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Catharsis Volume I - Masq album cover
2.69 | 32 ratings | 3 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Masq (6:16)
2. 4 art 6 (8:44)
3. Cantique (6:59)
4. Tunnel exatique (7:19)

Total Time: 29:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Roland Bocquet / organ, piano, glock, vocal
- Niles Brown / guitar, violin, clochettes, vocal
- Charlotte / vocal, violin, crecelle, clochettes, grelots
- Yves de Roubaix / guitar, vocal, crecelle
- Charles Eddie / percussion, tarabocca
- Allain Geoffroy / charango, piano, moulinette, vocal
- Patrick Moulia / guitar, tambourin, scie, guimbarde, crecelle, harmonica, vocal

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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CATHARSIS Volume I - Masq ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

CATHARSIS Volume I - Masq reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Catharsis is one of those French pioneering groups that forged ahead and paved the way for many of their compatriots. Their first album was recorded early spring 71 , but apparently there was a lot more material put on tape than just this album. Actually when their second album was recorded in Dec 71 (with a fairly reduced line-up), there was also much left out of the two records, that it turns out they released at least another two albums from these very sessions (71), but released in 75. Most of the tracks are written by keyboardist Bosquet and two of the guitarists (deRoubaix & Moulia).

Four long tracks on this debut album from a group that had their own distinctive sound, even though they were obviously Floyd-inspired, but with some more symphonic touches than Pink had. Indeed outside the strange ethereal female vocals, courtesy from Charlotte, but the groups was a septet. Through a percussive and gradual start, the track develops into an interesting psych rock, over which Charlotte's vocals (sometimes joined by the others) are soaring, then bizarre effects and percussion derail the progression of the title track and render its outcome unpredictable. We are going thru a few Bolero (Ravel) measures, than joined scats vocals, then an uncertain landing. Rising from that shaky ground and with baffling percussions and effects, 4 Art 6 develops slowly, remaining a bit irritatingly on low dynamics that when they finally come to acceptable level, there are some very weird (even a bit objectionable) vocals.

Actually the main interest of this album is also its flaw, because the scat vocals are over-used throughout the duration of the album. And starting the flipside, Cantique is not about to change that with Charlotte's scats taking on a mystical or liturgical note and if the male pagan chants coming just after, then superposed to Charlotte's. tunnel Extatique is hust more of the same that youy'fe so far abnd even induce a slight boredom or irritation.

By the time they would be recording their second album in December, Catharsis was only a quartet, having lost Charlotte, one keyboardist (Geoffroy) and a guitarist (Brown) along the way. Reputedly their best album, Masq is certainly a charming album that does bear the era that saw it born, a rather enjoyable piece of symphonic psychedelia, but repeated listening could prove somewhat difficult if one is not entirely comfortable with Charlotte's aerial scats.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Remained well hidden in the shadows of the past,CATHARSIS were a French band formed in 1969 and led by the major figure of organist/pianist Roland Boquet.They started as a sextet to record their debut ''Volume I-Masq'' in 1971 on the French record label Savanah.

The album contains four rather long cuts for an early-70's rock band,however it clocks just under 30 minutes.The musicianship in here is quite innovative and dark with lots of psychedelic echoes,even some Eastern influences, but also a very dated sound.It is Boquet's obscure Frafisa organ work,which leads the music surrounded by the mournful vocals of Charlotte and the weird vocal lines of the other members.Charles Eddie seems to be another major figure of the band,as his percussion work dominates the release,sometimes doubled by Boquet's organ,while others acoustic guitars try to capture his slow-tempo playing.Unfortunately the album lacks a bit in changing moods and tempos,which might be found a little boring for the mass of listeners,though you'll find familiar elements from early KING CRIMSON,PINK FLOYD with some hints of JACULA thrown in this effort.Be warned,that this is not everybody's taste, and definitely not mine.''Volume I-Masq'' turns to be an album for followers of slow Psychedelic Rock music with a dark and haunting atmosphere...sorry,I'm not one of them...

Review by Dobermensch
2 stars Plain and simple 'Masq' sounds like the soundtrack from a dodgy Spaghetti Western.

An easily accessible album that suffers from it's hippie sensibilities. It also sounds very dated in an early 70's way. There are some brief experimental parts which are ok and I have to admit a liking to the high pitched vocals of the woman known simply as 'Charlotte'. Actually, there's a bit of a ghostly feel to parts of this album, probably due to Roland Bocquet's Farfisa organ and the male chanting in the background.

The drums could have done with being beefed up a bit... they sound awfully tinny. Clocking in at a paltry 29 minutes it makes you wonder when an album stops being an album and becomes an e.p.. I suppose after 20 minutes I'd pretty much had enough anyway. Just okay but it's a lot of old pants if truth be told and I certainly can't imagine it being anyone's album of the year.

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