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SENSE

Crossover Prog • Canada


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Sense biography
SENSE is the "prog music" band of the French-Canadian artists François BÉRUBÉ and Stéphane DESBIENS. This band gets his own style between pop folk vocal music and a fusion of hard soul agressive rock. The prominent acoustic guitar immediately sets them apart from most current prog bands, bringing to mind HARMONIUM and the other great 1970's French-Canadian bands. The English-language vocals are up front in the mix, and the occasional harmony vocals can sound like STARCASTLE's or AMERICA's. Guests on Irish flute, recorder, and violin add distinctiveness to the band's style. Ready for a new musical experience?

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SENSE discography


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

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

3.13 | 11 ratings
Madness
2002
3.75 | 25 ratings
Out of Range
2004
3.80 | 11 ratings
Stone In The Sky
2005
3.63 | 22 ratings
Going Home
2007

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

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SENSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Madness by SENSE album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.13 | 11 ratings

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Madness
Sense Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A young and promising Canadian Progressive/Art Rock band,haling from the Quebec territory.Sense were found in 2001 by multi-instrumentalist Stephane Desbiens and singer/guitarist Francois Berube.Along with flutist Sylvain Laberge and drummer Sylvain Berube they completed the original line-up.The next year, and with the help of some guest musicians, the band released its debut ''Madness'',released on Ipso Facto.

Their style contains evident Neo Prog elements with sporadic metal and folk touches but definitely with a strong YES influences,from the vocal lines to the elaborate arrangements.There are plenty of acoustic passages to be found and multi-vocal choirs to make this influence even more evident.While their sound is quite accesible,Sense throw in often passages clearly having a tension towards Folk,Space Rock and Classical Music,reminding at times Aussie progsters UNITOPIA.The tracks follow mainly a slow tempo,split between heavy vocal orientations with strong piano/synth/acoustic work and fair amounts of melody and more intricate musicianship with complex guitars and heavy breaks.Flutes pop out here and there to add a pastoral edge to an overall modern production.This mix of different and unrelated elements seems to work eventually quite good,as the composing skills of the Desbiens/Berube duo is on a efficient level.

''Madness'' is a very nice work,easily accesible to fans of modern Progressive Rock with a variety of influences but always leaning towards the less complicated side of prog.Recommended,especially if you like YES.

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 Stone In The Sky by SENSE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.80 | 11 ratings

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Stone In The Sky
Sense Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Kind of an unusual setup with this album although not unprecidented with the combination of live and studio tracks all on one album.The vocalist and guitarist from this band guested on ERE G's excellent album, and yes both bands are from Quebec.The first two songs are studio tracks while the last five are live. I must admit that after a few listenes I didn't think i'd be giving this 4 stars, but it has won me over.

"Stone In The Sky" features these smooth vocals with acoustic guitar and strummed guitar coming and going. Beautiful stuff. "Pirates" opens with mellotron,a beat and acoustic guitar as the vocals join in. It does get fuller on the chorus. Nice guitar and bass section after 3 minutes as it turns heavier. Mellotron too.The tempo picks up with vocals after 4 1/2 minutes. The rest of these songs are live.

"Out Of Range" opens with synths, chunky bass, drums and more. It does settle with vocals around a minute.The bass is huge on this one. A calm after 3 minutes but not for long. It's heavier with guitar 4 1/2 minutes in then back to the original soundscape after 7 minutes.The guitar starts to solo after 9 1/2 minutes. "Mood For A Day" is a YES cover.This instrumental track consists of bass and intricate guitar. Great sound. "Shadows Of Ignorance" opens with flute and when it stops before 1 1/2 minutes we get a big applause from the crowd. Strummed guitar and more flute takes over in this Celtic flavoured track. And while i'm not big on Celtic music it's hard not to like it because you can feel the joy from both the band and the audience.Vocals 4 1/2 minutes in. I can just imagine people in the audience having the time of their lives and dancing to this one. "I Know What I Like" is a GENESIS cover and while it a pales to the original I love it.The bass is prominant once again. "You And I" features upfront guitar and bass as the vocals join in. Great sound here. It's laid back but fairly heavy.

A very enjoyable album from a band who obviously loves what they do.

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 Out of Range by SENSE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.75 | 25 ratings

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Out of Range
Sense Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Sense is a serious enterprise that goes way beyond the norm, creating evocative and highly inspired progressive rock with loads of acoustic instrumentation like violins and reeds blended with passionately fragile vocals from Frank Bérubé and marshaled with the multi- instrumental prowess of the incredible Stéphane Desbiens (whose own the D Project has drawn rave reviews). Desbiens shiningly handles electric guitars, the legendary Rickenbacker bass, the hallowed mellotron as well as copious amounts of backing vocals with class and dexterity. The band come from that ongoing hot-bed of progressive rock, the province of Québec, a storied time and place for a strong platform to fame for so many prog bands in the glory days (Gentle Giant, Genesis, Supertramp, Yes) . The 2 long pieces are outstanding journeys into the diversely contrasting and exhilarantly euphoric , as both the incredible "Out of "Range/Out of Line" and the palpitating "Nothing Left For You" -with a nifty solo from Echolyn's Brett Kull- are spellbinding slices of imaginative prog , while shorter beauties like "Nightmare" feature stellar guest work such as Fred Schendel's rampaging Hammond B3 organ, he of Glass Hammer repute. The longer epics are liberally sprayed with timely orchestrations (strings as well as Irish low and tin whistles- lots of Irish in French Canada!) as well as various hair-raising axe solos . The final 2 briefer tracks are also appealing, the Gaelic lilt of "Shadows of Ignorance" is pure bliss, very "Irlandais" while "Election Day" is a nasty little diatribe against politicians "Real clowns will make you happy, the others will make you cry. Real clowns know dignity, the others know how to lie" Take that all you liberal bloquists, republican democrats and assorted other prancing buffoons! "Is justice just a concept" no just a prog saga to rail to! This is a most pleasing recording that fully deserves a wider audience, there is little here to dislike, influences range the entire prog gamut, from all the classic bands combined into an interesting and original package.

4.5 fleurs de lys

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 Going Home by SENSE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.63 | 22 ratings

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Going Home
Sense Crossover Prog

Review by Thierry

3 stars Sense is a Quebec band created by François Bérubé and Stéphane Desbiens. Yes they are from Quebec but the prominent guitar immediately sets them apart from Harmonium and the other great 1970's French-Canadian bands. And the English lyrics too. In fact the general tone rather sounds like Yes with some Genesis and folk touches. The traditional line up indeed includes flutes. I forget Mr Andrew Marshall (of Willowglass fame) on keyboards also giving density to their compositions and arrangements. This is their fourth record since 2002. Everything is not perfect here yet: the vocals are a bit clumsy sometimes. But the general atmosphere is ambitious and the labyrinthine music captivating. To be widely supported.

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 Going Home by SENSE album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.63 | 22 ratings

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Going Home
Sense Crossover Prog

Review by manticornio

4 stars For me, discovering band SENSE was a very pleasant experience. Going Home is the best album by this band till now, one that is melodically strong, blending with great taste symphonic prog ala YES with some GENTLE GIANT complexities, CROSBY STILLS & NASH folk vocal harmonies, some FOCUS flute tunes, and one or two frippertronics. Give them a chance, just because they haven't an important label to promote their music doesn't mean they don't deserve best luck.

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 Out of Range by SENSE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.75 | 25 ratings

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Out of Range
Sense Crossover Prog

Review by pgendre

4 stars It's a great second album for this canadian band, very solid with some beautiful melody and the musical performance is very impressive. A must for all who want discover a original prog band.

Pete

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