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La Tulipe Noire


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La Tulipe Noire Shattered Image album cover
3.63 | 66 ratings | 17 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Image I (A Glimpse on the Mirror) (4:00)
2. Shattered Ego (8:10)
3. In the Gardens of Eden (7:36)
4. A November's Night (4:49)
5. Image II (Black Star Rising) (2:16)
6. Through the Snake's Eyes (7:28)
7. Empty Streets (5:20)
8. Driving in the Rain (5:41)
9. The Haze (9:59)
10. A Scent of Spring (5:46)
11. Image III (Looking at the Sunrise) (2:13)

Total Time 63:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Ima / vocals
- Alix / keyboards
- Hyde / bass
- S. Kontakis / guitars
- Y. Barkoulas / guitars
- Nick Kassavetis / drums
- Chris Tabouratzis / guest guitar
- George Fotopoulos / drums (1,3)

Releases information

CD Musea Records #FGBG 4334 (2000)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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LA TULIPE NOIRE Shattered Image ratings distribution

(66 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

LA TULIPE NOIRE Shattered Image reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ProgLucky
4 stars Over an hour of music, "Shattered Image" is a concept record with great female vocals. If you like MARILLION (specially FISH-era) and GENESIS with GABRIEL, go and buy it you won't regret. A strange FLOWER (band), but five stars will be too much.
Review by Greger
4 stars "Shattered Image" are a concept album about a man who looks back on the things in his life that has lead him to finally considering suicide. Apart from the female vocals this album could've been a MARILLION "Script For A Jester's Tear" Part II. Greece band La TULIPE NOIRE may not be as good musicians as MARILLION, but they have produced a album with very good melodies that reminds very much of MARILLION's debut album. Even their logotype reminds a lot of the first MARILLION logo. The MARILLION influences are the most obvious, but there's also reminiscences to ARENA, GENESIS, IQ and PENDRAGON with complex arrangements and lengthy instrumental passages. If this album had been released eighteen years ago, La TULIPE NOIRE could've been one of the forefathers of neo-progressive rock, but now they're dangerously close to being a clone. But then again, MARILLION was also accused for being a GENESIS clone back then. This is after all a nice album that is very good performed. But I hope that they will try to get a more personal style before the next release, because it's quite obvious that this band has all the potentials to make a real masterpiece if they could only get rid of the main part of their MARILLION influences. Recommended if you've longed for MARILLION to release a new "Script for A Jester's Tear" sounding album.
Review by loserboy
3 stars Now get your pens and paper out kids and write this one down as it is a real keeper for sure. 6 piece Greek prog band who take neo - prog into a direction you won't believe. What is immediately recognizable is their compassion to the magic of MARILLION and IQ, without sounding too cliché'ish or "tribute'ish" and in no way from my view are another one of those "MARILLION rip off neo prog acts". For me the first striking element was the distinct vocal talents of lead singer simply called Ima who convincingly sings in english with a lovely voice. La TULIPE NOIRE musicianship in support is also very solid with dual guitars and keyboards very reminiscent of IQ's Martin ORFORD, early MARILLION's Mark Kelly and certainly Clive NOLAN. For those who do not really like neo-prog then I would recommend you stay away from this beast otherwise for the rest of you then I would put this into the essential category for new neo prog talents.

Review by The Prognaut
3 stars The threshold to the new millennium beheld what was supposedly going to be one of the most revealing albums from one of the most representative newly born bands over the Mediterranean area. Without sounding outrageously relentless to your prog expectations or very evolutional on its argumentation, "Shattered Image" is certainly one of those albums that get to be absorbed by few musical fibers in your body only, letting the rest of your senses devour the whole concept.

Evidentially, this second production by the Greek band, was crafted upon the character once created by Derek DICK to be included on "Clutching at Straws" under the name of "Torch". As the irreplaceable lyricist from Edinburgh explained over the retrospective interview he agreed on to compile the reminiscences of the MARILLION he once was in charge, "the character (from "Clutching.") was named Torch and he was the novelist trying to create the follow up to a successful book and losing himself in the world of drink and drugs". "Shatter Image" is all that. The story of a young man living in a big city, somewhere in Europe. It was the story of his life, his problems and his hopes. And well, the front cover sort of gives away the whole idea pretty much. the peculiar scribbling reading LA TULIPE NOIRE which resembles the pictorial FISH era, the man in the raincoat, the pallidity and characteristic vivid images. Very Mark WILKINSON. So MARILLION.

And more than plagiarism, I think of this piece of work as a tribute to the "prog nouveau" (as FISH referred to the genre provocatively), band that lasted until 1989. The rest, I respectfully leave to the depths of history. Thus, "Shattered Image" is divided as proper, as the ancient Greek tragicomedies would suggestively lead, in three instrumental and sequential acts. Opening act, "A Glimpse On The Mirror"; climax, "Black Star Rising" and ending, "Looking At The Sunrise". The theatrical concept, as I just tried to explain to you vaguely, is pursued by the parallelism sustained on this young man's story. The endless inner search from within and the constant fight. Which is merely, the message of this concept album, the so cliché statement of "never give up". The lyrics to this production, are mainly condensed on a practical, circular thematic. Not forcefully elaborated, quite digestible and beautifully interpreted by the operatic voice of Ima. Strangely how, and leaving the ordinary aside, the female vocals are suitable for the full accompaniment along the simplicities the instruments propose for complete understanding and appreciation of the album.

Arguably, "The Haze" is the track that sets off the whole album, but there is so much more to be rescued from the entire running time, where pieces like "Shattered Ego" and "Through the Snake's Eyes", would filtrate the emotiveness and passion, keyboardist and songwriter Alix has between hands. Well-executed piano preludes will always dazzle anyone, and this album has got those and more, since I believe Mark KELLY and Martin ORFORD themselves would be surprised. So, before crossing out LA TULIPE NOIRE from your list due the "Marillion-ish" yet "IQ-ish" resemblances fiercely exposed here, try guiding those supposed drawbacks to the path of cohesion and deserved understanding this albums claims for. The reason I'm giving it three starts only, is sustained on the fact of me leaving the rest to you out there. Be the judges and decide whether "Shattered Image" has to go back where the meaningless rates gather or further on to the limits of glorious five starts. I widely recommend you get hands on this, you won't regret acting fearless to change and to satisfactory, fulfilling experiences.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars It is definetely a 3-star album,but I love it very much.So,4 stars will do I guess.

This is MARILLION clone with female vocals.Poorly produced and recorded,yet it has a very sincere ATMOSPHERE - this is really a Fish's MARILLION re-incarnation!!! Even some gothic music lsteners (my friends,for instance) enjoy this CD - it's dark,moody and very romantic. Epics are well-written and evoking sometims ARENA or early IQ style.The closing song "Scent of Spring" is the best "spring"-song I ever heard - it's really brings the springtime feeling every time I listen to it!!! It's so touching and sincere!!!

Highly recommended album for all MARILLION/neo-prog devotees.You may not be impressed by the album's quality,but you'll love it as a piece of awesome music,believe me

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Excellent second efford by this interesting neo prog band from Greece - and a huge step forward from their first. Their music is very much influenced by early Marillion, Arena and IQ, but they also have a very greek folk flavor in their sound as well. New singer Ima has a very particular voice that is soft and strong at the same time. She gave the band a kind of personality that was missing from their debut CD.

This is a concept album about a man looking at the facts of his past life and facing the possibility of suicide. All the tracks are linked with this story line. La Tulipe Noire has an interesting and unique approach to prog, less bombastic and more minimalistic and circular than most bands. What initially seems to be simplistic and sparse, is really very well crafted and melodic. It takes some time to sink in like most great prog albums do. But if you listen carefully to the small details youll find a great tapestry of sounds. The guitars/keys/bass/drums interplay is very interesting, but the keyboards brief solos are the most outstanding and rewarding pieces here. Very effective.

The songs themselves are all good. The second track, Shattered Ego, may sound too Marillion-like for some (even the drum patterns seems to be lift directly from Script From A Jester´s Tear). But it is the only one. The rest is quite unique, very convincing and powerful. The ten minute epic The Haze is probably one of the highlights, but I like to hear this CD as a whole. Production is ok. The cover seems to be a Mark Wilkinson rip off, but it surely works well considering their influences and style.

One of the nicest surprises I found on PA. Highly recommended, especially for 80´s neo prog fans. 4,5 stars.

Review by progrules
3 stars Ok, initially I wanted to do my usual song by song review for this album but after having listened to it one more time I decided against it. And the reason is that the songs on the album are too much of the same, at least most of them.

In fact there are only 4 songs out of eleven that are out of the more or less common Tulip Noire style. And this style is vocal songs of appr. 6-7 minutes average with some instrumental contribution in the middle section of the songs. So then a song by song review would become repititive and boring. All these seven songs are rated somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars by me. Meaning all songs are good but nothing excellent with these.

Three other songs are instrumentals, all named Images which refer to the album title no doubt. These instrumental tunes are all very nice, one general, one with mainly keys and one with dominant guitar. Also these have an average of about 3,25*.

This means the rating for this album is settled and will indeed be three stars for me. But I cannot forget about one extremely honourable mentioning here: the only track of masterpiece status and if I'm not mistaking the only one in their carreer of this huge level: The Haze. In know this song for almost 5 years now thanks to PA's stream. I fell in love with it immediately and love it still to the bone. Especiallly the mindblowing second half of the song makes me go into raptures every time I hear it. What the level of greatness is ? Well, to me it can compete with Big Puzzle's (TFK) instrumental part same as with Cinema Show and Firth of Fifth. Yes, indeed: it's that fantastic ! So everyone that hasn't heard it yet: go have a listen to PA's stream song !

Anyway, however magnificent it is, it's not enough to raise the rating. And I'm also a bit frustrated that if a band has the potential to create something this wonderful, why can they only do this once ? I challenge them to do it more often. However, three stars for Shattered Image.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars LA TULIPE NOIR are a Neo-Prog band out of Greece. This is a lyrically heavy concept album so thankfully I really like the female vocals. I have to agree with Prog-jester who says that this is probably a 3 star album but he has to give it 4 stars. Me too. I'm a sucker for this genre and a good melody, especially if there is an emotional element to the music like there is here. This album has gotten some bad reviews around the "net" for being too MARILLION-like but she sounds nothing like Fish (haha) and I for one really enjoy this record.

"Image I (A Glimpse On The Mirror)" is the opening instrumental. The album opens and closes with short instrumentals. Keyboards and atmosphere to start as it builds. Drums and guitar suddenly take over before 2 1/2 minutes. Synths join in as well. "Shattered Ego" opens with atmosphere as vocals and piano arrive. Drums after a minute. Some intensity around 2 minutes. It settles back then the tempo picks up. It settles again after 4 1/2 minutes before it turns heavier a minute later with guitar. "In The Gardens Of Eden" is pastoral with reserved vocals to start. It's fuller before 1 1/2 minutes with passionate vocals. It settles again as contrasts continue. "A November's Night" opens with the sound of the wind blowing as keys then vocals arrive.The sound gets fuller. Some nice guitar 2 1/2 minutes in when the vocals stop. Vocals return as it settles back. It picks up and blends into "Image II (Black Star Rising)" which is a short instrumental. Synths join in before a minute.

"Through The Snake's Eyes" is uptempo with keyboards and drums. Vocals before a minute and guitar to follow. Spoken words before 4 minutes then the guitar comes in soloing. Vocals are back a minute later. Piano ends it. "Empty Streets" opens with keyboards and atmosphere as a beat joins in. Vocals follow. It picks up before 2 minutes as bass and drums become more prominant. Guitar after 2 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. Synths follow then the vocals return. "Driving In The Rain" features vocals, keyboards and a beat. It picks up some 3 1/2 minutes in. Guitar comes in late to end it. "The Haze" opens with vocals and atmosphere. Some heavy guitar a minute in comes and goes. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. Nice. Themes are repeated. "A Scent Of Spring" is an uplifting track and vocals are the focus. I like the instrumental section that ends after 3 minutes. Some great lyrics on this one. Narration ends it. "Image III (Looking At The Sunrise)" is the closing instrumental that is led by drums, keyboards and guitar.

Lots of atmosphere and great vocals leaves me unable to give lower than 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
2 stars You know what you're getting from La Tulipe Noire's Shattered Image when you realise the band's logo here is a shameless rip-off of Fish era Marillion's logo. Sure enough, what we have here is Marillion-imitating neo-prog, and whilst lead vocalist Ima gives a very credible performance in her own unique style the rest of the band are content to try and emulate their heroes. However, between the production values of the album and the rather mediocre compositions, they fall well short of the mark. Go for this one only if you really can't get enough of weak imitations of Fish-era Marillion, or if you are out to research the Greek prog scene.
Review by b_olariu
4 stars With Shattered image issued in 2000 La Tulipe Noire sounds more solid, the musicianship is more tighter then before, the sound and all is far better then their on previous work, but the influences here are more evident as before, the greek version of Marillion I might say, even the logo of the band is very Marillionesque. So, musicaly speaking this is more then ok, some passages are truly great. The voice of Ima fits perfectly into this neo prog atmosphere, having some spectacular moments on some pieces. The instrumental section aswell great, no complains from me, fine parts who remind me lot of Marillion, Jadis or IQ, not original but good. Best pieces to my ears are Shattered Ego, Through The Snake's Eyes and A Scent Of Spring, the rest are also good. This is solid neo prog album, that might please enough fans of the genre, even originality lacks here I can easy give 4 stars, the guitar and keyboards are really awesome. Fine cover art.
Review by Menswear
3 stars The 10 000th tribute to Marillion.

There's nothing wrong with unoriginality, just look at the music market today: it's all re-heated stuff we heard many times over. The same phenomenom is not avoiding the progressive world, La Tulipe Noire is proving it, but they're doing it nicely at least.

I frankly was attracted to this record because of the the nice cover (how shallow of me). The songs are basically Fish-era Marillion but sanged by a girl, a not too convincing one at that. She barely changes key and stay with the same phrasing all the time. Fish was good when you think of it! For those who cannot get enough of that sacred period (and there's a lot), you will like this a ton.The keyboards are my favorite part of the record, they will please the Mark Kelly fan.

A good clone but quickly forgotten in my case.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Second official album as La Tulipe Noire finds the Greek band with a few line-up changes.Lead singer Lena has stepped down and a new female singer, Ina, takes her place behind the microphone.Drummer George F. quit also, as he played drums in only two tracks, to leave room for newcomer Nick Kassavetis, while apparently this was also the last contribution of guitarist Yiannis Barkoulas to a La Tulipe Noire work.Chris Tabouratzis offered his guitar texts in a few tracks.Recorded at the Groove Studios in Athens, the album, entitled ''Shattered image'' and dealing with the feeling of hope, was released in 2000 on Musea Records.

This was a tremendous comeback for the Greek band, as the new album finds them extremely mature, inspired and executing every single detail with passion.New singer Ina adds her own touch with her angelic vocals and the composing duo of Hyde and Alix had transformed their potential to reality.La Tulipe Noire played now a grandiose Neo Prog with obvious MARILLION influences and lots of Classical/symphonic tendencies, characterized by emphatic synth soundscapes, poetic lyrics, tight structures and good use of changing tempos, as there are plenty of laid-back melodies supported by more powerful and flashy performances.The band had always a dark, symphonic mood within their structures, but this time the atmosphere eventually makes sense, recalling epic works by MARILLION such as ''Misplaced childhood'' and ''Fugazi''.Kontakis' guitar melodies are extremely beautiful and the female lyricism in the album is an absolute highlight, definitely among the excellent female-fronted albums of the early-00's.The longer tracks with their sinister keyboard parts and the edgy guitar moves come also close to the monumental works by ASGARD: Music full of tension, finesse, haunting moods and poetic underlines.The production is better than on the first albums, but it certainly could get some improvement.

Excellent, dark and lyrical Neo/Symphonic Prog with ethereal female vocals.An absolute must-have for fans of early MARILLION and the likes.Highly recommended.

Review by Hercules
5 stars This album from a previously unknown (to me) Greek band popped up on my youtube recommended list a few weeks ago and I decided to give it a quick listen. I ended up listening to the complete album and immediately found a copy to buy. The first thing that strikes you is that this is heavily influenced by early Marillion. Indeed, snippets of melodies from Script and Fugazi can be heard, mainly on Shattered Ego but also elsewhere. The cover also uses many of the artwork influences of the first 4 Marillion albums. But it's not a direct copy: there's enough of themselves in it to make it an original, not a clone. The musicianship is exceptional and the lovely keyboards/guitar interplay is reminiscent of early Mariliion. But there's nothing of the dramatic anger and bitterness of Fish, and indeed the vocalist is female. She is a superb singer by any standard. The album is a concept album, of a man who has lost faith in himself and his life and is contemplating taking his own life after armed service and the things he had to do. But ultimately, A Scent of Spring seems to suggest that he comes through the dark winter and Looking at the Sunrise suggests hope for the future. But the bottom line is that every track is a delight. It's hard to pick any stand out track, but Shattered Ego and The Haze are truly exceptional pieces of music. There's simply no bad moments on this album: as a listening experience, it's absolutely sublime. Since I got it, I have found it very difficult to put anything else on the car CD player. For 45 years, if anyone asked me what was my favourite album of all time, I could answer, without hesitation, The Snow Goose by Camel. If anyone asked me now, I would have to think a bit longer. This might be controversial, but I love it so much it's getting 5*.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Then my first impression of this album was an easy an listening pop rock, a simpler and female version of Marillion Fish era, with catchy melodies, and nice keys arrangements. The Marillion influence is evident, Shattered Ego, is a rip off of "Script for a Jester tear", the intro, the structure of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#378126) | Posted by Aragon | Tuesday, January 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars MARILLION clone or not… I think it doesn’t matter. There is not so many songs in this world that make me cry… This CD is full of deep emotions, and only real listeners could hear the atmosphere of “Shattered Image”. The transparent aura hovers under the music of L ... (read more)

Report this review (#84706) | Posted by Star Of Death | Monday, July 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.5 stars. La Tulipe Noire's Shattered Image is one of the few albums directly derivative of 80s era Marillion. I'm sure more reviewers think otherwise, but I tend to see most lesser- known Neo bands that I've discovered give just a passing reference to Marillion. On Shattered Image, La Tuli ... (read more)

Report this review (#70772) | Posted by stonebeard | Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I would agree this band sounds like Marillion (Fish-era) and IQ. Unfortunately, the production and vocals leave a lot to be desired. Maybe I'm a bit more harsh but I don't like the 80's electronic drums and the tinny sound of this album. Perhaps in the hands of a good mixing engineer and go ... (read more)

Report this review (#10872) | Posted by | Monday, August 2, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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