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Ex-Vagus Ames Vagabondes album cover
3.41 | 13 ratings | 5 reviews | 15% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Astrodelica (4:57)
2. Le Cheval De Nébuleuses (11:21)
3. (Il A Neigé Sur) Pluton (5:51)
4. Le Songe Du Surfeur D'Argent (5:40)
5. Ici (6:51)
6. Au Domaine Des 3 Collines (11:25)
7. Un Petit Empire (9:43)
8. Rideau ! (5:40)

Total Time: 61:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Eric Vedovati / vocals
- Xavier Le-Loupp / guitars
- Thierry Lesaffre / drums
- Loïc Consolin / bass
- Dominique Barboyon / keyboards

Guest musician :
- Christian Decamps / vocals (2)

Releases information

Galileo Records

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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EX-VAGUS Ames Vagabondes ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (69%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EX-VAGUS Ames Vagabondes reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars This French five-piece formation is rooted in 1995 in Grenoble, their musical goal was to blend progressive rock and French vocals. The information about Ex-Vagus mentions : "the band joins together five authors and creators in a permanent creativity, having for 'Leitmotiv' the systematic association of the visual world with the auditive world, from where principal will to dramatize their music". Ex-Vagus concretized this artistic line by creating two rock opera's- "Par Dela Les Legendes" (2000) and "Seconde Lumière" (2004) - calling upon original lights creations, a particular scenography and external actors. Ex-Vagus produced a demo-CD and four CD's and was the support-act for progrock bands Ange, Barclay James Harvest, Focus, The Watch and Ars Nova.

The album Ames Vagabondes is their fifth studio effort and sounds in the vein of the two rock-opera's: often dramatic music featuring strong, typical French theatrical vocals, sumptuous keyboard layers and lots of wonderful, often sensitive electric guitar soli. The band has a very professional approach and in their eight compositions (tasteful and inventive arrangements) the emphasis is on creating a dramatic atmosphere in which the inspired vocals are very important. A pleasant album that will please the Ange fans (Christian Decamps joins the band on one song and also composed one track) and those who love dramatic prog. To discover!

Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars I am very glad that this French band finally made their PA entry. I proposed the band for inclusion in February this year and after several mails (info, comments) the band was finally added; although I got no credit therefore.

I saw the band on stage as they were opening act of a "The Watch" concert in the Spirit of '66 (Verviers - Belgium; Noveember 2006). Even if their vocalist is a bit "grotesque" on stage, using (very) cheap "costumes" while playing the role of each character. Each song is a kind of short piece of theater. And I must say that his vocals are special. Deep, high pitched voice. Strong but yet subtle; Eric Vidovati is rather talented. But all these musicans are and they deserve more recognition for their work. I just hope that more of you will listen to them and comment their work. So far, only two reviews for such a good band is quite a shame on a prog site.

"Ex-Vagus" plays a complex and powerful music. The main reference is "Ange". Same sort of theatrical vocals, middle age weird stories, great keyboards and classy guitar. Rhythms are intricate and lyrics full of fantasy.

My favorite song on this very good album is "Le Cheval Des Nébuleuses". An epic and wonderful symphony. This really brings us back to the greatest pieces of the seventies. Did you say Genesis (for the guitar work), Ange (for the vocals), or Yes (for the keys) ? You' ll get it all ! Actually, you'll even get Christian Descamps on the vocals ! An absolute highlight and a prog masterpiece.

But before this, we got already a strong opening number with "Astrodelica". Disjointed vocals, hard beat. Violent at times. But sweet guitar will incorporate the necessary symphonic flavour.

The wild "Il A Neigé Sur Pluton" also confirms that "Ex-Vagus" can also play on a harder edge. But most of their songs won't let and you asleep, believe me. Strong rhythm, crazy singing exercises (maybe a bit too much) and scary atmosphere for "Le Songe Du Surfeur D'Argent". Grandiose. Weird lyrics (although difficult to imagine if you are not into French).

We'll get Christian Descamps back for "Ici". This time as the composer. It is a song full of passion, well in-line with the early Ange. The chorus line is absolutely wonderful. What an harmony ! Another great piece of music. Such a sweetness, such a beauty...

The second epic "Au Domaine Des Trois Collines" is fully lyrical, dramatic, impressive. The power of "Ex-Vagus" music at its best. Heavy keyboards and fantastic vocals. This guy could have been an opera star. I thought already of this when I saw their concert. Really an outstanding style. Not common at all. This magnificent piece of symphonic music displays somptuous and spacey keys during the second part of the song. Gorgeous.

Another epic with "Un Petit Empire". A warrior and wild song. About war and dictatorship. The "Domaine" is a small part of land, and his chief is a small dictator. He never made war outside of this territory. Only internally...The mood is very dark and depressive. Hard for most of it, we'll get a bit of light and pastoral music at half time; just to bring us some relief (you know like the calm interlude during "The Knife"). The last part is almot similar to "Le Cheval Des Nébuleuses" (vocally).

Lyrics are weird again : "Il était un petit empire dans l'univers inexploré, ohé ohé. Il n'avait jamais massacré les êtres angers" (play on words for foreigners). The song ends on the famous French traditional song : "Il Était Un Petit Navire". A funny touch to smile a bit. The closing number is truely bombastic, difficult to approach. Probably the most Crimsonesque of all. Tortured and complex vocals. The lead singer playing several roles in this song (you know like ...).

I was already impressed with their live set, but this recording ranges amongst the best ones I have heard for a long time (Maldoror - another French band - was another one). Even if "Âmes Vagabondes" is not their first release; it is the only one apparently available on the market.

This is a brilliant record release on the Swiss label Galileo Records. Five stars.

Review by Epignosis
3 stars The debut album from this French outfit has its appeal, but is rather limited in its scope; despite there being over an hour of music on the album, there is precious little variety, either tonally or compositionally. That said, nothing on the album is particularly bad (except some awful vocal passages), but nothing is outstanding either, save one thing: The lead guitar work is some of the freshest and best I've heard lately, and I love the tone.

"Astrodelica" No steady build greets the listener- right from the first second the music is boisterous and heavy. When it tapers off, what remain are staccato organ chords and a smooth lead guitar. So this track consists of two extremes- frantic and upbeat, as well as dull and quiet.

"Le Cheval De Nébuleuses" Pairing airy synthesizer with a biting electric guitar, this lengthy track has energetic and burly vocals. The lead guitar is more or less the highlight of the piece, as the playing is both soulful and astute without becoming overly technical or pretentious.

"(Il A Neigé Sur) Pluton" A pleasant, clean electric guitar accompanies a thick vocal. It gets heavy on the synthesizer later on, with a full and energetic sound.

"Le Songe Du Surfeur D'Argent" Quavering vocals and high-pitched whining don't really complement the music, which is somewhat similar to Genesis.

"Ici" Soft synthesizer and piano serves as the velvety bed for gentler vocals. It sounds rather similar to music that one might hear while on hold with customer service- inoffensive but hardly inspiring.

"Au Domaine Des 3 Collines" The lengthiest track opens up like 1980s Rush, with a spacious and slightly-distorted guitar, a laidback rhythm, and breathy synthesizer. The organ sets it apart, however, and the composition is well situated in the symphonic rock neighborhood. The middle of the piece involves a lush passage with several synthetic instruments (speaking of Rush, it quite reminds me of "Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres").

"Un Petit Empire" While this piece begins softly, it quickly becomes a full endeavor, with some great electric guitar work over a bright organ. The guitar and piano interplay later on is simply stunning. The vocals are at their most beautiful (instead of coming across as hokey and forceful).

"Rideau!" A series of diminished chords and a somewhat eerie vocal (with strange effects applied) begin the final track. These vocals are theatrical and exaggerated, almost sounding like something out of a bizarre musical.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A French band from Grenoble, which started in 1995 with some huge musical ambitions, caught in the 2000 live ''Par Dela Les Legendes'', a Rock Opera performed in front of a 4000 people audience.Ex-Vagus recorded the 3-track demo ''Cite Globale'' in 2002 and the fame of the band eventually surpassed the French boundaries.Another Rock Opera followed in 2004, ''Seconde Lumiere'', and Ex-Vagus performed in some of the greatest Prog concerts abroad, even supporting groups such as Barclay James Harvest, Focus and Ange.In 2006 they signed with Galileo Records to release ''Ames vagabondes'' with the guest appearance of Ange's Christian Decamps in one track.

The quintet of Thierry Lesaffre (drums), Eric Vedovati (lead vocals), Dominique Barboyon (keyboards), Loïc Consolin (bass) and Xavier Le Loupp (guitar) offered a theatrical, bombastic and atmospheric Neo/Symphonic/Progressive Rock album with straight references to French beasts ANGE and ATOLL, which at moments gets extremely lyrical and cinematic.Like changing scripts, the music ranges from emotional and sensitive to powerful and passionate, not unlike their influences, and is based on long atmospheric synth passages and warm guitar moves.In fact Ex-Vagus themselves claimed to be part of the so-called Neo Progressive Rock scene and their style is extremely close to French-sung contemporary bands such as MAGNESIS, GALAAD or QUADRA.I can even hear some PINK FLOYD vibe on the guitar solos.The tracks are mostly long with interesting arrangements and plenty of shifting moods with a gifted and expressive vocalist being all over the place.My only complaint comes from the constant and heavy use of vocals, which are nice, still it results in limited room for instrumental parts.

Atmospheric and theatrical contemporary Progressive Rock with a nice lyrical approach.If you are a fan of any of the aforementioned groups ''Ames vagabondes'' is sure to become a very pleasant experience for your ears.Recommended.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Ex-Vagus from France is one of the unnnoticed bands from prog rock realm, they were unknown to me untill few years back when I've discovered them through Ames vagabondes released in 2006. Well this is in the vein of Ange, maybe less symphonic then the masters and more towards heavy prog in places, but with theatrical passages, the voice specilly is dramatic in places. This is a decent album, nothing is groundbreaking, but is pleasent most of the time, like on the best pieces from here Le Cheval De Nébuleuses, nearly 12 min of pure beauty, very good are the guitar parts and overall atmosphere. So, 3 stars for sure, good but I don't find it very strong or inovative. For fans of Ange, Amanda from Belgium or Abacab also from France.

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