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Visible Wind


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Visible Wind Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo  album cover
3.51 | 29 ratings | 6 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Vladivostok (0:25)
2. The Healer (6:39)
3. Maniaquerie (4:48)
4. Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo (3:11)
5. Hollow Emptiness (3:05)
6. Mal Brook (1:34)
7. Lost Ideals (3:10)
8. Dans le Vide (6:21)
9. Qui Sème le Vent... (3:55)
10. Neandertal (8:08)
11. Visages de Sable (1:57)
12. Recommencement (3:11)
13. Freed Again (4:13)
14. I Was There (3:51)

Total Time: 53:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Luc Hébert / drums, keyboards programming
- Louis Roy / bass, gurping operator
- Stephen Geysens / keyboards, vocals

- Philippe Woolgar / guitars, vocals

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to mellotron storm for the last updates
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VISIBLE WIND Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VISIBLE WIND Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
3 stars The same considerations as for those ones already pointed out in the case of melodic US albums such as "Tall Tales" by Crucible or inside the debut album by Iluvatar: their stuff is in the average, sometimes surprising, in other circumstances (a few ones fortunately) more insipid, but always pleasant...the use of a pretty flute and good keyboards as well, make this album interesting, but its discontinuity is hidden behind the corner,especially talking about their poor harmonic solutions!!The vocalist sometimes reminds me of that one by French "Ange", above all during such more aggressive melodic excursions:"Dans la vide" for instance is well built on dramatic tones, sometimes a bit forced,otherwise being anyway characterized by a certain creativity!! As a light "symphonic progressive" album (in some circumstances anyway much better and more complex than their previous works) with a modern "mainstream" tone, it deserves indeed a 3 stars score, but such rating becomes inferior by comparing this album to the best Romantic albums by Genesis..make your own choice!!
Review by loserboy
4 stars I really had no idea what to expect from such a strangely titled album "Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo", but let me just say that this is an excellent album. With 4 solid albums before this one I was well aware of the VISIBLE WIND musical sandbox but this album does take them into new territory... and the end result is an outstanding album. "Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo" features the standout keyboard work of Stephen Geysens, Luc Hébert's drums, Louis Roy's bass playing and the crunchy guitar work of Philippe Woolgar. The opening track "The Healer" is completely worth the price of admission here folks ! This tune is a killer example of how this band have cured over time and may be my favourite Visible Wind song of all time. I suspect this is a concept album but I have no idea of the story line, but having said that it plays in many ways not unlike SAGA's approach on "Generation 13". This album is filled with lots of background effects and song by song with a degree of plot. This album deserves to receive a whole lot more attention than it received ! Simply brilliant.
Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Whoa, what happened?! At first listening, I despised this because of a wall of noise that I perceived everywhere. So I threw it on again expecting to tear it to shreds critically, only to find that this is actually a pretty good, unique sort of album. As a native Canadian, I relate to the group's facility with both official languages, sometimes simultaneously, but there is so much more here to uncover.

A blasting organ dominates the proceedings. When this agrees with me, as in "Lost Ideals", "Hollow Emptiness" and "The Healer", enhanced as they are with distorted guitars and even flutes, it is like wasabi burning through my nose. I want it to stop until it does, and then I want it to come back! But songs like the dreadful "Maniaquerie" verge on frenzied noise, which might appeal to some. When the organ steps aside it is for the sweet acoustic reveries of "Qui sème le vent", and then tunes like "Dans le vide" combine the two main facets adeptly.

It is really hard to draw a fair comparison to any band or mellower Francophone moments you have a bit of Harmonium or Ere G, but the louder parts are like ELP in the sense of the organ and even the vocalist a little, but Visible Wind has a lot more oomph, as if they have some garage band credentials, but in a good way. Maybe some Procol Harum or other proto type prog is blended in too. If you are looking for something different in a song oriented package, something to claim as the first neo release you ever liked, or you enjoy melodic prog with a lot of versatility, check out Visible Wind.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars "Visible Wind" took five years to release this album. I guess that it will be difficult for them to release a better one than "Narcissus Goes to the Moon". But, frankly : if only they would even equal this very good work, it would be perfect.

Their last album was a return to a more symphonic sound. So, will they keep it on this album ?

If you forget about the twenty-five seconds opener ("Vladivostok"), "The Healer" opens the album brilliantly. Fantastic backing vocals, nice mellotron and very powerful band. One of my top five of the band. Although the symphonic atmosphere seems to leave the pace to a more powerful (metal?) sound.

This is totally the case with the next track. "Maniaquerie" is a full prog-metal one. It sounds as "Dream Theater". Fully energetic and rather pleasant. Which is not the case at all during the title track. It is a very strangesong. Synthetized vocals, it appears to me as a soundtrack of a cheap scary movie. A poor song.

"Hollow Emptiness" has a very good keyboard riff, it is also a great track. Melancholic, almost romantic vocals. It's rather commercial as well. One of the best song of this album. These keyboards are incredible. The finale, just sublime. It's a pity though that it only lasts for about three minutes. Same feeling for the very short (1'32") "Mal Brook".

"Visible Wind" will also sound poppier with his effort (although this could also be noticed in their second album). Pop metal ? Listen to "Lost Ideal" and judge.

I mentioned already that when the band was singing / recitating in French, the link with "Ange" was so obvious. When I listen to the intro of "Dans Le Vide", the same type of narrative voice as the old "Emile Jacotey" is there. Beautiful and delicate flute in the midst of a definite harder tone. This album follows the footsteps of "Emergence"; their third album. Still, there are so many beautiful melodies that this one is a lot better.

Songs are in the short format this time. Nothing like their epic "The Awakening" (over twenty minutes). This album also features a lot more songs sung in French than on their previous albums. Maybe to please more their French Canadian audience ? This album is also more accessible (some would say more commercial, but I see no wrong here) and more neo-prog oriented again ("Neandertal" for instance). The last three to four numbers are a bit weak as well. Pop, prog, metal. A cocktail that doesn't always work well.

This album is not their best one (I suggest you to listen to "Narcissus Goes to the Moon" first ) but it is unquestionably a solid work. Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is my favourite VISIBLE WIND album and it happens to be their last (so far). I was surprised at how interesting and inventive this one is and I like the heaviness that comes and goes. Lots of mellotron too creating atmosphere.

"Vladivostok" is a short intro track that sounds like circus music played by an accordion. "The Healer" opens with atmosphere and it really sounds like theremin here, very spacey synth-like sounds. Some heaviness comes and goes including chunky bass lines.Those spacey synths are back then vocals. I like the organ before 4 minutes. Spoken sampled words before 6 minutes then it builds and blends into "Maniaquerie". Man this is good as it gets quite heavy. Kicking ass ! Vocals join in. Spoken sampled words follow the flute after 1 1/2 minutes then it gets heavy again. A scream after 3 minutes. A calm with electronics ends it. Great tune ! "Barb-A-Baal-A-Loo" opens with organ, guitar and drums as these strange spoken vocals come in.Those theremin-like sounds are back and I like the guitar here too. It's all so interesting and different. Killer stuff. "Hollow Emptiness" opens with drums and organ as vocals join in. It's heavy with bass helping out as well.The organ really impresses here. Flute before 3 minutes.

"Mal Brook" has such a great sound to it. It's intricate yet powerful. Bass, percussion, organ and guitar all shine.This reminds me of ANGLAGARD. Flute comes in later. "Lost Ideals" is fun with the organ runs, fat bass and heavy guitar as he sings over top. Another fav. "Dans Le Vide" opens with gentle guitar and word samples and other background sounds including mellotron. It picks up some when the laid back vocals arrive with drums. Organ joins in. It's more powerful 1 1/2 minutes in as the vocals turn passionate as does the sound. When it settles back it's so beautiful. Gulp. Contrasts continue. Flute before 3 minutes. Check out the guitar after 5 1/2 minutes to end it. Fantastic track. "Qui Seme Le Vent..." opens with acoustic guitar as reserved vocals join in. Flute and tambourine after 2 minutes as the contrasts continue. "Neandertal" opens with flute, bass, organ and more. It kicks in with vocals before a minute. Some nasty organ here after 3 minutes then the tempo picks up with vocals helping out. "Visages De Sable" is a short 2 minute piece with strings and flute standing out. "Recommencement" is an uplifting tune with vocals. I really like this one. "Freed Again" opens with intricate guitar as synths then vocals join in. Drums too then bass. A mellow tune for the most part that builds. "I Was There" opens with faint keyboards and synths as vocals join in. It's like they wanted this one kept quiet.

This really impressed me especially when I wasn't expecting it to be so good. He sings in both French and English. A solid 4 stars for the Quebecois band. Well done ! By the way they thank Roine Stolt in the liner notes. Andy at Planetmellotron also lists this as his fav from the band and at 4 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Under this bizarre title we have a very talented Canadian band VISIBLE WIND which offers to the good prog music lovers something of a very high quality!An album of a musical richness thet is making the listeners to have an attitude of respect and admiration for such an ambitious musical projec ... (read more)

Report this review (#259416) | Posted by Ovidiu | Tuesday, January 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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