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Present Certitudes album cover
3.61 | 65 ratings | 5 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Delusions (14:48)
2. May Day (10:00)
3. The Sense of Life (11:08)
4. Ex-Tango (3:46)

Total Time 39:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Trigaux / guitar, keyboards, vocals
- Reginald Trigaux / guitar, vocals
- Alain Rochette / piano, keyboards
- Guy Segers / bass
- Daniel Denis / drums & percussion, vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Bill Ellsworth

CD Cuneiform Records ‎- Rune 107 (1998, US)

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PRESENT Certitudes ratings distribution

(65 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PRESENT Certitudes reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Present's first full fledged studio album since their (so welcomed back) return to the Belgian scene is a rather superb, if slightly surprising one. Original members Roger Trigaux, Daniel Denis (both also UZ members) and Alain Rochette return with long-time compadre Guy Segers on bass and Roger's son Reginald on guitars. This is as far as I am concerned their second-best line-up after the one of the early 80's. Daniel denis will not be around for that long since he will reform Univers Zero again and Present will find first Pierre Narcisse (ex Daniell Schell And Karo) than settle on a more permanent basis on US citizen Dave Kerman.

If I was suggesting this album is slightly surprising, it is because of the prominence of the vocals as three of the four tracks have singing: while signing may be a bit an approximations for Present's vocals here, we can talk more of chants or almost black-mass incantations - and not always very good, one must admit. Nothing evil or Satanist, I assure you, just simply dark, sombre and gloomy lyrics, fitting quite well the music. Because for the rest Present is back in fine form and this is certainly quite a worthy follow-up to the Poison album. Delusions will become a favourite in concert, with its never-ending piano riff repetition somehow bringing that minimalism that Present is always slightly hinting at, but here coming out in the open, but the last four minutes is a constant and awesome construction shifting constantly between odd time sigs and great soloing. May Day (in the help sense) is also another concert classic, but I must say that it strikes a bit of a miss to me. Nevertheless, this is yet another typical lenghty track of theirs. Much better IMHO, is the Sense Of Life, which have much better vocals and changing rhythm patterns and slight free jazz improvs. If you are aware of Magma's works, you will see that Present as definite touches of Zeuhl music in them. Present was always a very rhythmic group and Roger Trigaux's constant switches from guitars to piano, this allows Rochette use a few keyboards extra including a rare mellotron, sparely used but to great effects. The last track is a self-not-so-explanatory and Rochette-penned Ex-Tango, which is another small gem.

Funnily enough (and this will be the case in future albums), even with the extended space of the Cd compared with the vinyl, Present chose to keep this album around the 40 min mark (around the same as in their vinyls), which given the sombre nature of their music is quite a reasonable and mature decision. Much recommended and sufficiently close to their early albums to be a good intro to their strange oeuvre.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Shattering stuff from Trigaux, Trigaux, Denis, Segers and Rochette... and incredibly good. Dropped is most of the RIO pretense, instead invoking a fever of devil's jazz, hard rock, industrialism, and in-your-face punk attitude. Alain Rochette's driving piano is a big stand out here, i.e. 'Delusions', and this is one of drummer Daniel Denis' best, most relaxed sets. Absolutely terrific prog rock no matter how you slice it, 'Avant', 'RIO', call it what you will, and the feast just keeps coming in 'May Day' as it goes from psychotic to symphonic with huge towers of dread and racing breaks. Trigaux's ancient-sounding guitar backs the jerky 'The Sense of Life' with its atonal jam and vined keys, and the factory-rock opera of 'Ex-Tango' to end. Tremendous.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars After a 13 year break (sound familiar ? ie.UNIVERS ZERO) PRESENT are back. I'm not counting the "C.O.D. Performance" record of 5 years earlier which was strictly a father and son effort. The lineup on this one features three members who were on the "Heresie" album by UNIVERS ZERO, namely Denis,Trigaux and Segers. So it's not so surprising how dark this album is.This is so impressive though, especially the drumming and piano playing. The angular guitar melodies are fantastic as well.

"Delusions" is the longest track at almost 15 minutes. Not a fan of the lyrics, but i'm a huge fan of the music. It opens with a vocal sound before piano and percussion create a cool melody. Vocals arrive sounding a little weird before some heavy bass and drums come in. I love how intricate this all sounds. Check out the guitar that starts before 8 minutes and goes on for 4 minutes ! Nice. Just an amazing passage of music. "May Day" opens with piano and keys before guitar, vocals and drums come in. More intricate sounds. Synths arrive bringing a haunting vibe with them. Vocals are spoken after 5 minutes as piano notes are slowly pressed. The vocals stop as synths come back. The drums are prominant as bass throbs and angular guitar sounds can be heard. Distant, methodical vocals before 8 minutes.

"The Sense Of Life" has a heavier sound to open. The vocals sound good on this one. The song calms down before 4 minutes. A guitar interlude after 5 minutes that is joined by keys then drums. The sound is amazing 8 1/2 minutes in. The original melody returns with vocals to end it. "Ex-Tago" opens with a dark and atmospheric mood that lasts for 1 1/2 minutes. Percussion, piano and guitar lead the way after that.

4.5 stars and my favourite PRESENT album so far. I only have "High Infidelity" left to review. It is surprising how much singing there is on this album, but it works. I just can't praise each band member enough for how well they play on this record.

Review by Warthur
2 stars Present return with the first full-fledged band effort for over a decade on Certitudes, though to be honest I find it rather unconvincing. I'm inclined to agree with toroddfuglesteg that in moving somewhat away from the dark, horrific soundscapes of their first releases Present lose that distinctive atmosphere which made them so compelling, and they don't really find a cohesive and compelling tone to replace it with. The consequence is an album which, to my ears, seems to lack an emotional core - the musicians seem to be playing for the sake of playing but the compositions don't seem to evoke any particular mood or theme.

In addition to this, some of the tweaks to the present sound they present just don't seem to work. Whilst the quasi-operatic singing on Le Poison Qui Rend Fou was compelling, the zany singing of the Trigaux family and Daniel Denis this time around just doesn't work for me. On the whole, Certitudes kept the Present name alive but doesn't really add anything to the legend.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A new approach from Present. Up to this album, this band from Belgium released some fine albums with introvert darkened RIO music. But a change occurs on this album though. Present opens up and becomes a more light hearted, playful band. Gone is the grave-yearning suicidal approach and in co ... (read more)

Report this review (#376906) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, January 9, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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