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Visible Wind


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Visible Wind Narcissus goes to the Moon  album cover
3.80 | 63 ratings | 7 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A Succulent Anachronic Pastiche (2:19)
2. Fuzzy Concept (6:50)
3. By The River (2:08)
4. Xenophobia (6:31)
5. Introvenus (0:55)
6. Intravenus (10:57)
7. Lunar Doubts (7:56)
8. Join My Soul (2:44)
9. Race On A Pseudo Flying Carpet (2:52)
10. Nothing Left To Hide (4:11)
11. Ambulance (0:58)
12. The Awakening (20:59)
i) Camel Ride Dream
ii) A Bubble Burst
iii) Prisonnier du temps
iv) The Preacher In The Desert Quicksand
v) The Mad Tryst
vi) A New Reality
vii) So Divine
Bonus Track Japan
13. Strange Days (3:04)

Total Time: 72:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Claude Rainville / guitar
- Luc Hébert / drums
- Louis Roy / bass, Taurus pedals
- Stephen Geysens / organ, mellotron, harmonium, synthesizers, flute, vocals

- Jean-Philippe Goulet / violin on "The Awakening"
- Dominic Doucet / vocals on "Join My Soul"
- Jean-François Linteau / didjeridoo
on "By The River"

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VISIBLE WIND Narcissus goes to the Moon ratings distribution

(63 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VISIBLE WIND Narcissus goes to the Moon reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars For those who don't know of this band you are surely missing out! VISIBLE WIND are true 100% professional Prog rock outfit very much in the vein of SAGA/RUSH but certainly have their own musical personality. "Narcissus..." contains some excellent prog moments with exceptional keyboard and drum interplay which will please all prog fans. VISIBLE WIND have written some highly memorable prog tracks over their tenure and "Narcissus..." is no exception. Their songs are very melodic and musicianship is very high. This is a great addition to the Musea catalogue and I can promise that after you hear "Narcissus Goes To The Moon"... "Your Whole World Will Change". Highly recommended by this prog lover.
Review by The Prognaut
5 stars What's the first thing that pops into your mind when you take a look at this CD from an unknown band to you which cover is a primitive drawing that describes a peculiar out of space character dressed up in this red jumpsuit holding a laser gun? Yeah, I might have thought the same as you. That's exactly the kind of reactive emotion VISIBLE WIND gets to set inside your eardrums and through every single fiber your body has got. This was my preliminary encounter with the Canadian threesome and I have to remark it was outstandingly surprising. The Quebec natives conveniently compass everything, just everything, in this fourth album; and I'm about to tell you why of my perception.

VISIBLE WIND was originally formed back in 1983 by talented multi-instrumentalist Stephen GEYSENS and prominent drummer Luc HÉBERT, who later on, in 1988 to be more accurate; will have between their line-up one of the all times greatest bassist Louis ROY, and guitar player, Philippe WOOLGAR. That year, the band released their Prime Opera "Catharsis", with Bernard OUELLETTE on vocals, who will be replaced by GEYSENS in 1991 taking over the microphone on the band's second production "A Moment Beyond Time". After all the constant ups and downs any band goes through once in a while or several times in life, they vertiginously reached to the pinnacle of their career with "Narcissus Goes to the Moon" in 1996. Perfection is strategically contemplated by this album from a peculiar point of view; it is transitional because the band explored complex pathways regarding the musical innovation by implementing few melodic didgeridoo preludes, sweet flute passages mostly all over the production and mind-blowing mellotron and organ arrangements to some of the compositions; it is exceptional because it kept the French-Canadian purity that sealed and distinguished their previous works; and it is challenging because it surpassed the limits of the "conceptual album" terminology. "Narcissus Goes to the Moon" is the ultimate consideration that tells symphonic progressive rock from what it's not, and I'm not just talking about what VISIBLE WIND achieved during the nineties, but up to present days where bands like THE FLOWER KINGS and SPOCK's BEARD could be more like the Canadian band, and hopefully, get to learn a thing or two that could come in quite handy to innovate the quality of their work instead of relying on worn-out formulas.

Throughout strong, exquisite vocal passages, Stephen GEYSENS describes us meticulously the landscaping of the entire recording, helped out time to time by his captivating skills on keyboards and by rhythmic guitar interludes; especially in pieces such as "Xenophobia" where he reaches such a John WETTON-like voice powerfulness that played along with the crunchy guitar strings, gives you gooseflesh immediately. The song is intrepidly taken away to the point where almost silent acoustic guitars break in "Intravenus" to help you catch your breath -momentarily- over the excitement with French lyrics (the only piece sung in French actually), and calm, compassed drum beats. The song leads on almost for over 11 minutes, expecting you to believe there's nothing more spectacular to come. But there is.

After the impact irremediably received in "Fuzzy Concept" with the dialogue between the schmaltzy flute and the devouring guitar, and the quietness experienced throughout portentous didgeridoo performing in "By the River"; the travel across "Narcissus Goes to the Moon" continues almost endlessly shocking. "Lunar Doubts" is the perfect excuse to consider the album as enigmatic at this point due the keyboards striking by GEYSENS himself and the impacting drumming by Luc HÉBERT; but believe me, the song to come, which is "Join my Soul"; will make you feel completely blown away and captivated with the connection between soft female back vocals provided by Dominique DOUCET and interposing guitars all along flute intromissions.

I could carry on describing the rest of the record to you, but that would kind of take the mystery away and you won't get to discover what's to come ever. I just recommend extreme carefulness when lending ears and mind to parts 10 to 12 from this album (particularly to the over 20 minutes suite "The Awakening", divided in VII revealing episodes), that far beyond being entirely enjoyable, they are mystical and surprising. Under the release of Musea Records you will find a bonus track, "Strange Days"; which is as great as the rest of this magnificent album by this severely underrated Quebecois band. Definitely a must to intrepid and restless proggers seeking out for new emotions and satisfactions. Five starts, no question about it.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I was very disappointed with their previous release : "Emergence". It seemed that the band did not really know which option to follow : hard / heavy -rock or some symphonic one.

The answer for this release is by no doubt the latter one, and I can't complain about this. Most of the tracks will be beautiful ones and they have little to see with their previous two efforts. Even if a song like "Xenophobia" features some (hard) neo-prog moments, these will be kept to a minimum. This one is a damned good song. But the whole of the early tracks are very pleasant (with a special for "Fuzzy Concept").

As usual, this Canadian band will deliver one song with French lyrics ("Intravenus"). It is rather strange that when singing in French, the vocals will immediately evoque Christian Descamps ("Ange") and his theatrical style. This is not the case while Claude Rainville sings in English. "Intravenus" is one of my fave : fully symphonic, great keys and as I have described : complex vocals. (actually, the last part of the song is in English). Some fantastic guitar work will close this number. Extremely powerful moment. A highlight on this album and one of their best songs ever.

"Lunar Doubts" won't be of that caliber although it is not a bad track. Vocals are not great and the hard side of their music is emerging. Some weaker moments follow : from "Join My Soul" through the short "Ambulance". Maybe a break before the epic moment of this album.

"The Awakening" is their best achievement. Over twenty-one minutes etween neo and symph. It is of course complex. Theme & language changes (French and English again), weird atmosphere, subtle fluting and acoustic parts (but not many) will give an almost classical angle to this great piece of music. The middle part in this respect is particularly great. Flamboyant, bombastic, but light at the same time. It's not so that one can really find an exceptional moment out of here. The song has to be taken as a whole and appreciated as such.

It is divided into seven parts which are never boring. The interest of the listener is always alive thanks to the variety of moods that one can find during this piece. But I guess that to fully great, it should have deserved a greater finale and probably a memorable solo or two. Nonetheless, it is a good moment of music.

Now, as a bonus track on some editions, you'll get "Strange Days". Yes, the one of "The Doors". Maybe out of purpose but I have to say that their version is quite good. Sounds different of course (but that how a cover is best). Totally unexpected but well achieved.

This is easily worth seven out of ten and I will will upgrade my rating to four stars. Their best album so far.

Review by kenethlevine
2 stars Visible Wind has not released a new studio album since 2001, but, with 5 releases to their name, they certainly qualify as a prolific prog band in an age where plying the style is more hobby than vocation. While "Narcissus" has been touted as their best, I don't think they had quite found their own style by this point - that would come with the subsequent release.

The highlights are the meaty middle tracks "Intravenus" and "Lunar Doubts". Both feature imaginative structures and a variety of melodies and moods, with strong vocals and instrumentation, and the sometimes cheesy keyboards in prominence elsewhere being kept in check. This is both accessible and adventurous. But the album is nearly 20 minutes old by the time these offerings are served, and, other than a few moments, chiefly in "Fuzzy Concept", they pass by almost without incident. Later on Visible Wind again reverts to shorter less interesting songs like "Race on a Pseudo Flying Carpet", for goodness sake, and the plodding "Nothing Left to Hide". This leaves the success or failure of the album in the hands of the 21 minute long "The Awakening". Unfortunately, it is a bit too uneven to qualify as a piece de resistance, and the imitations of the less savory aspects of Pink Floyd, combined with distorted vocals, destroy some of the built up goodwill, even if some interesting segments do prevail, including glowing Hammond.

Certainly Visible Wind possesses a lot of skill and a good melodic instinct, but this time out was a bit thin and unfocused, and, while it cannot be accused of loving itself too much, it is diminished by too much editorial license, or perhaps not enough. 2.5 stars rounded down.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Here is a band and an album I have been dismissing for way too long, never having given it a chance. And I don't even know why, silly but normal oversight when you have a large collection. I knew in the back of my mind that Visible Wind did a great part in keeping the prog flame alive in the proggy Quebec hotbed, stoking the coals that keep the scene vibrant until today. Keyboardist and vocalist Stephen Geysens is a practiced player who knows how to distribute assorted leads and color richly the backdrops who also possesses a haunting John Wetton-like howl that is often satisfying, dabbling in the magical flute when warranted. His mellotron insertions are perfect. Luc Hébert is a splendid prog drummer, propelling and then caressing the arrangements forward, flailing adroitly at all times. Guitarist Luc Rainville keeps things sonic, blasting into solos only when prompted. Their biggest attribute is the dosing of the segueing pieces, individual atmosphere splices that bleed into a suite-like whole, constantly playing with the tempos and seeking to keep the listener unexpectant , tumbling from oozy pools of drifting synths into the raunchy abysses of classic prog, as portrayed on the eccentric opening tracks, the short breezy intro to "Fuzzy Concept"(a winner!) and the more laid-back fluvial allure of "By the River" .On the delectable and dizzying "Xenophobia", a teeter-tottering ride that slings from one extreme to another , the surging flute takes over the stage, ushering in more pastoral enhancements, a clear Larks Tongues in Aspic II riff (wink, wink, nod, nod) and ending on a blazing electric solo , mellotron washes right behind! This is a brilliant track, way up there quality-wise. The crafty "Intravenus" is a longer track that slides into another raft, heading down a different stream, infusing French lyrics into the vocal programme, usurping synths suddenly surfacing beyond the fence, dialing in a new destination, tasty harder-edged Octobre-like rant (both the swelling organ and the brash guitar are stout reminders of this famed Québec band). I do find myself preferring the previous tracks, so I guess I need to rely on the wild guitar outro that saves the day, in the nick of time. "Lunar Doubts" reverts back to English lyrics and bluesy Floydian guitar spaces (with a title like that, what do you expect?), a masterfully paced projection into the outer orbits of psychedelic prog, electric piano and rippling organ appropriately entering the skirmish. I cannot help detecting a trivial The Flower Kings feel here, not just because of the Roine Stolt vocal comparison but also in each musician's instrumental selections and deliveries. An excellent tune! The next four short ones are less interesting, almost pedestrian by previous standards, not good not bad, just there! The whopping 20 minute "The Awakening" puts this one to rest, a fully atmospheric journey into invisible winds and dense forests. The raspy Hammond bellows loudly, the lead guitar nervously strains on the leash, a lilting oriental theme on the mellotron keeps things interesting as the vocals complement the arrangement. Nothing is hasty or reticent, contrasts proliferate and the mood remains intense, again very remindful of "Stardust We Are"-era Flower Kings, including how the vocals are shrouded in effects. The acoustic mid-section is quite splendid, cascading synths collide eloquently with Hebert keeping things tightly bolted down, slowly emergent in valor and vigor. The return of the sweeping theme adds more structure to an already imposing piece of music. An entertaining slice of prog and their best release undoubtedly! 4 "lunes de miel"
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is VISIBLE WIND's fourth album and the first where they started to sound like...well VISIBLE WIND. This is where they got off of that MARILLION-like Neo-Prog train they had been on.This is inventive and quite heavy at times. I do think the follow-up "Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo" is their best but this is in the same style.There's a fair amount of mellotron, Fender Rhodes, harmonium and flute besides the usual instruments. It's kind of cool that Jean- Philippe Goulet from INDISCIPLINE adds some violin here. I love that INDISCIPLINE album called "Non-Obvious Ride".The lyrics here are in both English and French like the follow-up. A lot of these tracks blend into each other.

"A Succulent Anachronic Pastiche" opens with percussion and organ as the guitar and bass join in. Great sound ! It does settles some with synths and blends into "Fuzzy Concept" where it settles more and vocals join in. Nice guitar solo after 4 minutes followed by spoken word samples then flute. It starts to build then the vocals return. "By The River" opens with the birds singing in a tranquil setting.They stop as it continues to be pastoral. "Xenophobia" is one of my favourites. Sparse sounds as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in before 2 minutes then it settles back with flute as contrasts continue. I like the heavier sections on this one a lot. Mellotron ends it. "Introvenus" is a short spacey piece. "Intravenus" is also a top three. Acoustic guitar as French vocals come in. Flute before 1 1/2 minutes. A full sound follows as synths, mellotron, guitar, chunky bass then drums come in. I like the fat bass lines with organ and drums 5 1/2 minutes in.The guitar joins in too.Vocals are back 8 1/2 minutes in but only briefly as the guitar starts to rip it up. Organ and mellotron follow.

"Lunar Doubts" has some relaxed guitar and spacey synths early. It kicks in at 2 minutes with some excellent guitar. It settles with reserved vocals as contrasts continue. "Join My Soul" builds with mellotron, bass, drums and vocals. Some female vocals on this one as well. "Race On A Pseudo Flying Carpet" rocks out pretty good with vocals. "Nothing Left To Hide" has some powerful organ late. "Ambulance" is all about the guitar coming in and kicking ass. "The Awakening" is the 21 minute closer. I can't get over the way this song changes moods, it really is a ride. A top three for sure. My copy has a bonus track "Strange Days" that is a DOORS cover and it's fantastic !

A release that is both entertaining and interesting. Like tszirmay says "4 lunes de miel".

Review by b_olariu
4 stars Narcissus goes to the moon from 1996 is their best album to me, here almost all went perfect from the voice, intelligent instrumental passages and solid sound.. The influences now are less evident as before , the band sounding really tight and original. I was really impressed by the great amount of keybords here, and how Stephen Geysens manage to come with so many diffrent layers and ides with this instrument, really great. The guitar sound solid then ever before and is perfect examples every pieces of the album. Opening with a short but effective instrumental tune A Succulent Anachronic Pastiche whwre the syths sound very solid, nice runs up and doun on the instrument, great opener, Fuzzy concept is another highlight here with great flute and guitar parts. Intravenous, not the intro with same name , but the real piece clocking around 11 min is a marvelous neo prog tune, much more elastic in arrangements then on many neo prog bands, where the instrumental sections are simply said killer, the keyboards and guitar are amazing and how eneters nicely in the atmosphere. The ending track clocking around 21 min is a tour de force, Visible Wind here shines in the best way possible, all the great ideas they gathered across the years is present here. Nice moods, twists from more mellow parts to more uptempo, here the band is in the best form ever. excellent track. So to me their best album for sure and one of the most unnoticed nep prog albums from the '90's and better then many well nown albums of that period. 4 stars easy and recommended, funny cover art front and back.

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