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Finnegans Wake

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Finnegans Wake Blue album cover
4.01 | 17 ratings | 3 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Honfleur la Jolie 6:47
2. Die Geste von Kreuzlingen 4:30
3. Mida 6:06
4. Luftspiel 4:07
5. Blue 5:48
6. Ents and Things 5:40
7. Magical Cave 4:50
8. The Battle of Novgorod 3:52
9.Vulnavia 4:07

BONUS TRACK

10. Agakuk* 7:12

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


Alexandre Johnson / Flutes
Henry Krutzen / Piano, Keyboards, Tenor Sax, Percussion
Alain Lemaître / Bass
Marcílio Onofre / Piano, Keyboards
Xóchil Schütz / Lyrics

guests:
Morgan Ågren*: Drums
Alexandre Casado: Violin
Jubileu Filho: Electric Guitar
Faisal Hussein: Cello
João Johnson: Oboe
John Krutzen: Whistling
Antônio de Pádua: Trumpet, Slide Trumpet
Eduardo Pinheiro: Electric Guitar
Rogério Pitomba: Drums
Amarílis de Rebuá: Vocals
Guy Segers*: Bass
Reginald Trigaux*: Electric Guitar

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
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FINNEGANS WAKE Blue ratings distribution


4.01
(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
62%
Good, but non-essential (12%)
12%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

FINNEGANS WAKE Blue reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by avestin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not only Blue. The music here has many colours

I've known about Finnegan's Wake for a while and have heard several tracks of theirs but have yet to hear a full album, despite being quite curious to do so. Blue follows 3 previous albums of which I heard good opinions and read favourable reviews and so I was happy to have the chance to review this newest release by this Belgian ensemble now residing in Brazil. This 4 musicians core is enhanced by a large lineup of guest musicians, among then many Brazilian musicians and also two names who will be more familiar: Guy Segers and Reginald Trigaux.

I must say that if this is representative of their discography then I have been missing out not bothering picking up their releases earlier. Intense is a word that only begins to describe the edgy sounding chamber-rock being played here. The various instruments sit very well with each other; the crunchy aggressive electric guitars, metal-like at times (played by three different musicians on the various tracks it appears on) with the sometimes delicate, sometimes edgy sounding violin, the calmer flute and the heavy thumping of the piano and bass. The songs feature a mix between a classical sounding side, a softer peaceful acoustic aspect and a more abrasive and crude electric facet of the band music. The mix between the two is well balanced and very well done and played. One can find elements from Univers Zero and Present alongside even some Zeuhlish elements (listen to the bass line on Mida and the rhythm and overall mood in that track as well as some female chanting vocals on other tracks such as Luftspiel).

While it is not particularly inaccessible (well, depending on your listening background), it does require several listening "sessions" to digest all of the tracks on here and the various musical ideas presented in each one and the way they're developed. It was lovely from first listen, but once I really got to know the album, it became a very rewarding listening experience. The way they mix the electric and acoustic is particularly well done and their melodies are beautiful, complex and catchy; exactly the way I love it.

This is another fine release from the Altr0ck label and I will certainly now go and get the previous releases of Finnegan's Wake.

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Send comments to avestin (BETA) | Report this review (#203939) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 21, 2009

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Fifth album from this now Belgo-Brazilian (the group has relocated there) and the third exploring a colour after Yellow and Green, but there is no trace of the man Alexandre Mourras-Barros, that overtook the group by storm with his arrival in the double 4th album, eventually inciting the group to move to Brazil. So what happened to this guitarist that had even contributed to the songwriting? Why is he absent here, replaced by a pianist (of Brazilian persuasion), whom BTW is also co-writing half the tracks on this album? With a slightly tribal blue artwork, hence the title, this album was released in the fall of 08 on the AltrOck label. Another pleasant surprise is the album's excellent production, a novelty for the band ever since their 4th, as the first three were really poor in that department

Musically, this album is not really much different than the previous double album and its vast array of chamber music, but next to Green and Yellow, the contrasts will be striking as the music was near jazz- rock with a Canterbury twist, but Blue is firmly in chamber prog with a Zeuhl twist. But comparing from Pictures and 4th, you would be hard pressed to find an aspect of the band that would have changed due to the band's relocation in Brazil, but the progression is really there and they've grown a Zeuhl affinity. If the group remains a Belgian duo (Krutzen & Lemaitre) with a (different) Brazilian, the new-coming pianist Marcitio Onatre, there are still some very notable Belgian prog stars, such ex-X-L S Pierre Vervloesem and Present's Reginald Trigaux and Guy Seghers either helping out or playing in the "bonus track" Agakuk. Another strange quirk is that the texts are sung in German on an operatic tone and signed Xocil A. Schultz.

After a lengthy languid piano entrance Honfleur finally starts on violin and organ, before returning to the piano and the track to start a second time, his time with a metallic guitar. Ever heard Metallica's guitar mixed with RIO-like Chamber prog??? Well in 4th and now in Blue, you can, and I would've never thought they'd fit so well. The following Die Geste is definitely more RIO with hard German female operatic voice mixed with really cold early-UZ-like music. Somehow until it gets electric (and warmer), Art Bears wasn't far away. The following Mida presents more of the same without vocals, this time including the metallic guitar and a Zeuhl twist. Very ambitious stuff. Luftspiel marks the return of the German opera vocals.The next two tracks, Blue and Things are both instrumental (and to be truthful, it's better this way) and are bot developing the new Zeuhl thing that has appeared in FW's music of late. Clearly by Magical Cave, the album has turned schizophrenic with the sung tracks clearly heading towards operatic complex chamber prog and gentler instrumental, mopre intent on fusion. .

Aside from the laughable (or at least amusing) notion of the bonus track available on a brand new album, that never was published without it, Blue is another typical Finnegans Wake albulm, although it might have a tad more Zeuhl influence, but this is not just due to the Present-infected Agakuk bonus track, it's pretty well all over the place, savantly mixed with the usual avant-garde RIO that was always theirs.

Once the disc stops spinning and the laser shuts off, there isn't a shadow of a doubt you've just listened to one of the most essential album of the year in the "complex prog category, and it is again little wonder it is a Belgian, as so many dozens of these ever since Univers Zero and Cos started.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#208611) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I feel like i've been reviewing a lot of 2 and 3 star albums of late so this is a pleasure to review something of this quality and sophistication. FINNEGANS WAKE originated in Belgium and while I haven't heard their earlier recordings I understand there is a strong Canterbury / Jazz flavour to them. This particular album has none of that really but fits perfectly in the Chamber Music school of music. UNIVERS ZERO would be a good reference, in fact Guy Segers from that band plays bass on the final track. Also on the same song Reginald Trigaux from PRESENT guests on guitar. The only negative for me are the female operatic vocals that appear on a few tracks, but thankfully there's not a lot of them. They do suit the music though I must admit.

"Honfleur La Jolie" opens with piano playing slowly as gentle guitar joins in. A full sound before 2 minutes then violin joins in. It settles again before kicking back in more powerful than ever. Nice. Violin is back before 5 minutes. "Die Geste Von Kreuzlingen" features those operatic female vocals early on with piano. It's dark as sounds come and go. Piano is back. Love the angular guitar. "Mida" opens with slicing violin as dark piano melodies and drums join in. The guitar is great after a minute. An intricate Chamber music soundscape takes over. Violin and drums change that 4 minutes in followed by horns. Guitar, violin and drums lead the rest of the way. "Luftspiel" is classical sounding with those operatic vocals.

"Blue" is led by violins early as aboe and bass help out. Organ follows along with percussion. This sounds so good after 2 1/2 minutes. A fuller sound arrives before 4 1/2 minutes. Great tune. "Ents And Things" is led by piano, drums and bass early .A nice dark sound with lots of bottom end is the result. It picks up. Guitar after 1 1/2 minutes. Aboe before 2 1/2 minutes as it settles right down. It picks up again with piano leading then turns heavy before 4 minutes. "Magical Cave" is one of my favourites. Piano, flute, horns, violin and aboe all come and go. Very intricate. Heavy guitar comes and goes as the sound builds. "The Battle Of Novgorod" is lead by piano, violin and drums to start. The tempo keeps shifting on this one. "Vulnavia" is dark and eerie to begin with. Vocals join in along with the odd metered drumming. Dissonant horns too.Amazing ! It brightens somewhat then turns dark again before 3 1/2 minutes to end it. "Agakuk" has a distinct UNIVERS ZERO flavour to it. I like the keyboards and the pulsating rhythm. Segers is prominant on bass. Trigaux comes in later. Just a great sounding track.

Easily 4 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#279590) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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