environments, water and land, and is also “a play on the English name for the French: Frogs”, according to booklet comments. The song begins with a tide-like hit and soothing acoustic musing that emerges out of it, then changes to steady rocking pace in second part with melodic guitar on top, that spectacularly collapses to a slow drumming, making way for a weeping guitar backed by a keyboard in part three, which yet again changes to heavy metal shredding in part four–I really like how Patrice’s clanging bass accompanies the guitar here. Fifth part goes back to hushed acoustic guitar and piano playing pari passu–a very nice effect–which slowly gains momentum to end with quasi-classical guitar sweeping in part six.

Among other songs, like almost-classical heavy metal Camouflage or blues-like Shattered Chains, you’ll also find Vivaldi Tribute, which is Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor L’estate (Summer) Presto that Patrick used to play as a practice!, Jean Michel Jarre’s cover Equinox IV or live performance recording of Burn Out known from Patrick’s previous album.

Although–well, of course–this is a guitarists solo album and as such a guitar-centric recording, you can, if you’ll listen carefully, hear some interesting rhythm section work going on, like short but snappy bass clang in Amphibia part four I had mentioned before, Tommy Aldridge’s great drumming or Phil’s pianowork. This album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection– one of the gems of my own–and generally great listening for all prog-junkies.

Report this review (#201588)
Posted Wednesday, February 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 realy

Patrick's Rondat third album from 1996 is another good album in my collection, but doesn't reach the beauty and complexity of his next album On the edge from 1999. To some of you Amphibia - the title of the album is a masterpiece, but not for me, something tells me that this is not his best work, in my opinion. The music is less intristing than On the edge, my fav Rondat album for sure. Again Rondat have a realy strong line up including among others the never tired drumer Tommy Aldridge who made history with Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake and others. The musicianship is great , showing how good they understand each other in making music, some pieces are strong it can be. The title of the album Amphibia is an epic of over 25 minutes split in 6 parts, each one in diffrent mood from slow and mellow to bursting guitar passages, prog metal with classical leanings is the best to describe Amphibia. The part 2 and 4 are absolute outstanding in manner of composition, great musicianship and intristing moods. Beside the Amphibia piece another well played and great pieces are Camouflage, Shatterd chains, the rest are also good. I've always liked Rondat music, is mainly diffrent from the usual guitarist album, because he is more concentrate on compositions as a whole not only his skills on guitar, and every musicians has a good role in developing the sound of the album. Also on this album are featured two pieces as bonus tracks - Burn out - from his previous work Rape of the earth and aswell on On the edge album but ths time only acustic version and a live piece - Just for fun - from Amphibia tour from 1997. Aswell here is cover version of Jean Michele Jarre - Equinox IV - very well put it in prog metal zone and Vivaldi tribute - of course a piece dedicated to the master Vivaldi. So as a whole the album is full and with good pieces, from fast to slow pieces, from intricated to more rock and mainstream tracks, but I can't give more than 3 stars, rounded up, but because 3.5 is not allowed I will give only 3, a good one for sure, but I prefer the next one On the edge, who was a 4 star album for me, his best work to date. Anyway Amphibia is recommanded for many listners, specialy for those who are more towards guitar orientated albums, they for sure will enjoy this work, as I did.

Report this review (#205754)
Posted Sunday, March 8, 2009 | Review Permalink

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