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LE CIMETIÈRE DES ARLEQUINS

Ange

Symphonic Prog


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Ange Le Cimetière des Arlequins album cover
3.48 | 126 ratings | 24 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ces Gens-Là (4:47)
2. Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier (3:25)
3. Bivouac - 1ère partie (5:32)
4. L'Espionne Lesbienne (2:52)
5. Bivouac Final (3:02)
6. De Temps en Temps (4:08)
7. La Route aux Cyprès (3:18)
8. Le Cimetière des Arlequins (8:46)

Total Time: 35:50

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Christian Decamps / Organ Hammond, piano, lead vocal
- Francis Decamps / organ special effects, Mellotron, vocal
- Jean-Michel Brezovar / solo guitar, flute, vocal
- Gérard Jelsh / drums, percussion
- Daniel Haas / bass guitar, acoustic guitar

Releases information

LP Philips records (Lp 9101 022)
CD Philips/Phonogram 842238-2

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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Buy ANGE Le Cimetière des Arlequins Music


Emile JacoteyEmile Jacotey
Import
Philips Import 1998
Audio CD$11.02
$11.00 (used)
Le Cimetiere Des ArlequinsLe Cimetiere Des Arlequins
Import
Philips Import 1998
Audio CD$8.12
$6.00 (used)
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ANGE Le Cimetière des Arlequins ratings distribution


3.48
(126 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(16%)
16%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
46%
Good, but non-essential (26%)
26%
Collectors/fans only (10%)
10%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

ANGE Le Cimetière des Arlequins reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Le Cimetière des Arlequins' is one of my fave Ange albums, and may be considered as a perfect sample of their prog style delivered at its top level of energy and expressiveness. While not being an ensamble of top-notch virtuosos, the group works really well as an ensamble, performing both their hard-edged compositions and their softer acoustic ones with the same conviction. I particularly enjoy Brezovar's guitar playing (also doubling occasionally on flute in order to enhance the ensamble's instrumental picture) and Jelsh's tight drumming, though the most impressive thing is Christian Decamps' theatrical singing, which comprises recitations, whisperes, exclamations, and of course, also mere singing: Christian is actually the link between the anglosaxon prog influence and the nouveau chanson tradition. The keyboard parts are mostly played on organ and mellotron, serving mainly as massive ambiences for the most climatic passages: both Decamps brothers create these ambiences, sometimes in an etheral manner, some other times punctuating a gloomy, sinister mood. The opening track is one of the most popular tunes of their whole repertoire, though it was originally penned by Jacques Brel. Right from this point you can tell how important are the influences of early King Crimson, 70-72 Genesis, and The Moody Blues for Ange. The same attitude goes on with track 2 and the two 'Bivouac' tracks, the latter including a bit of fusionesque stuff. In the middle of these two numbers, 'L'Espionne Lesbienne' delivers some burlesque fun under a pastoral guise, in a perfect interplay of acoustic guitars, flute, some slide guitar picks, and occasional drumming - effective, without being bombastic. 'De Temps en Temps' brings us back the spirit of the first track, while 'La Route aux Cyprès' displays an air of reflective melancholy: once again, the acoustic guitars and the flute lines bring to mind visions of an evening spent lying on the grass of a forest. The closing title track is the real gem of this album: a stunning piece of work that depicts what I like to think is a surreal world of puppets. The limbo-esque ambience is disturbing (thanks to the sombre textures delivered on organ and mellotron), specially in the crescendo created by the increasingly hysterical last sung part; right afterwards, there's still a horrific mechanic-like sequence that culminates the creepy, dark picture with oppressive grandeur. This album signifies the announcement of more good things to come from Ange.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#19796) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, June 11, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
4 stars Ange's second album was released in 73 on the Phillips label, but apparently, the label didn't invest much money in the group's recording sessions and the album sounds muffled in places and downright catastrophically bad in others (at least on the first Cd reissue). With a wild artwork, Ange's unchanged line-up recorded seven mostly shorter songs (even if three tracks combine into an 11-mins mini-suite), and the closer being an almost 9 minutes title traxck. .

This starts with Jacques Brel's Ces Gens-Là, which is one of the best covers of any Brel cover song done prog or not (bar Bowie's version of Amsterdam) as they really understood how to put this in rock instrumentation, even if it isn't perfect. This will be their first hit but one thing is clear, the original Brel song was better produced than this obscure prog record. Another proof of poor production is the Ajourdhuis tracks, which sounds completely muffled. Other stand-out tracks are Espionne-Lesbienne sandwiched between the two Bivouac pieces, which forms an 11-mins suite, with the central piece being a corrosive text. The flipside starts on an average electric De Temps En Temps and follows it on an acoustic Route Des Cyprès and closing the album, last but not least, the title track. Indeed thismini-epic is the main reason to believe that Ange progressed from Caricatures and here the demented sombre track offers plenty of doom and sterangeitude.

As far as I am concerned, this is their best album, along with the debut, a fact that most Ange addicts will dispute me with Délire and Jacotey. I suggest that newcomers to Ange start with this one, being slightly less aggressive (in a good Ange way) as to not scare them away with the more bizarre debut Caricatures and then move on chronologically. If you can find a remastered version of these early Ange albums it might be a good idea.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#19797) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, October 22, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Here is Ange their second effort, a year after their debut LP "Caricatures" in the same five- piece line-up.

1. Ces Gens-Là (4:47) : This is a cover from the famous Belgian singer Jacques Brel, his emotional approach must have appealed to Christian Decamps ! The atmosphere is bluesy with strong and expressive vocals, wonderful mellow organ waves and fiery electric guitar work.

2. Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier (3:25) : This a short but varied (dreamy, catch, bombastic) song, tasteful coloured by the organ and theatrical French vocals.

3. Bivouac - 1ère partie (5:32) : A typical Ange song delivering lots of dynamics and a psychedelic undertone, the word "Bivouac" is sung as "Hallelujah". Halfway the sound of the organ, electric rhythm guitar and drums is almost hypnotizing, including a great distorted organ/wah-wah guitar duel.

4. L'Espionne Lesbienne (2:52) : A bit strange track with acoustic guitar, flute and funny vocals.

5. Bivouac Final (3:02) : A compelling climate featuring a propulsive rhythm-section and a sensational, distorted organ and electric guitar (wah-wah) sound.

6. De Temps en Temps (4:08) : This song has a slow rhythm with lush organ and strong and varied vocals (theatrical, warm, dramatic), halfway there is a short but fiery and biting electric guitar solo.

7. La Route aux Cyprès (3:18) : This is a beautiful, romantic sounding piece with warm vocals and pleasant acoustic guitar and flute.

8. Le Cimetière des Arlequins (8:46) : The first part of this long titletrack sounds a bit subdued but halfway gradually the atmospere becomes more 'bombastic psychedelic' featuring a compelling organ sound and theatrical vocals. The final part contains weird sounds.

A good album with lots of fine momens but also some less captivating parts, .. in my opinion.

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Send comments to erik neuteboom (BETA) | Report this review (#43454) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 19, 2005

Review by loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Le Cimetière Des Arlequins" was the second album released by France's ANGE and represents a wonderful piece of Franco prog rock. Arguably ANGE's most complete album, Le Cimetière houses all the Ange characteristics... mainly Christian Decamps theatrical singing-talking style and Francis Decamps organ and mellotron work. ANGE create a delicate and rich soundscape with some of their greatest progressive moments captures on this album. Musically ANGE reflect the sonic stylistics of early KING CRIMSON to the Genesis matermarked mellotron runs to the folk symphonia of Harmonium. "Bivouac - 1ère partie" is my personal favourite track and represents why I love this band. Fans of ANGE and French prog will need to get a hold of this album for sure... a masterpiece.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#66306) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 23, 2006

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars IMO, Ange's debut album was a great piece of music. Yet, almost unnoticed.

This second album opens with "Ces Gens Là". Yes, a prog version for one of the best song from Maître Jacques as we call him in my (and his) country. One has to dare. I must say that it is a good version of this great song. Who else than Ange could do such a job ? I guess that the absolute anti-clericalism from Jaques had to appeal them a lot. Ange will publish rather rude and irreverant lyrics against all the aspect of the religion. They won't miss an occasion to make a fool of the church in general. So was Maître Jacques as well.

Lyrics will again be absolutely weird and insane on this album. They are very ... special. And very difficult to grab if French is not your mother tongue. So, for once, I have this advantage. I am one of the few who belives though that their career would have reached another dimension, should they have chosen for English lyrics. They will do it for their album "Par Les Fils De Mandrin" which they will translate in English. I can imagine though that the spirit of their world was better expressed in French by Christian Décamps; a fabulous lyricist.

Another virulent aspect of their lyrics will be their sexual orientation. One might think that a simple track as "L'Espionne Lesbienne" is a gentle little song. The text is absolutely devastating. Talking about a lesbian (this is a temptative translation effort) : "You are the cyprin, which lubrifies the catacombs. An hemoglobin fuse, which will make the bomb quiver". (FYI, cyprin is the liquid generated by the vagina when excited. What a programme! But the whole of these 2'50" are on par. Demoniac. We are very far from what one might think a sweet little song.

"La Route Aux Cyprès" is another little tune one might think. Very much Trespassesque. It features extremely sad and pessimistic lyrics about the death and the last trip :

"Je sens que les amis sont au bout du chemin, Ils me disent que je tiens le ciel entre leurs mains. Mais mes doigts de malade craquent aux confins du vieux, J'ai senti la barrière d'où l'on voit de ses yeux"

"I can feel that my friends are at the end of the path, they are telling me that I hold the sky between their hands. But my sick fingers are cracking on the boundaries of oldness, I felt the barrier from which you can see from within one's own eyes".

These text are very, very dark. On par with some Van Der Graaf songs ("Necromancer"). Depressing.

Both "Bivouac" numbers have a very scary atmosphere. Like the opener and the closing number from their debut album, this one hold the Crimson heritage.

The general mood of this second album is less symphonic in comparison with their first one. Less instrumental passages here. Rather tranquil , but scary album actually. A bit the same atmosphere than on "Islands" from KC. This one lacks in bombastic moments.

Only the title track will be on par with their debut (I'm talking here about their own songs since their cover was quite good). Which such a title, is it necessary to mention that the lyrics are as dark as coal ? Very weird : priests, bigots, blood and death are on the programme !

The finale almost sounds as "Night On A Bald Mountain". Very scary. Do not listen to this one when you're alone at night. Gosh ! This is exactly what I'm doing for this review !

IMO, the most appealing aspect of this album resides in the lyrics, not in the music (their first album featured both aspects). It must be very difficult to get into it if your French is not outstanding (they are almost impossible to understand if your are not a native French-speaker). I really love their first album, so this one is a bit of a disillusion. This album is much darker than their previous one which was more anti-clerical and funny. I will add one star for the lyrics to the three stars this album really deserves.

Four stars then.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#120005) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 27, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an improvement from Ange´s debut Caricatures. This is great symphonic prog rock. Don´t be afraid to try this one out even though the lyrics are in French. If you don´t understand French like me, this will probably never be a masterpiece album, as I feel some emotions get lost when you don´t understand the language but it comes damn close in my book as the music is excellent.

The sound quality is kind of murky but I think it adds to the atmosphere of Le Cimetière des Arlequins. For once a technicaly weak production is something the music profits from.

The music is very Peter Gabriel era Genesis inspired, but don´t take Ange for a clone band they definitely have their own style. Lead singer Christian Decamps is a very expressive vocalist. He talk/ sings a lot using different voices and moods. I really wish I could understand what he is singing about. There are lots of Mellotron in the songs which is something I really love. Especially the very atmospheric way it´s played here.

The musicians are competent and there are no weak links.

Note the very beautiful cover art, it´s very unique.

This album has been a real surprise to me as I wasn´t too impressed with Ange´s debut Caricatures which I found good but a bit mediocre. Le Cimetière des Arlequins is in the same vein but much better. 4 stars for this excellent second album almost isn´t enough. I can´t wait to hear more. ( Maybe I should take courses in French).

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#162376) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, February 22, 2008

Review by ExittheLemming
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars And you wonder why they had such a bloody revolution?

(Three and a half stars really)

Music that is this unconsciously eccentric AND welcoming is far too often a rarity these days. We do of course have a multitude of determinedly 'inaccessible' artists who prefer to barricade themselves firmly into the RIO/Avant camp and sharpen their instruments for another attack on culture from behind the relative safety of wilful obscurity.

(Apres Nous Le Deluge Blah blah Blah)

However, there are a breed of souls brave or foolhardy enough to wage the battle against conformity from 'behind enemy lines' as Ange do here. Their assimilation of the artifices and vocabulary of rock is not merely a means to an end, but a sincere expression of their individuality framed in the reference points of our own shared western popular culture.

Mediocrity is, and always has been the enemy.

It seems that those flaky pastries the French, like their prog on the angstsy side and 'Ange' certainly keep the home fires burning brightly here. Their fellow countrymen Arachnoid, Halloween, Magma and Shylock also share a predisposition to an endearing 'excitability' which makes their music brazenly volatile and emotionally charged.

Unfortunately, as my grasp of the French language stalled at the level of schoolboy fluency eg. le chat est sur le mur, I am unable to appreciate the lyrics, which I have been advised are one of Ange's strong-points.

Ain't it ironic that the instructions to open the bandage I can apply to Prog's achilles heel are in French ?

(Sacre Bleu)

Judging by the urgency and rapidity of Monsieur Decamps vocal declamations, we must conclude he has a real bee in his beret (or perhaps maybe even a 'hive' in his lingerie) but I love the urgency of his delivery dearly, and there is no reason to doubt either his passion or sincerity.

'Ces Gens La' - Starts with an unnerving guitar motif, although just a few simple slide bent notes, it carries a weight and foreboding that even Monsieur Fripp would have been proud and reappears later to spooky effect. Thereafter there is a brooding bass line (just 2 or 3 notes) over which Decamps alternatively recites then shouts his bon mots. The quiet/loud and busy/still dynamic can be overused but this band have a fine grasp of when either is appropriate. I'm not convinced the string sound in the background is really a Mellotron but perhaps its been put through some sort of weird effect thang y'all ?

'Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier' - Fantastic sludgy guitar sound on the stereo panned riff and a truly memorable melody on the verse sections. Very atmospheric and haunting developmental section where there appears some beautifully played flute to complement the hushed and whispered vocals.

'Bivouac - 1ère partie' - Apart from the wince inducing quotation from Handel's 'Messiah' which is their first momentary lapse into bad taste, a very sinister and angular song section develops with good use of female operatic 'screams' at climactic points. During one section there are what sounds like some wailing siren 'turn on and off' the Hammond tricks a la Monsieur Emerson. Nice fuzzy organ solo in the vein of Soft Machine towards the end.

'L'Espionne Lesbienne' - (No I ain't going to translate, and stop giggling at the back) This track inhabits a gentler pastoral landscape with strummed acoustic guitar and flute interjections but rest easy, even here there is a maniacal laugh thrown into the mix to keep us in 'squeaky bum' mode.

'Bivouac Final' - Ominous and dark with a claustrophobic tritone in the harmony accentuated by a very accurate Bob Fripp impersonation on the guitar later mutating into a wah wah drenched solo. This is joined by some ethereal fuzz organ which fades out into a simple descending chromatic scale on the strings/mellotron. Beautifully constructed track but like so many of the others on this record it is too short as the strength of the musical ideas warrant further exploration and development.

'De Temps en Temps' - Ange employ a more conventional strong structure here and this offering boasts another very strong and slightly Spanish tinged lydian melody. Dramatic use of timpani and Mellotron in a vaguely Crimsonesque manner but certainly not derivative. Short and very effective guitar 'solo' of sorts, but given how accomplished a player Brezovar obviously is, I wish he had been allowed greater license on this album to really 'stretch out' a lot more.

'La Route aux Cyprès' - Unusually, I actually heard a MIDI file of this track before hearing the original and this is a number similar in feel to the earlier L'Espionne Lesbienne but has a superior melody and is more fully developed and fleshed out than the former.

'Le Cimetière des Arlequins- - the longest track here and despite the opportunities afforded by the larger canvas, Ange do not succumb to the temptation for a lazy and slap-dash finger painting.

Au contraire, its another highly disciplined piece which undergoes various transitions of pace, timbre and tempo before the end. Lovely atmospheric intro with unadorned bass slowly joined by an infectious and insistent incantatory melody. Unfortunately they do repeat this device perhaps once too often and this section drags a bit.

Finally an ominous ascending chromatic scalar passage emerges over which Monsieur Decamps gets himself into an ever increasing lather as the accompaniment gets faster and faster.

And you wonder why they had a player sent off in the World Cup Final?

Momentary lapse of taste # 2 appears with a rather tacky quotation from Mussorgsky's Night on the Bare Mountain but we can forgive them this I'm sure. The ending section is however very unsatisfying as they appear undecided as to it being either another incarnation of the 'fairground big top to fade' cliché or the 'bust child's toy's death throes' approximated here.

This is a very strong album but not perhaps as good as its successor Au-delà du Délire. (being the only other Ange offering I have heard)

This band deserve immense credit for their single mindedness and originality in a field where 'still wet' forgeries of masterpieces are everywhere. No one else sounds remotely like Ange and their boldness and spirit of adventure is something we should cherish dearly. So they get an extra half star for sheer undiluted and uncompromising attitude

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Posted Sunday, May 04, 2008

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Errors & Omissions and Crossover Team
3 stars 01. Ces Gens-Là

That is a smart guitar! Slow and very different. The bass pretty at our face (Daniel Haas) and the guitar of Jean-Michel Brezova is lost in its sounds. The voice of Christian Decamps is very interesting, and I never thought that french could be interesting. A very emotional, interpretive vocal. The mid session begins wonderfully and shortly thereafter modulates the tone for the solo and the drums from Jelsh Gérard are quite good.

02. Aujourd'Hui C'est La Fête Chez L'Apprenti-Sorcier

From the beginning remains only a wisp of sound, close to the 2nd minute of music comes a few very good fingered parts, the keyboard and background vocals are whispered.

03. Bivouac - 1ère Partie

Almost a commemorative song. Beautiful vocal performance, and a merry band (at least for a few seconds). From now on one sound dominates, the one I call 'infinitum' saound, you know those riffs that are repeated without tiring? So! Meanwhile guitar and keyboard fills with solos.

04. L'Espionne Lesbienne

What a cool guitar, vocals even more so, fast and confusing phrases. Flutes and effects, but the best is the main theme with its guitars and with duplicate vocals from Francis Decamps.

05. Bivouac Final

An instrumental with variable proportions, full of sounds and peculiarities, a continuation of tracks 3 and 4.

06. De Temps En Temps

A slow, hypnotic groove, with vocals sung in a way that, it isn't strange, but different. In fact a delicious sound, almost devastating. The best of the album for me. It has a cute and catchy chorus.

07. La Route Aux Cyprès

Again the guitar rules, and that's great. The folk part is excellent. The guitar gives some sample sounds here and there. Vocals and emotion. A guitar more 'agitated' at the end and 'that's all folks! "

08. Le Cimetière Des Harlequins

The song that named the album is symphonic, a little space. With a good bass line and great vocals, wich by the way, are the strong points in this album. From now on half the song collapses, is a haunting, scary, speed increases, the representative of the sentiments expressed in madness lost in musical notes. When you regain the 'conscience' is not yet too late for them to gain the listener again (laughs), and do so.

In fact 3.5

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Posted Thursday, April 02, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars Ange's follow up for Caricatures sees them sticking to the same dramatic and gloomy sound, half of it created by murky production values and the other half by too much mellotron. No, sorry, that's not possible, there's no such thing as too much mellotron!

The album starts with the Jacques Brel cover Ces Gens Là, an appropriate choice given the influence of that Belgian 'chansonnier' on their music. Ange sounds as a marriage between King Crimson's early albums and French chanson, very epic and theatrical, executed by excellent musicianship and the most passionate vocals since Peter Hammill.

Next on is my favorite track Aujourd'hui c'est la fête, short and rocking, swift and dynamic, or how to be prog in 3 minute 30 seconds. The following couple of songs is meant to form some kind of unity but it's a bit amateurish, basically they're fading out Bivouac, then doing a short ballad and ending by fading in the remainder of Bivouac. Luckily the songs are just fine.

De Temps en Temps is probably one of their best known songs, it sounds like another Jacques Brel cover. Not bad but a bit predictable maybe. The short and intimate Route au Cyprès is better, it's just an acoustic pop song really but a very beautiful one. The album ends with the powerful and dramatic Cimetière des Arlequins, the longest and best composition on the album.

I have a personal preference for the debut which rocked harder and had the better songs, but you could as easily argue that this album is a bit more varied and mature. Regardless of personal preference, both albums are excellent symphonic prog. If you love In the Court of the Crimson King, early VDGG and Genesis you shouldn't hesitate.

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Posted Thursday, December 10, 2009

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Sometimes you just don't get it. Other times you simply dislike it. For this writer, the experience of hearing landmark French band Ange's second release was somewhere in between. And though it could be said that the murky production adds character to the recording, that atmosphere will only be appreciated if an equal appreciation is had for the music. The word "theatrical" is frequently used to describe Christian and Francis Decamps' legendary sound and it is a fitting M.O., in fact there are times on Le Cimetiere des Arlequins that are more theater than anything else, certainly than rock music. And perhaps that's where I part with the generally enthusiastic write-ups the album receives. Theatricality is one thing, actual theater is something else, and I can only assume it is the dervish-like yelling and ponderous moaning of Christian Decamps that distracts from my enjoyment of an otherwise interesting symphonic album. That and the distant, bassy mix aren't the only issues, either: the songs seem to drag on a bit when the material should either tighten up or fly out into space completely. Instead, the capable 5-piece often walk the fence between inventive Prog and trance-induced operetta, neither method quite honed enough to completely satisfy, the result being closer to the sound of five friends and copious amounts of marijuana having a thoroughly good time in a rented studio. And as a listener, "You had to be there" is undoubtedly high praise.

That's not to say there are no good moments here, though the fumbling 'Ces Gens-la' is not one of them save an angular keyboard bridge and reasonably strong finale. More focused and energized is 'Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier' as it wanders through Christian's whispers, Nice-like 'Bivouac-1ère partie' is weird, features Decamps' tetched oration and some good jazzrock passages, and Daniel Haas's nylon string guitar carries pretty L'espionne Lesbienne' with its ersatz Brazilian undercurrents. Driving rock in 'Bivouac Final', nauseating pap of 'De Temps en Temps', bucolic 'La Route aux Cypres', and some off-key cabaret with Decamps' nails-on-a-chalkboard vocals killing the title cut.

Disappointing to be sure but not a deal breaker for these guys, and I suspect they were capable of far better. A regrettable two stars.

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Posted Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Ange's second album is a somewhat strange one. There are some genuinely good moments, but there's just so much I can't get into. I don't really care for the lead vocalist, and not just because he's singing in a language I don't understand. The man is all over the place- whispering, shouting, singing, bellowing. Another thing is that pretty much none of the songs end well- it's like Ange is unskilled at ending a piece of music. With the exception of a couple of short songs, I don't really enjoy this album.

"Ces Gens-Là" Immediate guitar bends open the album. Low French singing builds over a simple bass riff. The vocals sound very angry (to include slurping), which is juxtaposed with happy, almost ludicrous instrumental bits.

"Aujourd'hui c'est la Fête chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier" Fuzzy chords dominate this piece, but it does have a sweet middle section with whistling synthesizer and soft guitar.

"Bivouac - 1ère partie" The refrain to this generally gentle piece is downright goofy- I have no other word that fits better. It's flamboyancy reminds me of Queen. The middle passage is very low and dark, with gritty guitar and menacing keyboard work. The music fades out.

"L'Espionne Lesbienne" This is an acoustic piece with odd vocal harmonies. I wonder why the singer is laughing. It's a very strange song to me. As an aside, I believe the title translates to "The Lesbian Spy," but that's based on cognates.

"Bivouac Final" The music that ended the track before last fades back in. After a bit of jamming, the keyboards descend in a haunted house display of unpleasantness.

"De Temps en Temps" I rather like this piece, particularly the chord progression and how the bass works with it. The vocals are more reserved and sound very good alongside everything. As icing on the cake, there's a wonderful guitar solo toward the end. The noise at the end is terrible though.

"La Route aux Cyprès" Sweet synthesizer and acoustic guitar brings in the singing, and wow, this almost sounds like Echolyn- the singer actually sounds like Ray Weston! Even the harmonies are beautiful.

"Le Cimetière des Arlequins" After a soft theme to introduce the longest song, the singer does his thing over a descending bass line and distant keyboard. There's some strange vocal doubling and some theatrics; the former is interesting while the latter is a bit silly. Speaking of the latter, there's shrieking, shouting, and laughing, all over a rising tempo, none of which moves me. Dark symphonic music, dominated by percussion, turns into a strange incursion into electronic territory- very weird.

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Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars Ange are one of the most well known prog bands from France. They sometimes get compared to Genesis. However, on their first two albums anyway, I hear more of a Crimson and VDGG infuence. This is the band's second album. The vocals of Christian Decamps are dramatic and theatrical and can be compared to Gabriel and Hammill. Lyrics in French. Lots of modified organ work here.

"Ces Gens-La" is a cover of Belgian singer Jacques Brel. I am not too familar with him or his music, but the version here sounds like the band wrote it. Definately does not sound too out of place on this album. "Aujourd'hui c'est la Fete chez l'Apprenti-Sorcier" has distorted/fuzz bass. Good drumming. This song has a nice mellow middle section. The first part of "Bivouac" has the band singing what sounds like "Ewok for you". The better of the two parts. It ends with an organ solo as the song fades out. The second part fades back in with the continuation of the organ solo. The second part is entirely instrumental.

I think it would have been better if both parts of "Bivouac" were one piece. In between we get a folk song about lesbians called "L'espionne Lesbienne". This song has some good acoustic guitar and fast vocals. "De Temps en Temps" has good singing and organ work. After 2 minutes it gets better. Nice bluesy guitar solo. At the very end the tape speeds up. "La Route aux Cypres" is basically vocals and acoustic guitar with some organ. Sound of flute can be heard. I can't tell if it is a real flute or if that part is done on a Mellotron.

The title track is the best song here and can be listened to on PA. Good drumming and vocals in the whole song. The organ and/or Mellotron playing is great. It's the longest song and has the most changes. Before 7 minutes there is an interesting organ sound. I love the way it ends with weird noises that get looped. This album is great Symphonic Prog. If you don't mind theatrical French vocals, this may be for you. Whether it be Ange or Magma or Etron Fou Leloublan, the French like the vocals to grab your attention. My interest in these guys starts to dwindle after this album. 4 stars.

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Posted Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Ange's second album adds a bit more circus music to the pastoral prog model of their debut - not surprising, given the Harlequin theme of the album. Unfortunately, the clowns don't change the fact that the band simply hadn't moved on a lot from their debut. They apparently got to appear at the Reading Festival at around this time as the support act for Genesis, which I think is about right; they're adept enough at mimicing their heroes, but they're not quite good enough to *challenge* their heroes, which is what they really needed to be aiming for at this point of their career. With unmemorable compositions and performances, I can't say I consider this a particularly vital Ange album.

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Posted Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review by Sagichim
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars No need for virtuoso playing!!

Ange are the masters of atmosphere , and it seems they do it so easily too. they capture you with their slow airy organ , most of the time played with a vibrato giving the music an out of tune feeling , awsome stuff. in addition to those keys , they incorporate their signature passionate intriguing vocals , it always fascinates me to know what are they talking about , i guess it's their attitude and approach . i like that every europian band has that something relating them to their country , except the vocals of course , and ange is no different , it all sounds very french to me , and is a refreshing change from all english bands , although still reminds me of king crimson at times.

the music is never heavy but always symphonic , closer to classical music than jazz., there are no virtuosic runs by any of the band , but apart from the amazing atmosphere they create together , the solos are short and very good. vocals are amazing even for you who does not understand a single word ( like me ) , they take you right away and you feel like a story is being told , i'm sure it is!! they range from whispering to quiet to passionate and to screaming , top that with some laughs , noises , and shouts making the story even more realistic , absolutely fantastic. although containing short tracks ange is progressive and interesting adopting some instant change of music , heading towards something completely different. keys has that distinct ange sound and are always very good whether if they are atmospheric and whether if they are playing solos or other fillers , which increases the atmosphere level even more . guitar varies from distorted to clean and acoustic , and although there are no steve howe guitar parts , the guitar is always perfect . a good example for this is the album's opener solo which gives me goose bumps every time i hear it , so right. also to good mention is the clean guitar on L'Espionne Lesbienne , so good. as interesting as the songs are some time i wish they would develop them more , making them a little bit longer instead of cutting them in the middle of a good run. what made them split 'bivouac' to two parts and putting L'Espionne Lesbienne in between is beyond me , i think this is my only complaint about this album.

If you would like to explore some french prog , or seeking some dreamy , rocky, theatrical and progressive music , ange is a good place to start with , and this album too , although their next is even better. it may take a little while to fully comprehend but it's totally worth it. i would call it essential to french prog lovers. the accurate rating for me is a little bit above 4 stars.

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Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
3 stars The good times for Ange started soon after the release of their debut.The band crossed the English Channel in 1973 for a tour on the British grounds and with the support of their label Phillips they released the same year their sophomore album ''Le cimetiere des arlequins''.

Surprisingly the album opens with a cover of Jacques Brel's ''"Ces gens-la", a naturally theatrical song and a perfect choice for Ange's repertoire, adapted nicely by the band in a Theatrical Prog style.The rest of the album shows hints already known from Ange's debut, a Symphonic/Psychedelic Rock with intense keyboard passages played by the Decamps' brothers and the expressive vocals of Christian Decamps on the forefront.The production remains very muddy, adding the album an overall haunting atmosphere even in its more romantic moment.Compositionally the album stands well next to the band's debut, but it is a bit more vocal-heavy with limited instrumental themes and an even more theatrical approach.The music though is quite charming with psychedelic guitars, folky acoustic moments, including some flute passages and powerful bass work.The dark keyboard parts will always remain Ange's trademark.Grandiose interludes and beautiful organ breaks are offered with generosity and add the album this unique symphonic flavor that only Ange could create.

Not as good as their debut but of course another succesful Ange album.Dark, lyrical and deeply atmospheric Symphonic Rock for dedicated fans of the style.Recommended.

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Posted Monday, October 08, 2012

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars One of France's three main progressive rock outfits alongside Christian Vander's zeuhl exponents Magma and the Pink Floyd-styled Pulsar, Ange have enjoyed a long and varied career sinde starting up at the beginning of the 1970's, enjoying both national and international commercial success. Unusually for a French-speaking rock group, Ange regularly toured outside of their homeland during their peak years, visiting Germany, Belgium, Scandanavia and Britain on numerous occasions during the 1970's; as a result the name Ange is now synonymous with French progressive music, the group often rather lazily compared with Genesis thanks to their keyboard-heavy sound. One of the group's 'classic' releases alongside 1974's follow-up 'Au Dela Du Delire' and the mellotron- drenched 'Guet-apens' from 1978, 'Le Cimetiere Des Arlequins' was the album that truly broke Ange, introducing them to a wider audience thanks to a deal brokered with the French arm of Phillips and the album's distinct and jaunty musical flavour. Crucially, it would prove to be a remarkable improvement after the group's interesting yet underwhelming debut 'Caricatures', whilst also showcasing the five individual musicians rapidly- growing instrumental chops, with the incessant Gallic chatter of lead-vocalist Christian Decamps now underpinned by some intricate technical displays and richly-drawn melodies. Like many of the better progressive rock albums, this is best listened to from beginning-to-end, though individual tracks do stand-out, such as the forceful opener 'Ces Gens La', which features both Ange's trademark keyboard stabs and Descamps eccentric vocal style, and the haunting, almost gothic strains of follow-up 'Aujourd'hui C'est La Fete Chez L'apprenti Sorcier', which drifts effortlessly from ominous symphonic rock into serene acoustica rather beautifully. Elsewhere, the bouncy 'Bivouac' exhibits the group's more playful side, whilst the album's lengthiest piece, the eight-minute title-track, closes the album in suitably grand fashion. Like much European progressive rock there is an arty and complex edge to Ange's music, though the pompous seriousness that can blight such material is thankfully absent here, Ange very much a group with a sense of humour that is apparent even to those who don't fully understand the French language. A fine album, 'Le Cimetiere Des Arlequins' isn't quite as impressive as follow-up 'Au Dela Du Delire', yet there is still much here that should please fans of both symphonic and European progressive rock. Inventive, eccentric and occasionally wildly adventurous, this is one of Ange's genuinely essential records. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Posted Sunday, December 02, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars Ange's second record "Le Cimetière des Arlequens" which features Christian and Francis Decamps, Jean-Michel Brezovar, Gérard Jelsch and Daniel Haas is another fantastic record. It has not really the same splendor that their debut record had but it is still a piece of amazing progressive music. ... (read more)

Report this review (#964433) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Thursday, May 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ange is a cult band for prog in France. In fact, there is many things which can explain it: Christian Décamps's strong personality as a charismatic leader and singer, very good musicianship provided by Jean Michel Brezovar with a good feeling on guitar, Daniel Haas on bass and accoustic guitars, ... (read more)

Report this review (#754509) | Posted by Usandthem | Thursday, May 17, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Ange continues their journey with their second album and I am more than happy to tag along on their journey. I am a more than pleased about their sound and their use of their mothertongue in their music. Ange's blend of English symphonic prog and French folk and traditional music aka Jaques Br ... (read more)

Report this review (#519185) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, September 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Le Cimetière des Arlequins is a crown jewel of 70's French Theatrical Prog. I think this is Ange's most consistently spellbinding release... I would even say it's the most under-rated album in their catalog. As usual, the songs are very vocal-centric: Christian Descamps is the star of the sho ... (read more)

Report this review (#205446) | Posted by AdamHearst | Wednesday, March 04, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Only two stars really, why : _the very poor production _the awfull voice(ridiculous histrionics), and I'm not talking about the lyrics which I unfortunately understand being French. I don't know what to think about Brel's cover, it's all right, but where is the end of the song?????? The best p ... (read more)

Report this review (#171638) | Posted by fabien | Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "Le cimetière des arlequins" is very representative of Ange's style : a mix of classic french song and symphonic prog. The best illustration is certainly "ces gens là" writen by Jacques Brel and totally rearranged by Décamps brothers. Spirit is the same (excessive and dramatic) but the form is t ... (read more)

Report this review (#145432) | Posted by H.NOT | Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The second work released in 1973 "Le cimetiere des arlequins". Masterpiece that shines to gold record in France. It is mysterious music. In the drive feeling of the guitar and the organ, there is peculiar stickiness. Moreover, atmosphere is changed from aggressive play to fantastic play by ski ... (read more)

Report this review (#77739) | Posted by braindamage | Wednesday, May 10, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars As you Prog guys already know, Ange is the most important band in French prog scene. Well, not only in the French prog scene but also in the Prog World. How many albums do you think they released so far? It's about 40 albums officially. There are about 20 studio albums among them except live and ... (read more)

Report this review (#19794) | Posted by progtopia | Tuesday, May 18, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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