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Machiavel biography
MACHIAVEL's story is a whale of a tale, beginning when drummer/vocalist Marc Ysaye and bassist Roland Degreef left MOBY DICK to pursue prog rock in their native Belgium. Soon fleshed out to a quintet that included Mario Guccio (vocals), Albert Letecheur (keyboards) and Jean-Paul Devaux (guitar), the band hit their stride on "Jester" (1977) and "Mechanical Moonbeams" (1978). As the '80s dawned, MACHIAVEL shifted away from playing purely progressive music, which led to the departure of Letecheur, followed by Devaux (who was replaced by Thierry Plas).

This new quartet released three more albums before calling it quits in 1983. Ysaye and Letecheur then formed TWILIGHT, while Degreef and Guccio turned up in BEIGE NEIGE. But interest in MACHIAVEL never waned, and in 1987 the previous quartet reunited for one more album, "The Cry of Pleasure." Following a pair of compilations, MACHIAVEL conducted its farewell tour in 1996. "Aloha" tour might have been the better word, as it only fu!eled interest in the band and they once again became a going concern, releasing "Virtual Sun" in 1999. A new disc, "Welcome To Paradise," is due out in early 2003. The secret to the band's success may lie in the words of Machiavelli himself: "One cannot find that they owed anything to fortune but the opportunity which gave them matter to shape into the form they thought right."

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Live: MachiavelLive: Machiavel
Audio CD$54.84 (used)
Esoteric 2014
Audio CD$8.15
$8.16 (used)
Mechanical MoonbeamsMechanical Moonbeams
Esoteric 2010
Audio CD$16.68
$9.99 (used)
Imports 2015
Audio CD$22.07
$76.00 (used)
Anthology 25th AnniversaryAnthology 25th Anniversary
PID 2007
Audio CD$57.93
$8.97 (used)
Live in Brussels by MachiavelLive in Brussels by Machiavel
Moonzoo Music
Audio CD$115.12
Anthology 25th Anniversary by MachiavelAnthology 25th Anniversary by Machiavel
Audio CD$49.56
Urban Games by Machiavel (1996-04-29)Urban Games by Machiavel (1996-04-29)
Audio CD$59.20
Mechanical Moonbeams by MACHIAVEL (2010-11-02)Mechanical Moonbeams by MACHIAVEL (2010-11-02)
Audio CD$70.66
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Machiavel - Jester CD (2010) Prog Rock 1977 USD $9.89 Buy It Now 3h 30m
Machiavel - Mechanical Moonbeams CD (2010) Prog Rock 1978 USD $9.89 Buy It Now 3h 31m
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Machiavel Urban Games vinyl LP album record Belgian 1A064-23894 HARVEST 1979 USD $23.20 Buy It Now 3 days
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Jester by Machiavel (CD, Oct-2010, Esoteric Records) USD $15.85 Buy It Now 11 days
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NOW Spheres 1991 ORIG FRANCE MUSEA FGBG 4040.AR OOP Belgian NEO-PROG MACHIAVEL USD $22.70 Buy It Now 17 days
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MACHIAVEL Mechanical Moonbeams + Inner VINYL LP, WB 56 590, ORIG 1978 France, EX USD $20.81 Buy It Now 25 days
Jester - Machiavel (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.73 Buy It Now 26 days
VALENTINES DAY Machiavel Live SEALED LP Holland DUTCH Pressing 1981 USD $30.95 Buy It Now 26 days
MACHIAVEL 7" EQUILIBRISTA-MARY argentina ID# 23731 1978 HARVEST 1667 NM automat USD $19.99 Buy It Now 28 days
MACHIAVEL 7" EQUILIBRISTA-MARY argentina ID# 49591 PROMO WHITE LBL-1978 HARVEST USD $24.99 Buy It Now 28 days

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MACHIAVEL discography

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

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

3.30 | 46 ratings
3.76 | 75 ratings
3.64 | 52 ratings
Mechanical Moonbeams
2.60 | 17 ratings
Urban Games
1.63 | 11 ratings
New Lines
1.17 | 5 ratings
Break Out
1.13 | 4 ratings
The Cry Of Pleasure
3.41 | 19 ratings
Virtual Sun
3.09 | 7 ratings
Welcome To Paradise
2.25 | 8 ratings
3.27 | 11 ratings
3.00 | 2 ratings

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

1.96 | 4 ratings
Valentine's Day
3.43 | 8 ratings
Machiavel Live
4.00 | 3 ratings
Machiavel Acoustic

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

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

4.00 | 2 ratings
The Best of Machiavel
2.22 | 4 ratings
20th Anniversary Machiavel : The very best of
3.51 | 3 ratings
Original Hits
3.09 | 2 ratings
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential of Machiavel
3.50 | 2 ratings
Best of Machiavel

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


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jester by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.76 | 75 ratings

Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Machiavel - Jester (1977)

Late Belgian symphonic prog of early neo-prog? We'll all agree on the W&W-era Genesis influences in the keyboard department, probably on some Supertramp (though not so jolly) influences and I myself sense some David Bowie influences when hearing vocalist Mario Guccio.

Machiavel has a modern electric progressive rock sound, actually not that different from most neoprog-groups of today. Actually, when it comes to style is sounds way more modern then the Marillion debut. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Marillion and Saga took some spins of this record.

But this is a reviel about Machiavel. The sound is abstract, yet theatrical. Mystical and adventerious, dark and sometimes happy. It was however recorded earlier and with a slightly imperfect mixing (the record could have sounded a bit havier), giving it an obscure feel. Take that in - obscure sounding early neoprog. I fell for it in the vinyl store and some passages just got me. The couplet theme of opening track 'Wisdom' and the vocal/guitar duo on 'Sparkling Jaw' are amazing. With a more carefull listen at home these passsages still impress, but the record also starts to show some cracks. The vocals are intense, but also a bit non-human and the lyrics just strange. Sometimes they are almost hidden behind symphonic layers, I myself like the artist and his performance having a central place in the mix. The ballad 'Moments' is just a Genesis ballad by another band, though still enjoyable. As the record progresses the band becomes more playfull, adding even some wind- instruments. I'm not blow away by the title of the fourt track 'In the reing of queen polution'. The track has a nice low-pased Eloy-like opening with proportions of seriousness that you'll only find in symphonic and neoprog. During the song the atmospheres change and the band finds simple ways of making music very enjoyable.

On side two 'The Jester' is perhaps the happiest tracks, with a lot of Supertramp-like Fender Rhodes passages. The instrumental section is however a classic example of symphonic prog. 'Mr. Street fair' has an interesting exciting atmosphere and I can't help to hear some Queen influences. The changing between melancholy and playfulness works out well on this track, resulting in an ending section that has both. The last track ''Rock, sea an trea' is the longest track and a sum of everything that made this an enjoyable album.

Conclusion. This is a very interesting record falling between two era's of symphonic progressive rock. Recommended to fans of the bands mentioned, symphonic prog, neoprog and people interested in genre development. I'm giving it four stars, this record deserves more listeners and recognition in my opinion.

ps The artwork is really nice and the inside of the foldoutcover has lots of boobs, though portrayed consistent with the style of the front cover.

 Jester by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.76 | 75 ratings

Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Machiavel is one of the most successful rock bands in Belgium (though internationally less respected than the RIO/Avant act Univers Zero). It could be compared to Dutch KAYAK as they both delivered keyboard-orientated, light symphonic prog and shifted towards more commercial paths - and have continued their existence through decades. Machiavel aimed at high production level right from the start in 1974. The second album Jester introduced Italian-born singer/reed-player Mario Cuccio as well as the new guitarist Jean-Paul Devaux.

The sound is bright and often includes electric piano, which makes me think of SUPERTRAMP's Crime of the Century album, but the songs are more symphonic and longer, and the vocals have some 80's pop feel. As a matter of fact Jester reminds me a lot of Neo-Prog (Marillion, IQ, Pendragon)! Some tracks have Marillion-ish solos for el.guitar or synths and the overall atmosphere is similarly theatrical in the footsteps of GENESIS. The ending mini-epic 'Rock, Sea, and Tree' has mythological lyrics reminding of 'Fountain of Salmacis' but without the clear plotline of the Genesis classic. Maybe 'Jester' has a nod to the King Crimson debut? (And did Fish know this album when Marillion did Script for a Jester's Tear? Hmm, more likely not.) This is an easily enjoyable album, but probably too overproduced for some listeners. I like it but it lacks true originality and sometimes tastes quite commercial. Excellent production for its time, that's for sure. 3― stars.

 Machiavel  by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.30 | 46 ratings

Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by historian9
Forum & Site Admin Group Site Admin / JRF Team

3 stars 3 stars for Machiavel debut, leaning more to 2 stars then 4. Most of the songs are more art rock then progressive, it's just to watered down for me. If judging by this album alone, Machiavel would fit better in crossover genre of prog than eclectic but I didn't have a listen of other albums just yet.

For me this album's weak points are sort of the strong ones, the most sentimental and maybe needlesly prolonged ballads are the ones that I could listen to once in a while, "Cry No More" has a decent guitar solo to which it builds up bit slow, and for another example "Leave It Where It Can Stay" is more of the same with more synths in the play and guitar follow them nicely, more of that sad atmosphere going on. All of those by the way, very vocal oriented. "When Johan Died" is more reminiscent of the classic prog genre and being rock in its form, and I guess the spacey opener "Johan's Brother..." is ok, but even it overstays it's welcome. All the rest I find pretty unmemorable, except the previously unreleased "To Be Free", I remember that one cause it's straight up rock'n'roll and if it were me I would leave it unreleased. And while talking about these new tracks, I can only see hard fans going for it, "Don't Remember" being the only decent one that's more like the ballads from the original. There is some potential in this band and I presume by looking at ratings that after the debut MACHIAVEL gets much better.

 Jester by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.76 | 75 ratings

Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by progshachar

5 stars A great album My first Belgium group and a great start it is. I think they are unique in their sound although we can find similarities to Genesis, Yes and even Supertramp - whenever the electric piano is used. All of the lyrics are great combining Green issues with legends. Wisdom is a great opener, lots of keyboard use that evolves as the seconds pass and a great singing. Superb openner, There are even touches of Pink Floyd when the guitar plays. Sparkling jaw opens with singing a chorus without music. Then the music flows inside with a slow blend later the pace grows. Moments is a great tribute to Genesis with "super's ready " mentioned and a beautiful singing. In the reign of queen pollution ? is very strong piece with "green" agenda, very true to our days. It starts very slow and get stronger and faster as the moments pass. The jester ?is a beautiful song. Starts lovely with the electric piano, continues very slowly and later a faster pace. A very Supertramp song in my opinion. Mister street fair = great piece. Again starts slow and evolves. Again a bit of "Green" in the lyrics. Veru powerful toward the middle. Rock, sea, and tree - the longest and most powerful song for the ending of the album. Starts slowly with nice singing then evolves to a very energetic song. Reminding me of Genesis. 2 bonus tracks very short and very "so so" - The birds are gone and , I'm nowhere

 Mechanical Moonbeams by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.64 | 52 ratings

Mechanical Moonbeams
Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars MACHIAVEL are from Belgium and most feel that this album or the previous record "Jester" were their best works.This was released rather late in the game in 1978 but they used lots of mellotron which sort of saves it for me actually. Only one track doesn't have it.

"Beyond The Silence" opens with outbursts of sound with mellotron in between. It goes downhill for me when the vocals arrive before a minute.The tempo proceeds to shift quite a bit. I do like the sound before 5 minutes with the vocals and mellotron standing out to the end. "Summon Up Your Strength" opens with synths and mellotron as reserved vocals join in. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes with aggressive vocals that remind me of Roger Daltry. "Rope Dancer" has a pastoral mood with reserved vocals. It's somewhat fuller before 2 minutes.

"Rebirth" is also mellow to start with laid back vocals.The tempo starts to pick up some.Things turn into a fast paced affair including the vocals. Mellotron before 4 minutes then it calms right down before rebuilding. "After The Crop" opens with acoustic guitar and fragile vocals. It gets fuller before 1 1/2 minutes then it gets really full 4 minutes in. A pulsating beat comes in after 5 minutes joined by aggressive vocals. "Mary" is pastoral with acoustic guitar as soft vocals join in. "The Fifth Season" opens with piano and drums as spoken words join in. It picks up with vocals.The tempo picks up even more before 4 1/2 minutes.The guitar is crying out before 7 minutes to the end.

A good album but not even close to being 4 stars.

 20th Anniversary Machiavel : The very best of by MACHIAVEL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1996
2.22 | 4 ratings

20th Anniversary Machiavel : The very best of
Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

2 stars As usual for us proggers I do not fancy compilations, but when in the late 90's I moved to Belgium and some local guy adviced me to check out Machiavel I didn't know anything at all about this band, and when I saw this compilation album in a store I thought it might be a good starting point. Probably it was not, because later on I have learnt that their 3 first albums seem to be really good while this compilation is at most average.

This compilation was released in '96 and gathers the period from the band's debut in '76 until '81 (they would rejoin and release further albums). '76 was quite late for a prog band to start and the '80's were at the end of the corner, and indeed we see a clear shift in direction as from '79. Luckily the compilation gives dominance to the period '76 - '78 with around 45 minutes out of the total 70+, but still the total package is somehow harmed by the most modern tracks.

The tracks from '76 to '78 are not impressive but they are good enough and at times quite original, the band performs a kind of soft prog, to mention some references I would say something like early Alan Parsons, Supertramp, The Moody Blues, Ambrosia etc.

The '79 - '81 tracks have a more '80's feel, with influences such as The Police.

Not bad but far from impressive. Since this compilation failed to impress me I never went on to check their studio albums, but by the ratings in PA it can well be that the first 3 albums are worth giving a try (3 stars for the debut and 4 stars for the 2nd and 3rd albums). Something to check out some day.

 Urban Games by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.60 | 17 ratings

Urban Games
Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Machiavel in a different direction this time with their forth album from 1979 named Urban games. After two great albums, considered by many their best albums in their whole career, Mechanical moonbeans and Jester, Machiavel turns the page and compose in a diffrent manner this time. The album is more mainstrem, sometimes I have the feeling I'm listning to Supertramp combined with some Styx moments , even some Queen atmosphere on some tracks but totaly more uninstristing like the masters, Machiavel did a mediocre album this time. Only few parts remind of the old great prog rock band, who was often compared to Genesis, noe they sound pretty popish prog , mainstrem music without that fine and super keyboards arrangements from previous years. The album as a whlole , can be heard a couple of times but nothing really excitting momets, it show that another great band from progressive rock movement , goes mainstrem with more rock moments then prog. I will give 2 stars more like 2.5 , far from the greatness of previous two albums, and they going down even deeper with the next couple of albums. Fans only, not one of the worst albums I ever heard but definetly a mediocre one, shame because they were very promissing band from Belgium in mid to late '70's.
 Jester by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.76 | 75 ratings

Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Until recently my only knowledge of this interesting belgium quintet was through their live album, recorded much, much later on their career. I thought their music was nice, but a little too popish maybe. And I lost interest in them. But then a friend borrow me a bunch of CDs and among them was Jester. Not surprisingly it was the very last fo that bunch that I happened to hear. And I was quite impressed. It is very different from all the stuff on the live album. And surely much more progressive.

Ok, they do have a kind of pop struture, but their music here is far from being easy listening music or too radio friendly. In fact, it has some intricated parts and lots of effects that makes the CD a little difficult to digest at first. But the record grows on you with each spin, until you are utterly hooked. The music here is hard to define, but sometimes it reminded me of Supertramp, a band that also knew how to write great tunes using various pop formats, but Machiavel is much more complex and subtle. Another references could be The Beatles, ELO at the beginning and the Moody Blues, but again the music is more elaborated and less obvious.

Most of the songs are built around the terrific keyboards lines of Albert Letecheur . The guy really knows how to use his vast array of synths, pianos and organ to make a esquisite variety of sound landscapes. Vocalist Mario Guccio (making his debut in the band on this CD) is a fine and versatile singer that deals very well with the many musical styles the band goes through every track. In fact, all the band members handles their jobs with confidence and skill. The production is only average, but the performances are so good that it becomes only a minor detail, which canīt steal away the recordīs brilliance.

Conclusion: another little known prog gem! Iīm really glad I got this CD and Iīm surprised Jester is not so acclaimed on prog circles as it should. If you get this CD please listen to it at least three times before judging its music. Donīt let the apparently easy melodies and weird sounds fool you. This is great music done by great musicians. Final rating: 4,5 stars.

 Machiavel Live by MACHIAVEL album cover Live, 1999
3.43 | 8 ratings

Machiavel Live
Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Live was my first (and so far only) contact with this interesting band from Belgium. So take my review with care, since I donīt really know their studio albums. First I should say Machiavel is a good band. They play a kind of pop rock with some prog influences. if youīre looking for something really new, symphonic or avant guard, look elsewhere. But if you like good, simple, well played melodic rock with much variations, then this is for you.

I have to agree with ZiggyZowie review: CD 1 is quite better than CD2. Still, they managed to deliver a fine, convincing performance on both. Most of their most celebrated songs are here like Rope Dancer, Fly, Over The Hill and Jester. They prove to be excelent live and even if their singer does not have the greatest of the voices (at least for my taste), he seems to have a strong stage presence. The musicians are of course very goodm specillay guitar and keyboards. Production is also very good.

In all not a very outstanding CD for ProgArchives (I would rate it higher if it was a generic rock site) . And yet I have to say I liked it a lot. If you enjoy melodic rock, you should not miss it.

 Machiavel  by MACHIAVEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.30 | 46 ratings

Machiavel Eclectic Prog

Review by Micke E

5 stars I donīt understand why so many people put this album down. Most progressive rock fans seem to enjoy JESTER and MECHANICAL MOONBEAMS. But they either donīt mention this one at all, or they say that this one isnīt of any interest to prog-rock fans. This IS progressive rock. Sure, itīs not as complex as those other two albums mentioned. But somewhere in the neighbourhood of Pink Floyd around WISH YOU WERE HERE or Omegaīs softer songs. Of course Machiavel is more melodic and classically influenced than Pink Floyd, but itīs hard to find a better comparison that would be familiar to people in general. I love this album, itīs beautiful. And the singer, while not the best in the world, really sings from the heart. Over all, the music on this album affects me much more than their following two albums ever do, even if I theyīre far from bad. So keep in mind, my opinion is, as it seems, pretty unusual regarding this album. But this album sure has a special place in my collection.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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