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LA TULIPE NOIRE

Neo-Prog • Greece


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La Tulipe Noire biography
Pioneers of the new generation of Greek progressive rock, Athens' La TULIPE NOIRE present a tightly woven tapestry of sonic pastels which never really escape beyond the bounds of their self-imposed prison. This talented line-up performs a refined and quiet progressive rock that develops baroque and solemn melodies.

On this, their third album, I'm not certain "progressive" is the right word. Maybe "static rock" would be better, for within the music of "Faded Leaves". I discern no audible wish to advance very far beyond the perfectly intoned Floyd-esque guitar lines of the '70s; or the cheesy Roland string-synth pads of the '80s. Quickly pick this rare flower, it will nicely decorate your secret garden devoted to progressive rock.

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Shattered ImageShattered Image
Import
Musea 1999
Audio CD$4.75
$10.99 (used)
MatricideMatricide
Import
Musea 2013
Audio CD$16.19
$128.00 (used)
Nostimon HemarNostimon Hemar
Import
Musea 2006
Audio CD$15.95
$13.96 (used)
Shattered Image by LA TULIPE NOIRE (1999-01-01)Shattered Image by LA TULIPE NOIRE (1999-01-01)
Musea
Audio CD$39.95
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LA TULIPE NOIRE discography


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LA TULIPE NOIRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.35 | 7 ratings
Words of the wind
1992
2.57 | 22 ratings
In The Gates Of Dream
1996
3.54 | 58 ratings
Shattered Image
2000
3.56 | 42 ratings
Faded Leaves
2002
3.88 | 47 ratings
Nostimon Hemar
2006
3.84 | 40 ratings
Matricide
2013

LA TULIPE NOIRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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LA TULIPE NOIRE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Faded Leaves by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.56 | 42 ratings

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Faded Leaves
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars 2000-02 period finds La Tulipe Noire on the rise.Fans worldwide became enthusiasts of the ''Shattered image'' sound, an album very well received by the foreign press.With Y. Boukoulas out of the picture the band would recruit Kostas Savvidis as a second guitarist for the sessions of the upcoming album ''Faded leaves''.The recordings took place at the famous Studio 111 in Moschato, Athens and the album was released in 2002 with the support of Musea.

This new work talked about human solitude and, thus, required a special sound and atmosphere, which was actually quite close to the style delivered in the previous album.No doubt, the band was in great shape, they provided highly symphonic, deeply emotive and very grandiose music throughout the album, surrounding the central idea with mid-tempo compositions, highlighted by the poetic and crystalline voice of female singer Ima.The consistency of the compositions is one thing to admire about the band.The concept opened the doors for a slightly more FLOYD-ian mood with the slow guitar solos and the dreamy keyboards dominating the album, but MARILLION were still a huge influence for the band, especially the atmosphere on ''Faded leaves'' recalls the darker paths explored by Fish & Co. back in the 80's.Piano and ethereal keyboard parts along with series of impressive guitar melodies are the basic characteristics of the release, which ends up to a be a combination of memorable material and a genuine female-fronted lyricism.It's one those albums with no weak tracks at all, I'd rather say it's one of the albums you could easily play a second time after a listening.Extremely well-crafted with an atmosphere rare met in Neo Prog bands and a trully gifted singer.

On par with ''Shattered image'', maybe with a tad more haunting mood.This is grandiose Neo Prog of the best quality, struggling a bit to escape from past influences, still offering a lot of amazing moments.Highly rcommended.

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 Matricide by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 40 ratings

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Matricide
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by Aragon

3 stars What happend here? The sound is rude and heavy, what's disappointed! Being a big fan of La tulipe Noire i was curious about the new album, but im a bit disappointed about the new singer. She's not my cup of tea, because she tries to be too much aggressive and try to imitate the heavy metal timbre or some demoniac voice. The music continue the style of the previuos album, sometime is beautiful with excellents baroque keyboards passage, but when the new singer sings in that way i have to filter that voice with my equalizer! Progressive means a perfect balance between mellow and emotional parts and more energetic and heavy parts, but here the mellow parts are absent, so it's good just for heavy and metal prog fan. Not a sweet or mellow song here, neither a melancholic song like their 2 album, so i rate just 3 poor stars.

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 Shattered Image  by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.54 | 58 ratings

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Shattered Image
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Second official album as La Tulipe Noire finds the Greek band with a few line-up changes.Lead singer Lena has stepped down and a new female singer, Ina, takes her place behind the microphone.Drummer George F. quit also, as he played drums in only two tracks, to leave room for newcomer Nick Kassavetis, while apparently this was also the last contribution of guitarist Yiannis Barkoulas to a La Tulipe Noire work.Chris Tabouratzis offered his guitar texts in a few tracks.Recorded at the Groove Studios in Athens, the album, entitled ''Shattered image'' and dealing with the feeling of hope, was released in 2000 on Musea Records.

This was a tremendous comeback for the Greek band, as the new album finds them extremely mature, inspired and executing every single detail with passion.New singer Ina adds her own touch with her angelic vocals and the composing duo of Hyde and Alix had transformed their potential to reality.La Tulipe Noire played now a grandiose Neo Prog with obvious MARILLION influences and lots of Classical/symphonic tendencies, characterized by emphatic synth soundscapes, poetic lyrics, tight structures and good use of changing tempos, as there are plenty of laid-back melodies supported by more powerful and flashy performances.The band had always a dark, symphonic mood within their structures, but this time the atmosphere eventually makes sense, recalling epic works by MARILLION such as ''Misplaced childhood'' and ''Fugazi''.Kontakis' guitar melodies are extremely beautiful and the female lyricism in the album is an absolute highlight, definitely among the excellent female-fronted albums of the early-00's.The longer tracks with their sinister keyboard parts and the edgy guitar moves come also close to the monumental works by ASGARD: Music full of tension, finesse, haunting moods and poetic underlines.The production is better than on the first albums, but it certainly could get some improvement.

Excellent, dark and lyrical Neo/Symphonic Prog with ethereal female vocals.An absolute must-have for fans of early MARILLION and the likes.Highly recommended.

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 Matricide by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 40 ratings

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Matricide
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars I discovered La Tulipe Noire with this album, having (shamefully) not heard previous samples from them. "Matricide" is an enthralling concept about mother Earth and the way modern humans don't respect the natural course of events, from artificial food to nuclear weapons and war, ultimately leading to total destruction, being discovered by the main characters of the story in a future time.

The concept/lyrics (which must be followed along with the music to fully appreciate it) could come from a modern sci-fi movie but touches modern problems and concerns, which are conveyed in an almost apocalyptic manner through the course of the album, and this is where LTN succeed. The opening haunting, operatic, Latin-sung, 'A Letter from Patmos' sets the scene for what is about to follow: hyper-dynamic heavy Neo-prog, mostly based on a 4/4 tempo, with inspired lush-keyboards and raw female vocals by the surprising Julie Massino (most known to the Greek audience via her participation in a X-Factor type show (!) as a vocal teacher).

The ghosts of early Pallas, IQ and Marillion hang above Hyde's mighty keyboard lines, but LTN have taken this sound further and made it their own, although keeping it "rough around the edges", which boosts its character further; no jolly Neo-prog here. To this assist the heavy, almost metallic riffing of Marios and the harsh, yet strangely with a dose of neo-classical, vocals of Massino. Despite a tiny dip of interest towards the middle of the album (Radio Days I am looking at you) and a couple of unexpected fade-outs, the result is consistent and, above all, is a real musical proposal.

There are too many highlights to choose from an album that could have well served David Lynch in one of his sci-fi movies; essential for fans of heavy neo-prog, a near masterpiece.

4+ stars

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 Matricide by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 40 ratings

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Matricide
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars La Tulipe Noire's first album with new vocalist Julie Massino is a solid album in the tradition of Nostimon Hemar, its predecessor. As usual with La Tulipe Noire, the shadow of early Fish-era Marillion hangs heavy over proceedings, but by this point in their careers the band have become adept at making that sound their own and saying something new with it, having developed substantially over the Shattered Visage days. Massino turns in a credible turn as lead vocalist, and by and large in the seven years - the largest gap we've ever seen between Tulipe Noire albums - the band don't seem to have made any musical quantum leaps, but they've not gained much rust either.

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 Matricide by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 40 ratings

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Matricide
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by Andis

4 stars This is over-the top, super serious neoprogressive rock from a band who probably listened to early period Marillion about 2000 times.

And I love it!!!

Usually this is not my cup of tea, but this greek band took me by surprise with their fantastic Nostimon hemar and I have been tearing my hair in wait for their new album. They do not dissapoint. These guys take themself really serious and their music is so pretentious as it can be, but somehow they pull it off. I love that the band goes all in with their music, no compromises here. There are lots of great chops and musicak passages to entertain the whole 59 minutes of great neoprogressive rock. There is a nice blend of guitar, keys and vocals who complement each other. Also their new singer is also a great addition to the music, one doesn't miss their old singer much when the music starts. Few bands make their music as interesting as La tulipe noire and I urge you to give them a try. Close the lights in the room, turn up the volume and let this band enter the stage. You will not regret it if you keep an open mind. Recommended!

I give the album a strong 4-star rating. Excellent album.

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 Matricide by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.84 | 40 ratings

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Matricide
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by emperorken

4 stars As someone who likes La Tulipe Noire's previous albums, I was a little surprised(and happy) to see that after seven years they released a new album. And after several listens, I can say that this is really an excellent album. The subject matter, matricide, is not a pleasant one, and I was expecting a dark, gloomy album. Well, that is hardly the case.

The band has a new vocalist, a fine talented singer named Julie Massino. She has a great voice which fits this style of neo prog very well. The musicianship is excellent, with the guitars and keyboards at the forefront. Lots of great hooks here.

So, as good as this album is, why only 4 stars instead of five? Well, for one, all the songs are short, with the longest track coming in at 6:23. I always like to hear a well developed epic mixed in. In addition, a couple of the tracks suddenly fade out just as it seems they are getting going. Also, almost all of the songs are up tempo, so until you get used to the individual tracks, there is a certain sameness about them.

So, overall, this is really a fine album. It just could have been better.

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 Faded Leaves by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.56 | 42 ratings

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Faded Leaves
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Now this is something of a rarity, a new progressive rock album from Greece. It has been a long time since Aphrodite's Child and Vangelis hit the scene and this band is quite a different prospect. This is the third album from La Tulipe Noire (seems unusual to have a French name when they are Greek), and does seem to be a very mature work. They are a five-piece with a female vocalist in Irma, and this is thoughtful prog in many ways. Not only is the music structured and complex when it is required, it can also be simple and spacious. Irma has a very clear voice, and never strains so that she comes over almost as a female version of Jon Anderson. There are some deep and meaningful lyrics, which deserve reading in their own right (thankfully the whole album is performed in English) and I am somewhat surprised not to have heard of this band before.

It will not suit everyone, as while the songs are interesting and enjoyable, they do little in breaking new territory. They are probably more Floydian than many of the neo-prog bands around but there are still tinges of Marillion here and there. The result is a work that is very polished, and at times almost beautiful, and is certainly worth hearing even if it isn't the most essential release of the year.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

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 Shattered Image  by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.54 | 58 ratings

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Shattered Image
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The 10 000th tribute to Marillion.

There's nothing wrong with unoriginality, just look at the music market today: it's all re-heated stuff we heard many times over. The same phenomenom is not avoiding the progressive world, La Tulipe Noire is proving it, but they're doing it nicely at least.

I frankly was attracted to this record because of the the nice cover (how shallow of me). The songs are basically Fish-era Marillion but sanged by a girl, a not too convincing one at that. She barely changes key and stay with the same phrasing all the time. Fish was good when you think of it! For those who cannot get enough of that sacred period (and there's a lot), you will like this a ton.The keyboards are my favorite part of the record, they will please the Mark Kelly fan.

A good clone but quickly forgotten in my case.

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 Shattered Image  by TULIPE NOIRE, LA album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.54 | 58 ratings

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Shattered Image
La Tulipe Noire Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With Shattered image issued in 2000 La Tulipe Noire sounds more solid, the musicianship is more tighter then before, the sound and all is far better then their on previous work, but the influences here are more evident as before, the greek version of Marillion I might say, even the logo of the band is very Marillionesque. So, musicaly speaking this is more then ok, some passages are truly great. The voice of Ima fits perfectly into this neo prog atmosphere, having some spectacular moments on some pieces. The instrumental section aswell great, no complains from me, fine parts who remind me lot of Marillion, Jadis or IQ, not original but good. Best pieces to my ears are Shattered Ego, Through The Snake's Eyes and A Scent Of Spring, the rest are also good. This is solid neo prog album, that might please enough fans of the genre, even originality lacks here I can easy give 4 stars, the guitar and keyboards are really awesome. Fine cover art.

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