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Seven Reizh

Symphonic Prog

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Seven Reizh Strinkadenn' Ys album cover
4.16 | 100 ratings | 9 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Selaou (10:17)
2. Dornskrid (3:10)
3. Sovajed a-feson (6:02)
4. Naer ar galloud (6:49)
5. Hybr'Ys (9:35)
6. Kan Kęr'Ys (6:25)
7. Lińvadenn (5:03)
8. Tad ha Mamm (8:02)
9. Enora ha Maël (4:40)
10. Mall eo monet da Ys (8:50)

Total Time: 76:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Claude Mignon / electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards, composer, arrangements
- Gérard Le Dortz / sampler, backing vocals

- Bleunwenn Mevel/ vocals
- Farid Aďt Siameur / vocals
- Cyril Froger / vocals
- Gwenhaël Mével / bombarde, flute
- Gwendall Mevel / flute
- Konan Mevel / Uillean pipes
- Olivier Carole / bass
- Gurvan Mevel / drums, percussion
- Jean-Yves Herlédan / arrangements (6)

Releases information

CD Musea ‎- FGBG 4408.AR (2001, France)

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SEVEN REIZH Strinkadenn' Ys ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SEVEN REIZH Strinkadenn' Ys reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prognut
4 stars Without a doubt one of the best releases in 2001, and probably the best for France that year. Full of progressive, gothic, acustic and celtic touches has a synphonic mood thru all the CD; and the female vocalist is just fantastic. To my ears Marillion/Genesis meets Oldfield/Floyd with a splendid bit of Camel...Not kidding A WINNER. Great production and sound, complement this epic in one package for you to enjoy. What are you waiting.....Go out and get it...4 Stars
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This surprise purchase in 2001 still remains on my top 5 list and will probably stay there for a very long time . An hour and a quarter of pure bliss, brilliant sound, amazing production, beautiful instrumentation and a memorable aftertaste than lingers on and on. This is almost medicine. A proggier take on the fabled Breton-Celtic tradition of Malicorne, Alan Stivell and Kad , these spirited musicians have focused on creating a modern, progressive adventure with breathtaking vocals in Gaelic, supported by the tightest arrangements ever. We are far from the folkier world of Enya, Clannad or Iona. Claude Mignon , in particular, shines on keys and unleashes some sizzling e-guitar leads throughout. Most if not all of my fellow reviewers have also correctly rated this very highly and any progfan worthy of his devotion deserves hunting this MASTERPIECE down and placing it into the CD player and venerate this musical voyage for the rest of their days. Not a weak second on this disc , even the silences are amazing. This Prog vet says: An absolute candidate for Prog immortality.

5 brittany terriers

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I would like to thank tszirmay for introducing me to this band.This is a concept album but with the lyrics in Gaelic it is really lost on me.This band is from northern France and they use a variety of instruments including trombone,flute and midi uillean pipes. It's hard to put these guys in one particular genre, as you can hear Folk, Symphonic, Celtic, Neo and more on this album.There are female and male vocals as well.

"Selaou" has a rather bombastic intro with guitar prevailing in an energetic fashion. Vocals before 3 minutes as the song becomes atmospheric. Male vocals come in and they are almost spoken.The guitar then cries out as female vocals are back. We get some piano before a guitar solo takes us to the end of the song.Thunder, rain and seagulls can be heard. "Dornskrid" opens with acoustic guitar melodies. It's still thundering as synths replace the guitar. Angelic vocals from Bleunwenn."Sovajed A-Feson" reminds me of IONA, even the vocals.The percussion is cool in this Celtic flavoured tune. "Naer Ar Galloud" has some great guitar in it including riffs and powerful melodies. "Hybr'ys" has some nice piano melodies, and later a PINK FLOYD sound (The Wall).The song eventually brightens and becomes hopeful.

"Kan Ker'ys" has some uillean pipes and heavy drums to end it. "Linvadenn" is the only song in the liner notes that has any English in it. Just below the title of this song it says "Falling down..." six times.The male vocals are very well done, and the ending is spooky and ominous. "Tad Ha Mamm" is my favourite. You can hear the seagulls and waves as the phone rings.The music is uptempo with synths. Guitar and drums lead the way. Flute comes in and is such a highlight as the song calms down. Female vocals come in, and the remainder of the song has an amazing melody. "Enora Ha Mael" is a ballad with female vocals and piano."Mall Eo Monet Da Ys" is another fantastic song.There are female vocals and aggressive guitar and drums.There is a GENESIS sounding passage, and the song and album end with a gong.

This is an ambitious project involving many musicians, and their passion can be heard through the music they create.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars While many talented Celtic bands exist with a smidgen of prog in their sound, Seven Reizh is an out and out symphonic progressive band from Brittany with a sound charged by electrifying Breton currents. Playing this card is riskier than one might think, given the possibility of being labelled too melodic and simple by the progheads and too snobby by the 15th century Breton purists. I am happy to report that the experiment has been highly successful.

They kick off the 10 minute "Selaou" with some pretty heavy riffs, allowing the more hypnotic segments to appear later, the opposite of how arrangements might appear if Seven Reizh were simply playing safe. But the expressive voice of Bleunwenn is a sure bet, recalling a Breton Sally Oldfield more than anything, and the occasional mixing of male vocals appears here and elsewhere to add to the haunting maritime feel of this disk. Then, Mike Oldfield's influence is also apparent, especially on "Naer galloud" with its hypnotic mixed keys, earthy lead guitar licks and gruff male vocals. "Kan Kęr'Ys" offers plaintive piping by Konan Mével to imaginative percussion, and shows that the band does just fine when out from under the voices. Some of the songs, like "Linvadenn", seem to trade the windswept shores of Brittany for the still sands of the Sahara, with perhaps even more impressive results.

The highlight is "Tad ha Mamm", which starts with a phone call by the sea and rocks the rest of its 9 minutes, featuring a stunning melody introduced on flute before the singing tosses it above stormy waters. The lead guitars carry the theme in new directions before handing off to much more lively pipes than previously heard. This is a masterful prog rock track, and a few more of these would have been needed to balance out some of the general mellowness of much of this album and raise it to the level of masterpiece, rather than simply a highly enjoyable and impressive debut. With Strinkadenn Ys, Seven Reizh seems to have effected a big fat wedding of two or more genres that is more perfect storm than compromise. Highly recommended for fans of symphonic prog and/or folk prog and/or Celtic rock.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
5 stars Everything about this albums screams out Masterpiece! 5 stars for Strinkadenn Ys, and I am not kidding when I say that this piece is in the running for release of the decade.

I wish I could tell you something about this group, but there is depressingly little information I can find about them beyond our own ProgArchives description of them.

But anyhow, it's the music you guys want to hear about, and I can tell you about that.

This is a FINELY CRAFTED WORK OF ART! We are in the world of symphonic prog on this album. Earlier reviewers who mention celtic influences, for example, are mentioning just influences. Influences are the spice that seasons the soup, not the base that defines the flavor. Tasteful symphonic prog is what we have here.

I'm trying to rack my brain to think of a group to compare this to, but I'm not coming up with much. We have some great symphonic prog here, but we don't have the bombast of ELP. We have a more modern sound than Genesis ever managed to acheive. The egotism of the individual players doesn't surface as with Yes, and the music never gets overcomplicated like King Crimson's does. There is a certain neo-prog feel to some of this. Camel has been brought up as a group that this sounds like, but I just don't hear it.

What the last paragraph proves is that there is a certain uniqueness to this album, despite it being firmly and securely at the heart of the symphonic prog movement, despite it's amazingly late date.

This supposedly a concept album. My understanding of French is hardly perfect and I can barely catch a word here and there in the Breton dialect, but the sound and the composition flow effortlessly from one to another in a way that not every concept album acheives. It would not be so difficult to consider this a work of 11 movements.

As I have said, this is a FINELY CRAFTED WORK OF ART! It is also finely executed. Special mention should go out to Bleunwenn (Enora), who provides the best female vocal prog performance that I can think of since Annie Haslam was fronting for Renaissance. Also, Gurvan Mével gives us some really brillant yet restrained performances on percussion. He won't wow you like Bruford or Peart or Bozzio, but you will find a lot of imagination in his less athletic drumming. Arrangements and recording are also up to the highest standards.

Anyhow, this is a must hear album from the new millenium. If you like classic symphonic prog, find neo-prog interesting, and don't mind not understanding the lyrics, you will want to get this as soon as possible. Think of this as the symphonic prog masterpiece of the 21st century and you will understand my high recommendation.

Buy it and enjoy it.

Thank me later.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars The use of celtic musical elements in prog music is not new. In fact it became quite a common sense since the early 90´s and, invevitably, it was also frequently handled without much care. So I was not very thrilled when I heard about this french band and its influence. However, Strinkadenn Ys is a outstanding album in the genre. It merged celtic, symphonic and ambient music together to bring out a startling concept album. Seven Reizh (or more specificly artists Claude Mignon and Gérard Le Dortz, the creators of the whole project) was quite successful in avoiding most of the traps of this genre with a very well crafted work that reeks of conviction, beauty and delicacy.

There are many influences and sometimes it reminds of their fellow countrymen of Alfonso XII, but clearly Mike Oldfield´s early CDs are the main source. Not that they are copying anything really, but it´s obvious the styled adopted, specially the guitar lines, some ambient keyboards, the way they use traditional instruments and several vocal parts. Bleunwenn´s voice is quite close to Oldfields sister Sally in both timbre and style. Which I should say is something quite hard to achieve without sounding like a rip off or caricatural. She manages to scape from either of them, showing great personality and passion. The inclusion of some male voices playing other characteres of the story is a plus.

This is a CD to listen to from start to finish without skipping a single track. Although I can´t understand the lyrics this is not a problem because the interpretations are so good and passionate that you can feel the meaning by the way it is delivered. The instrumental parts are simply gorgeous! The production is quite good, with all the instruments and vocals very well balanced.

Conclusion: nothing too original or groundbreaking, ok. Stil, it sounds fresh and exciting. Very melodic and laid back most of the time, with the occasional burst of energy at the right places. I loved this debut and I´m looking forward to hear the follow up. Defintily recommended. 4 stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Not quite the polished masterpiece that the few reviewers here on PA have raved about here, this one reminds me, qualitatively, of CIRRUS BAY's Stepping into Elsewhere in that there are some brilliant ideas, brilliant melodies, but not quite developed as far as could be taken. To be sure there are many absolutely breathtaking passages, but they often come over the top of rather banal, straightforward passages of rock chord progressions or steady backbeats (I hear a lot of GENESIS' ABACAB throughout this album's longer, rockier songs) over which the soli are then performed. The vocals and keys and folkier, 'non-rock' instruments are superb. The IONA, SALLY & MIKE OLDFIELD, XII ALFONSO and ALAN STIVELL--and even ENYA and CLANNAD--comparisons are quite understandable. I'd add not only GENESIS (big time!) but DUNWICH and even SURVIVOR. I consider all of the album's songs to be of at least 4 star quality (though the "ABACAB" similarities of "Mall eo monet de YS" are a bit too striking for my tolerance), with no less than seven songs earning 5 stars, but the album has too many spots of what I'll call 'simplicity' for me to give it an overall 5 star "masterpiece" rating. The stretch of diverse masterpieces that flow from "Hybr'Ys" (10/10), through the sublime instrumental "Kan KérYs" (8/10) the amazing eery Arab-sounding "Lińvadenn" (9/10), the VON HERTZEN BROTHERS-like "Tad ha Mamm" (8/10) and the gorgeous, gorgeous "Enora ha Maël" (10/10) are what make prog so special! Perfect captivation of the gambit of emotions of the human experience.

Beautiful album--highly recommended--especially for those who love melody and subtlety.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I'm totally sure that album is on the top 10 of the best symphonic prog releases of the last 10 years and probably an album that soon will be called a classic masterpiece of the genre. Reasons are simple: based on the roots of the symph prog genre, Seven Reizh add beautiful gaelic lyrics, some c ... (read more)

Report this review (#302440) | Posted by progadicto | Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Strinkadenn Ys" is definitely one of those albums I would take along on a desert island... everything on it is perfect : the music - a perfect blend of neo, folk and sometimes darker passages ; the mix - perfect balance ; the musicians - nothing more to say ; the female singer - Bleunwenn has ... (read more)

Report this review (#18446) | Posted by | Sunday, December 19, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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