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Capharnaum biography
Canadian brothers Marc-Andre and Francois Blanchard are classically trained musicians who both play guitar, and whose approach is connected but individual. In the late 1990s they formed an instrumental rock band and were joined by bassist and musical collaborator Philippe-Antoine Bernard and drummer Maxime Briseboise. In 1998, CapharnaŁm established itself in Montreal and began playing what they describe as " big, autonomous (and sometimes crazy) living organism". The music is an organic blend of post-indie guitar atmospherics, some heavy arithmetic, distant FRIPP connections, and a bit of old-fashioned heavy metal.

First self-released album "Intrumental" (1999) was a good start if somewhat unfocused in its progressive rock desires. However the follow-up in 2006, "Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique", was more realized and developed with a smoother performance and cleaner sound.

Though not as rough-edged as the math bands nor as high minded as the post-FRIPP impressionists, CapharnaŁm have a clever and pleasing sound, and should appeal to those in both the Post and Art rock camps.

- Atavachron (David)

Why this artist must be listed in :
CAPHARNAUM is a quality modern instrumental quartet that contributes to the new non-vocal, guitar based rock scene with class and professionalism.

Intrumental, studio album (1999)
Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique, studio album (2006)

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Willowtip Records 2004
$18.19 (used)
Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique by CapharnaumLe Soleil est une Bombe Atomique by Capharnaum
Unicorn Digital Inc.
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CAPHARNAUM discography

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3.55 | 6 ratings
Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique

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

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique by CAPHARNAUM album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 6 ratings

Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique
Capharnaum Heavy Prog

Review by Ricochet
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The catchy introduction tells about three bands, all three named Capharnaum, sharing a bit of space in the developed modern rock and preferential music space. If you're not intuitive or simply careful enough in what you pick, you might end up listening to some death metal of peppered but moronic quality or to a similar hard bash oriented act of music, with more baffled harmonics than usually; so the best is the third Capharnaum, special under its umlaut on U, but also by a better way of music in a contemporary time's promising and sensible effort.

Yet, almost as a symbol and a force the name has, the Canadian trio chooses a powerful tone of hard rock, intensifyied strength, a lot of devilish play (with arrangements they have in mind), mystic modern stretches or high-sunk groove ideas - progressively they stand still and desirable under alternative rock, nu-rock, modern punch, shoe-gaze and an experimentalism of dynamics. The mutual feeling (from a band with industry in its blood and high sugar in its head to a listener with some kind of focus and appetite for music beyond excitement) brings Capharnaum's solid album into a state of artistic shock (though its wobbling is perfectly ecstatic) and into a thrill of purified explosive state and cheap adrenaline manipulation - which integrates them in the modern wicked orientation in which the accessible pleasures are hardly existent or still in an approved touch; instead, the panic of excitement and acid twist is above finding progressive enchantment; Capharnaum, to finally end the analogies, plays powerful rock/metal/space sounds on the verge of disobeying forces and unleashing freedoms - whether good, obscure, clever or untypical.

As a modern prog lover you can find an over-putting size and a dastard strike in Capharnaum's elementary will of music, of power and of craft. In an obscure thought, it belongs to the modern mature feeling as much as it excludes many types of such distractions and engulfing influences. The caliber triggers the quality, which freeze in both a spectacular nexus, and a washed-away brute powder. For a starters, you get to be really excited by Capharnaum only if it open for you a chakra of values and absorbing feelings, being otherwise a raw and infusing steep-charm. Next, whether good and fantastically unadaptable, this album lies under electric, eclectic and mixed impression: it is very instrumental and hard-on-enormous, but resents light or sophisticated fruit loops; being therefore a dark and senile combination of rock atmosphere and rock arrhythmia; all its alluding messages seems a tragic or somber concentration, yet the trio composes in a boiling point of popular (meaning interactive), close-minded (meaning introspective), vivid and mildly aggressive rock intensity and math elaboration; the math rock punishing, ambivalent or independent art gives a lot of headaches concerning the deep play-scape and how refined that is meant to go, but so convincing is the idea that this alternative-wave music isn't for other tastes than those of a penetrating rock jam or of experimental trippy scythes, both being a particular persuation and possessive mark into the album.

Finally, this genuine creation is neither for the headbangers, nor for the pedantic art savorists; it is for the bright ears that have a complex tick and gloom of personality; this is a youthful and young material, mixing the crash of cymbals and riffs with some vicious and obscure poetry or vision, which perhaps makes everything a difficult music in a gallop of modern freshness and perdition.

And something more, about this clearly psychonavigational work with resumes rock/metal/alternative music into a hazard chemistry, I cannot find to say. I myself am not that thrilled about this particular pressure of modern math rock, and even think some parts of the composition addiction and the play fiber are simply musica lignea. But its progressive significance is undeniable and, under the skin of the standard, there are elaborate stipulations and infestations of music and motives

 Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique by CAPHARNAUM album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.55 | 6 ratings

Le Soleil est une Bombe Atomique
Capharnaum Heavy Prog

Review by avestin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars While the name Capharnam would seem a unique name for a band, there are in fact 3 bands of the same name (including this one), although only one more shares that Umlaut above the A. The other two bands, though, are metal bands (one is playing progressive music), and this current one, is playing another kind of rock.

This band is currently signed to Unicorn Digital, who have other excellent bands signed, such as The Gourishankar, Hamadryad, Nil, Karcius, Karfagen, Sympozion and other very talented bands. Capharnam is no exception. The band sounds tight and as if they have been playing for a long time together, and indeed they have been active for over a decade according to the press release. The band was founded in the Quebec City area in 1991, and they performed a lot. The current lineup has been stable since 1998 and this is their first studio album released.

Instrumental rock, what some might call post-rock, but there are no sound textures as in other post rock bands, but with a rather defined musical theme through which the lead guitar is paving the way exploring the grounds. The tracks are wordless songs, but I see it as if the lead guitar does the singing as it is free to go about in each. The sound on this album is tight and well recorded (all instruments are clearly heard).

The music is overall, optimistic in nature and even uplifting (but not in a tacky way). The general mood which I get from the band on this album is that of “we feel good, and we want you to feel the same”. However this is not to say there aren’t more emotions expressed in their music. As they say in the French part of the press release, their music portrays both hope and doubt, force and subtlety, explosion (meaning getting aggressions out into the open, showing what they have stored in their mind to the world) and introspection (meaning parts in which the music is more reflective and delicate).

The album in general has a dynamic flow to it, there’s no abrupt changes, no stops that cause it to digress. There is musical development in each track; there is high energy and powerful driving force. To accompany that, there is melody, diversity and a sense of fun that the band emits in those tunes. There is a connecting thread of sound throughout the album with variety to keep it interesting. There is variation from track to track, not like some other albums in which it is sometimes hard to differentiate between the individual tracks. All in all, there is a great rhythm to the album, a natural flow from “song” to “song”.

The following text is taken from their artist page in the Unicorn Records website: “We are four individuals brought together by a will to create atmospheric instrumental music with a rocking edge. And we are making it fight back music. We resist to an increasingly difficult world to grasp, shaping chaos into tangible energy of sounds and rhythms.”

That last sentence especially, I think, is a good indication of their intentions and what their music strives to achieve. Their music has all the potential to be much harder, rougher and “dirtier” sounding, but they opt for a rather clean and hopeful musical path. Even when they get heavy (see below) they still retain their original qualities.

After the 6th track there are 3 tunes (7,9,10) in which there is experimentation going on. In those the general mood slightly changes, going for a more severe sound but still retaining the essence of the band’s approach.

The seventh track deviates a bit with its programmed drumming and the somewhat different sounds they create here, but not too much as to make it alienating. This track is more meant to create dynamic sound textures and leave for now the “singer” (lead guitar) out of the picture and let the guitars create a good flowing rhythm. This is also the only track with a synth in it (sounding as a piano). A short track, which could have been developed more. Track 9 as well starts with programming but this is soon over and replaced by the band getting on in the same style as the beginning of the album. The end of the album (last 3 tracks, but 8 and 10 especially) is a veer into a heavier, and even more metallic sound (tracks 8, 10). Not the entirety of the tracks is metallic, but at some point in them, the metal riffs take over. However, this is not too heavy a sound, so do not fret. The two last tracks are in fact two standouts in this album. Track 9 flows directly into track 10 which then goes on with much more pronounced metal sounding riffs and even guitar solo. This is also a somewhat darker sounding side of the band. This is a fitting closer to the album, as this proceeds from part to part, gaining energy and power and coming to several high points (with the guitar solo) and the heavy riffing giving a tone of eminent ending. But just when I thought it was over, it starts with yet more riffs (different melody) and a great bass line and the album ends that way, a bit abruptly but nevertheless fitting.

So, we have some dynamic refreshing mostly optimistic sounding instrumental rock, tight playing and one thoroughly enjoyable album. I look forward to hear more from these talented musicians. Recommended.

Thanks to Atavachron for the artist addition.

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