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Present High Infidelity album cover
4.01 | 73 ratings | 5 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Souls for Sale (27:38) :
1. Souls for Sale I (3:16)
2. Souls for Sale II (3:26)
3. Souls for Sale III (3:41)
4. Souls for Sale IV (5:29)
5. Souls for Sale V (4:57)
6. Souls for Sale VI (6:47)
7. Strychnine for Christmas - Part 1 (3:57)
8. Strychnine for Christmas - Part 2 (7:00)
9. RÍve de fer (9:23)

Total Time 47:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Roger Trigaux / guitar, vocals
- Reginald Trigaux / guitar, vocals
- Pierre Chevalier / piano, keyboards, organ, Mellotron, vocals
- Matthieu Safatly / cello, vocals
- Fred Becker / alto & tenor saxophones
- Dominic Ntoumos / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Keith Macksoud / bass
- Dave Kerman / drums & percussion, vocals

- Yuval Mesner / cello
- Meidad Zaharia / accordion

Releases information

Artwork: Uri Dushy

CD Carbon 7 Records ‎- C7-058 (2001, Belgium)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PRESENT High Infidelity ratings distribution

(73 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PRESENT High Infidelity reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
5 stars "High Infidelity" is PRESENT's most complex and best album so far. The opening 27 minutes long six-part composition "Souls For Sale" are one of the best songs ever written by guitarist and bandleader Roger Trigaux (ex. UNIVERS ZERO). The music is intense, hard-edged and dark and the addition of a brass section makes the music even better and more dynamic. Pianist Pierre Chevalier's first composition in the band "Strychnine for Christmas" fits perfectly in-between the two Roger Trigaux compositions, and it sounds typically PRESENT. Musically I don't think that PRESENT has ever been so tight and technically advanced as now. PRESENT is one of the most interesting bands around today in this genre, and they still sounds as fresh and innovative as ever. They just progressing, getting better and better for each album.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars this fifth studio album (the third since their reformation) sees Present progress yet some more in the complex RIO and Zeuhl world, that they are building with every album of theirs. The groups is now in an extended form with with a sring and brass section, but is most are presented as full members, the main quartet of Trigaux (father and son), Chevalier and drummer Dave Kerman is still the heart and soul of the band. Macksoud , the bassist is a regular with band today. A rather bizarre sombre almost underground artwork (a collage of Israeli or Palestinian streets night scene) certainly sets the sombre mood of the album, but the album is not really any darker than the previous ones.

From the opening six-parts suite Soul For Sale (27 min+) with its insane and oppressive groove on which both father and son pull some searing guitar lines that even Fripp would love to have written, is constantly shifting and twisting almost uncontrollably sometimes reminding you Magma. The brass section adds more than a bit of variety in the soloing, and certainly is used for full drama as underlining the constant tension.

The two-parts 11 minutes Strychnine For Christmas (under-titled The Truth About Santa Claus) penned by Pierre Chevalier, is softly underscored by a rare Mellotron behind a rather distant Crimson influence, but the vocals are certainly perfectible (English lyrics and vocals from Kerman). Third and last track, written by Trigaux, is the RÍve De Fer (Iron dream) , but it has not metallic intention, but finishes as a tribute to a well known theme (get the album to unveil the suspense ;-) with Belew-Fripp interplay.

Yet another stunning work (if a little repetitive) from the Trigaux gang, this album has been released ion the small Belgian Carbon 7 label (who handles also Aka Moon), and it is one of the better moments in Present's career. The group has for manager ex-bassist Guy Segers, now. Not groundbreaking anymore, this is yet another typical Present album, even if they keep on progressing musically.

Review by hdfisch
3 stars When I reviewed this album the first time 1 1/2 years ago I've had admittedly big problems to get into the type of music offered here. In the meantime I collected much more listening experiences with Avant Prog and even learnt to enjoy some of it. Thus I felt an urgent need to update my review for this album. I listened as well to their earlier release "Le Poison Qui Rend Fou " which appealed much more to me than "High Infidelity" revealing a lot more hard edged and metal enriched sound compared to the main band UNIVERS ZERO. But in fact its slightly metallic and industrial touch wouldn't be the biggest problem for me rather it's the quite repetitive character of the music that I find a bit disturbing. Part 5 of the Souls For Sale-suite with its strange sounds and voices is the one I still have trouble with even after many repeated spins. Overall it's an interesting album but far away from being one of my favs in Avant-Prog. Moderately enjoyable and good for 3,5 stars!

(Edited 07/29/2006)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars.This ranks right up there with "Certitudes" as my favourite PRESENT recordings.This album is dark, oppressive and intense. This would make a killer soundtrack for a suspense.

Things get started with the over 27 minute "Souls For Sale". It's divided into 6 parts that blend together.This is the most intense ride you'll ever take. It sounds so amazing cranked up loud. The outbursts of brass and heavy drums is very industrial as angular guitar grinds away and keys come and go. It settles down in part 2 as faint vocals can be heard(they come and go throughout this part) with bass and drums. It then kicks back into that same industrial crashing that comes and goes. The contrast continues. I love the angular guitar in part 3. It settles down in part 4 as drums, cello and guitar carry on. Fripp-like guitar comes in as the sound builds. The brass screams out as piano and drums continue. This is one intense section(ok they all are). Part 5 opens with mellotron and the sound of someone breathing heavily. Words are then spoken and yelled throughout. Otherwise this section is pretty calm. The final section is utempo with heavy drums and that industrial sound from earlier. Piano, drums and horns lead the way. Angular guitar and a dark atmosphere the rest of the way.

"Strychnine For Christmas" (The Truth About Santa Claus) is almost 11 minutes long and it's divided into 2 parts. Part 1 opens with mournful cello as drums and other intricate sounds come and go. Vocals and more of a melody including mellotron 2 1/2 minutes in. Part 2 opens with very heavy drums and horns that give a doom-like feel. You know, like it's going to be over very soon. It then lightens as vocals(Kerman) and piano come in. The mellotron that follows sounds awesome. Cello and drums before the tempo picks up 3 1/2 minutes in. Vocals, piano and cello are back followed again by majestic mellotron waves. Creepy lyrics by the way from Kerman on this second part. "Rive De Fer" opens with bass as piano then sax comes in. This song reminds me of HENRY COW actually. Heavy industrial sounds come and go. It gets very intense 6 minutes in as we are hit with a furious soundscape. It calm back down before 7 minutes as dissonant sax comes in and rips it up to the end of the song.

I feel very fortunate to own UNIVERS ZERO and PRESENT recordings.These two bands despite coming off as being quite sinister are both brilliant. Like modern classical musicians from hell.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars This mostly instrumental album is challenging, to say the least. It is very much a jazz album, with the ten man line-up including brass (a flugelhorn!) and cellos. The music cascades and sweeps, and while often strident and harsh is never anything less than powerful.

This is not easy listening, but rather music that has to be worked at to be enjoyed. It may not be an album to listen to often, even for those who enjoy jazz more than I do, but there is something in it that is strangely compelling. Themes move, disappear, and then come back again later. There are only three tracks, but the shortest is more than nine minutes in length while the longest is more than twenty-seven. A friend I have lent it to is enjoying playing this at very loud volume, and is a big fan of the horns, but for many this will be an acquired taste. Not for the fainthearted, find out more at www.netbeat. com/carbon7.

Originally appeared in Feedback #66, Feb 02

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