Symphonic Prog

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Synopsis Gamme album cover
3.69 | 11 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Cities (7:16)
2. November (4:36)
3. Tany Mena (7:01)
4. Noctambule (3:18)
5. L'Homme Fou (11:06)
6. Prelude (4:38)

Total Time 37:55


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Michel Resler / bass
- Christian Bolze / keyboards
- Christian Hoff / guitar
- Patrick Marcel / drums
- Michel Bail / vocals
- Jean-Philippe Brun / violin
- Geraldine Le Cocq / vocals

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Synopsis 2001
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SYNOPSIS Gamme ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SYNOPSIS Gamme reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars SYNOPSIS were a French band who came out in the late seventies. Sadly they were pretty much ignored as Progressive Rock had grown out of fashion for many music fans. Sadly, because these guys were good and they could have made a name for themselves. They released two studio albums, the first in 1979 and this one in 1981.

"Cities" kicks in quickly but settles a minute in with vocals. I really like the organ and vocals after 1 1/2 minutes, they are so uplifting. This soundscape will come and go thankfully. We get a nice instrumental section that reminds me of early CAMEL for the last couple of minutes to end it. "November" opens with gentle sounds then the synths take over as a beat joins in. It does build some. Not a bad intrumental. "Tany Mena" is led by vocals and guitar early then the drums and keyboards join in after the vocals stop. Contrasts continue. I like this one a lot. A good guitar solo before 5 minutes as the organ floats and the drums pound.

"Noctambule" turns fuller before a minute but settles back quickly as passionate vocals arrive. "L'homme Fou" starts out with keys and light sounds. Vocals after 1 1/2 minutes and drums 3 minutes in. The vocals become almost spoken but they are passionate in the French tradition. A more powerful soundscape comes in followed by a calm after 6 1/2 minutes. A light beat and more follows and it stays trippy to the end. "Prelude" opens with drums then it settles in with a beat and synths. It settles down more then it kicks in late.

An excellent album with some passionate vocals.


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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#786634) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review by b_olariu
3 stars 3.5 really

Second album comes in a period when no one was really intrested in prg music, was released in 1981 named Gamme. Keeping on the same coordonates and same attitude as on their first album, Synopsis here sounds closer to Ange fame more then before. Also lots of instrumental parts , really awesome for sure, but overall I think is not as great as Minuit ville. The album alternates from mellow sections with a Camel feel to more energic ones where the synth and guitars having an important role. Pieces like Cities, the instrumental Novembre are quite great showing that Synopsis were a very promissing band in prog rock zone, but sadly thir music was buried in the dust of time, only few peoples knows about them. They disbanded soon after this release I guess in 1982. Definetly Synopsis is one of the best kept secrets ever came from Franch prog school, with both albums being recommended for fans of symphonic prog with a good doze of space prog inventivness.


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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#1005091) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review by tszirmay
4 stars Synopsis is another forgotten French prog gem in the vein of Skryvania, Artcane, Acanthe, Shylock, Oniris and Angipatch , all emanating from the smoldering wreckage of progressive rock's 1977 demise at the hands of the media-fueled punk onslaught , an obviously worldwide phenomenon that was somewhat resisted in France , a land where prog was always well entrenched with mega acts with massive influence like Ange, Atoll and Magma. Casualties of musical wars, they remain today as iconic testaments of a glorious epoch of artistic freedom and a deliberate 'resistance' (as Bryan Ferry once so aptly quoted) against the commercial 'fad of the moment' oppressor.

Synopsis was fortunate to release 2 albums before disappearing into dust, the second of which is the tremendous 'Gamme', a lush, well-constructed and judiciously played series of symphonic prog tunes, well-heeled in the theatrical French approach, as well as a definite early Genesis that comes shining through in the luxuriant keyboards of Christian Bolze. A highly resourceful rhythm duo keep things snug and brawny, while guitarist Christian Hoff scours the horizons, looking out for new sounds and thrills. Lead vocalist Michel Bail strides forth in typical expressive French prog style, hushed as well sensual, theatrical and emotionally charged when called upon. But it's really a keyboard fest, Bolze laying down eternal ivory carpets of sound, displaying incredible talent in symphonic stylings, making this a prized possession.

Tracks such as the vibrant 'Cities'(English title, French lyrics) showcase intense use of swelling organ, swirling guitar riffs and sweltering bass and swooping drums, all ensconced in team playing for the cause, inviting the lovely melody that overtakes the harpsichord and organ 'woven arrangement, Michel Bail doing a convincing performance on the microphone. A fantastic introduction that lays down the proper premise (amazing singing, thoughtful melodies and expert playing), a constant throughout this amazing recording.

Equally thrilling is 'November' (English title, instrumental), acoustic guitar splendor announces a synth-led main theme that just weaves through the speakers, instantly captivating and famously seductive in its constantly bolstered repetition. Tony Banks certainly does come to mind, much to our pleasure.

'Tany Mena' is a vocal piece about Madagascar, that mythical island paradise that continues to inspire travelers searching for the rare experience. Bail sings his heart out within a narrow furrow of guitar riffing and melodious organ decorations, perhaps a tad more accessible than the previous symphonic pieces. But entirely enjoyable is the trembling Hoff guitar solo, with a slight slippery 'island' feel, all quite terrific and pleasantly original. This is real good music, indeed!

'Noctambule' provides a little change of pace, playful, sleepless and jaunty, adequately altering the mood and contrasting well with previous and upcoming pieces. It has that famed French vocal style that brings to mind voices like Decamps, Le Guennec and Balzer, but graced with complex parallel lines on keys, bass, guitar and drums. Short and yet quite complementary.

The epic 11 minute + 'L'Homme Fou' (French title and French lyrics) carves slowly from gentle guitar and keyboard ornamentations that weave a musical textile of sound, gilded with superlative Bail vocals complete with tremolo and perspiration. Dynamic drumming instills a Genesis meets King Crimson inspiration, terrifically impressive in propelling the music forward with effusive impunity. Like the title implies, the feverish voice threatens insanity and crazed zeal. The mood then suddenly veers into this very cool dreamy groove, boom-boom rhythms abound, quite simple but oh so effective, giving Bolze room to roam effortlessly on his battery of ivories. Sensationally smooth and imaginary, what a track!

The superb instrumental 'Prelude', (yeah, the French like to do it backwards too), ends this album and ultimately their career. Piano-driven, clanging guitar and solemn melancholia make this track a perfect au revoir, exploding into a myriad of stars at the end, a fitting send- off. Just a fabulous musical statement that deserves recognition.

This is a very tasty gem that deserves a place in any prog collection, especially your 'I want to impress you with unknown stuff' section.

4.5 French varietals


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Send comments to tszirmay (BETA) | Report this review (#1182326) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, June 02, 2014

Latest members reviews

4 stars Synopsis is certainly one of France's best kept secret. When this band from the East of France released their two albums, just a few people heard of them. For sure it was at a time, the end of the seventies and the early eighties, when prog was dead, before its renaissance thanks to the neopr ... (read more)

Report this review (#264901) | Posted by Thierry | Monday, February 08, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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