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Catharsis Volume IV - Illuminations album cover
3.53 | 29 ratings | 4 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Aube (3:43)
2. La mort des amants (3:06)
3. Ballade des pendus (3:49)
4. En revenant de la noce (2:00)
5. Mignonne allons voir si la rose... (1:58)
6. Le canard blanc (2:31)
7. Illuminations (3:11)
8. Poèmes du 17e siècle (2:13)
9. Alchimie du verbe (2e partie) (7:35)

Total Time 30:06

Line-up / Musicians

- Patrik Moulia / guitars, percussion
- Charlie Eddi / drums & percussion
- Yves de Roubaix / bass, guitar
- Roland Bocquet / keyboards
- Allain Geoffroy / piano, charango
- Charlotte / vocals, percussion

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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CATHARSIS Volume IV - Illuminations ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

CATHARSIS Volume IV - Illuminations reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The frenchies of Catharsis back with an incredibly gorgeous album that is a monument of space rock. Illuminations is the most refined, meticulous and conceptual effort by the band and by far their best. It contains dark, lyrical, poetical, calm, dreamy-like musical journeys that are almost exclusively performed for a chamber ensemble. Acoustic instruments (percussions, flute...) dominate the content but there's also a priority for vintage organic / synth waves and fragile, distinctive female voices. The introduction track starts the melancholic "trip" with an unforgotten instrumental for acoustic percussions and ultra-introspective, ethereal organs, absolutely beautiful. "La mort des amants" is an other elegiac, celestial piece, played for acoustic guitars and lead by plaintive, meditative female vocals. An other astonishing, angelic piece! "Ballade des pendus" features a strange, delicate and moody atmosphere, including a large variety of percussive effects and dark synth strings. "En revenant de la noce" is a great variation of ancient dancing music. A melodic, floating album made with invention and devoted to the combination of neo-classical chamber prog music with psychedelic, visceral organic music. Essential!
Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a unique sounding record where soprano female vocal melodies with acoustic guitar and drums dominate the sound. This is mellow, atmospheric and often dark sounding music with no lyrics. Not a lot of variation although synths, piano, percussion and bass are used as well. Her vocals remind me of Synne from IN THE WOODS... although the music here doesn't come close to what IN THE WOODS... brings to the table.

"Aube" opens with the birds singing as synths, vocal melodies and percussion arrive and contine throughout. Lots of atmosphere. "La Mort Des Amants" opens with strummed guitar as percussion, synths and vocal melodies rise to the surface. "Ballade Des Pendus" has a steady drum beat as organ and affects come and go. Vocal melodies arrive after 2 minutes. Cool song. "En Revent De La Noce" has an almost circus-like melody slowed down, with vocal melodies over top.

"Mignonne Allons Voir Si La Rose..." features keys with vocal melodies. She laughs a couple of times during this one. "Le Canard Blanc" has these light sounding keys, almost classical-like with more vocal melodies. "Illuminations" opens with organ and vocal melodies as heavy drums come in. "Poemes Du 17e Siecle" is a brighter more uptempo track as she uses her vocals in unique ways like she's having sex. She laughs out loud at one point. "Alchime Du Vertbe(2e Partie)" features piano, strummed guitar and the birds are back.

This is a good record that is sort of unique. I did grow tired of hearing the same sound throughout though.

Review by Sagichim
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This was released as the fourth album by psychedelic French band Catharsis and it adds more to the confusion surrounding their albums. Chronologically it's probably their second album, the line up is also the same as their debut, like a lot of their material being recorded in 1971 this was too. The album was actually released in 1972 without an album title, along with two more albums and then again in 1975 as Vol.4 Illuminations to set things straight. In regards of album length this is still very short like all of their albums, only 28 minutes of music. Musically speaking it is closer to their first album and a little bit different than what came after it, The music drowns in 60's psychedelia mostly acoustic, quiet and dark, very trippy and psychedelic unlike 32 Mars and Les Chevrons albums which are louder and more upbeat yet still maintaining a very psychedelic atmosphere. I do love the fact that it's unique and compared to other works by the band the concept here is natural and very much welcomed. I think the biggest reference here is Pink Floyd's early period especially Atom Heart Mother's main suite with its quiet female vocal part, it seems Catharsis drew a lot of inspiration from that part because it is scattered all over the album. You could also sense the experimentation spirit of Ummagumma at some places.

At first it might seem like there's nothing going on but actually there's more under the surface, it's mainly about the atmosphere and ideas rather than technical playing. The album presents all sorts of psychedelic experimentations, there are 9 songs, 8 of them ranging between 2 to 3+ minutes. Some of them in spite of having a good idea remains a bit undeveloped and so misses the point. One of the highlights are the beautiful female vocal chants by Charlotte Boutillier, they play a big role here, drums are used very sparsely and if so only with bass drums and cymbals, there's a bigger use of percussions, so that adds to album being quiet.

The album begins really well with the first three tracks being the best, a wonderful trippy and dreamy atmosphere is built with the sound dominated by ethereal organ chords, keys, percussions and all sorts of weird sounds. Boutillier almost operatic vocal chants adds a lot of character and adds to the mysterious textures propelled by Roland Bocquet's almost classical farfisa organ and piano playing. Another reference would be their french neighbors Wapassou, maybe some Bo Hansson or the Italian band Pierrot Lunaire due to the vocals and weirdness. There's a good flow and balance between the songs adding also some acoustic moments played with acoustic guitars like the closing 6 minutes track which sounds more effective.

So overall this is a good album but still a product of its time, there's nothing new or ground breaking about it just more of the same hippie experimentations of the time, I'm guessing die hard fans of the genre will appreciate this even more than I do. 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Unfortunately, this is second weakest album by the band, after their final album Volume VI - Et s'aimer ... et mourir ... The songs aren't very adventurous or interesting, and it sounds like they were bored or short on material, but went forward with releasing an album anyway. One of the bigg ... (read more)

Report this review (#2594489) | Posted by Boojieboy | Tuesday, September 14, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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