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EXISTENCE

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Existence picture
Existence biography
EXISTENCE emerged in 1992 with a first concept, a kind of rock opera simply entitled EXISTENCE. The four musicians were presenting their creation in clubs of the Montreal area to a mystified crowd who was given a small libretto to help follow the story. There was no actor, no scenery, no special setting. Just music played with passion. 90 minutes of pure EXISTENCE music played in two acts! For the audience who had never seen anything like that in a club before, it was quite a shock but also a revelation! This first concept would be presented in its entirety more than 80 times over the years.

In February 1994, EXISTENCE's first act was released as the 'FRAGILE WHISPERINGS OF INNOCENCE' album. The band then embarked on a small tour of the province of Quebec still playing the full concept. In 1995, EXISTENCE started opening for bigger acts to try reach more people. They concentrated on the major songs of the first concept but they also started adding new material to their act.

After a hiatus of two years, 1998 saw the release of an EP entitled 'ANOTHER FINE DAY OF' EXISTENCE wanted to test the radio market with three songs written for the next concept. The title track, an 8-minute progressive rocker, reached the 11th spot on the chart of WRKO radio station in Detroit. EXISTENCE released its second full concept - 'SMALL PEOPLE, SHORT STORY, LITTLE CRIME' - in August 1999. The team mystified many more fans and music specialists with an impressive bunch of songs filled with emotions and breathtaking musical passages where violin, guitar and piano lead a dance - sometime tragic, but always beautiful.

And the album concept is outstanding! It comes with a 56-page magazine complete with articles, editorial, readers mail section, movie & album reviews and ads. Each article is related to a song and the song lyrics, in bold face, are worked into the text of the articles. CD and magazine are packaged in a cardstock slipcase that serves as the inner and outer sleeves. Since its release, the album got more than 30 ecstatic reviews from many underground music publications, mainly from Europe but also from the USA and Canada.

Although EXISTENCE has been more than quiet in the last few years, each members of the band doing other stuff on the side, they did play with legendary progressive rockers FOCUS (also signed to BLACK PEARL PRODUCTIONS) in a small tour of Québec in 2002 and a few other shows in the Montreal region. In 2007, Alan CHARLES r...
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EXISTENCE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EXISTENCE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Fragile Whisperings of Innocence
1994
5.00 | 2 ratings
Small People, Short Story, Little Crime
1999
4.04 | 18 ratings
Origins
2017

EXISTENCE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In Montreal
2014

EXISTENCE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

EXISTENCE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

EXISTENCE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Another Fine Day of...
1998

EXISTENCE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Origins by EXISTENCE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.04 | 18 ratings

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Origins
Existence Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars I have just taken from my shelves the second Existence album, 'Small People, Short Story, True Crime', which was released in 1999. The CD had made a huge impact on me at the time, as not only had I enjoyed playing it, but it came with a 56-page booklet/magazine! That was a hugely ambitious undertaking for anyone, let alone a band that wasn't known to many within the prog scene, let alone a wider music buying audience (and it tickles me that they advertise Mystery within it, they are both Canadian after all). So, a short eighteen years later, and the guys are back with the third album.

But, in a very many ways this is full circle, as what is represented here is in many ways the roots of the band, hence the album title. When Existence emerged in 1992, their gigs comprised a rock opera, broken into two acts. The first act was recorded and released as their debut album, 'Fragile Whisperings of Innocence' in 1994, but the second act was never recorded as the band moved on. By the time Alan Charles decided to record the second act it was 2010, and when comparing the recordings, he realised that the right thing to do was to rearrange and re-record everything to make it a consistent whole. Alan provides piano, keyboards, guitar and bass and returning from the last album is Gérard Lévèque (drums), François Beaugard (violin) and Gaston Gagnon (guitars) and they are joined by Valery Kim Gosselin (vocals) and Richard Ranger (bass).

The booklet may not be nearly as large as the last one, but it has been put together with care and contains all the lyrics with suitable photographs: the focus here is on the music contained on the two CDs. Unlike many progressive bands, the music here is led by the piano. Although turned into a full electric band performance, the piano is always at the heart and soul of Existence, with the lead instrument often being the poignant violin. The hidden instrument in this band is emotion, as the music is dripping with it, from the cracking of the vocals through the arrangements. This makes them very different from other bands within the prog scene, as the approach is towards feelings that are being conveyed, instead of just an aural assault. Complex and complicated, it must have been a compelling experience when the band were performing it live some 25 years ago.

With their two earlier albums released before the advent of the internet and prog sites and forums, back in the day when fanzines like Feedback were the only way to get the news out there as mainstream media ignored or denigrated prog, it is of little surprise that very few people are aware of the existence of Existence. Hopefully the release of this album will gain them many new fans, and we won't have to wait so long for the next one. Well worth investigation.

 Origins by EXISTENCE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.04 | 18 ratings

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Origins
Existence Crossover Prog

Review by mitarai_panda

5 stars I do not know why an excellent, great album like this one has scored less than four points now. I heard it six months ago and I think it should go into the top ten list of the year. There is no problem. But I can not see it, so I came back to see the band's page and found it to be just over three, which I really can not understand. The album dates back to 1992, and they formed the concept of a rock opera and was constantly refined in performance and time. In the meantime, they also released a second concept album "Small People, Short Story, Little Crime", I also heard online, very good, but not this one excellent. In 2017, the band re-made "Origins", and act II was never released except act I was re-recorded. The album lasted an hour and a half. Although it was classified as Crossover Prog, I thought it was Eclectic Prog, a lot of excellent instrumental music. The music was very rich, beautiful and beautiful, and I was eager to get its lyrics. Please listen carefully, give it a chance, it should score more than four points.
Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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