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GENS DE LA LUNE

Symphonic Prog • France


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Gens de la Lune biography
Gens de la Lune is the new French symphonic prog group headlined by the eccentricities of Francis Decamps who is infamous for his keyboards and vocal prowess with prog legends Ange. Decamps composed the infamous tracks on Ange's 25 albums from 1969 to 1995. Ange performed thousands of concerts over the years and enjoyed the success of 6 gold albums during their existence. Gens de la Lune continues the trend that Ange is known for; a solid keyboard focus, with surreal lyrics, odd time signatures, and an eccentric stage presence.

Decamps is the driving force of this new group, he has worn strange kabuki makeup in the same way that Peter Gabriel fronted the Genesis of the early 70s with makeup. It is a scary visage that conjures up the pale corpse look of Gabriel or Fish from Marillion. Indeed the sound is akin to the Genesis style, bombastic instrumentation with story teller vocals conjuring up a wide variety of surreal imagery.

The name Gens de la Lune refers to a village legend, Champey, based near Héricourt, in France's Haute-Saône. Legend tells the story of how the villagers in this town believed they saw their village set alight on a night where the full moon loomed, hence the title.

Decamps is vocalist and keyboardist for the group, but is joined by Jean Phillipe Suzan, lead vocalist, who is accompanied by the talented electric guitarist, replacing Damien Chopard, Claude Demet, who enhances the music with dextrous solos and heavy distortion in places. The rhythm machine of bassist Farid Boubrit and percussionist Cédric Mells completes the lineup. Mells replaces Gerard Jelsch in the latest lineup and album.

Francis Decamps has been awarded the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros for his involvement in music as composer and keyboardist. The new project Gens de la Lune have released some albums to mixed success and reviews, but they are well known in their home country and continue to draw large crowds, often being part of a lineup of prog bands at French festivals such as Crescendo. One festival titled Genesis France featured the band alongside the likes of Steve Hackett, The Watch and Unifaun.

The self titled debut was released in 2009 and a new release in 2011 "Alors Joue!" features some of the material that have made them legends and concert favourites in France. The French sung songs on the new album are replete with lengthy keyboard and guitar breaks that sound decidedly like the classic 70s progressive genre....
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EpitapheEpitaphe
Double CD · Limited Edition · Import
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$136.54 (used)
Epitaphe by GENS DE LA LUNEEpitaphe by GENS DE LA LUNE
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GENS DE LA LUNE discography


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GENS DE LA LUNE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.65 | 15 ratings
Gens de la Lune
2009
3.62 | 13 ratings
Alors Joue!
2011
4.44 | 16 ratings
Epitaphe
2014

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GENS DE LA LUNE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Epitaphe by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2014
4.44 | 16 ratings

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Epitaphe
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

5 stars When I listened to the first minute of the first track, Brilliant Embryo, I told myself: man, this is gonna be something big. Whoever did this must have a lot of music in the brain. Indeed, the whole album is a wonder. Decamps is simply at his best. Already in his 60's and still creating such impressive collection of themes. Some say this is music from the seventies, but they forget that the 70's is Mother Nature for the music. It is simply eternal, and whoever can write a 70's worth piece of music, he/she automatically earns a place in the Olympo. It does not matter if Decamps already began in the 70's, very few of the old days heroes can write today as in the old days: the 70's are everywhere in the air for those loving music to enjoy anytime, to the end of the days. These Olympic themes make you feel bad at the time of scoring, because one reminds the wasted 3's and 4's that probably were not more than 2 had you compared to them. These needed a 6 to be fair with them. Too late. Everybody's sin. Judging from the score to this band, it is evident that contemporary prog listeners have a strong bias, and I adventure to say that it is mainly an age bias. Symphonic prog (including Canterbury, Italian, and may be other subclasses) are the root of it all. Prog means creation, not just variation. Any guitar riff is variation, but it is nothing without creativity. And although the term symphonic may be a bad choice as it confounds young people who sets back or take it aside -you know, "that's my father's old stuff"- . A day soon will come, my son, when the speedy prog you devour will get boring to you in your not that fresh neurons, simply because it repeats the same patterns and your hungry brain always needs new stuff. And as it happened to all of us who are not that young anymore, you'll start listening "slower" bands, attracted because... they are much more complex!. That's it. And then, wonders of music as the production by Francis Decamps with Gens De La Lune will suddenly become an astonishing discovery and a favorite of you. It'll come, my son.

 Alors Joue! by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 13 ratings

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Alors Joue!
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

5 stars With an entirely different lineup than in the return of keyboardist/composer Francis Decamps to the first line of symphonic prog, the new album by the people of the moon is a breath of fresh air coming directly from the golden years. It is curious how Decamps music has evolved. It was not particularly original in the first three albums of Ange's original band, but they survived with the theatrical and French lyrics well packed for their legion of followers and fans in France. That gave him/them time to mature, and yes, he opened the jar of essences in the next two albums. Then, the band declined as most other prog bands in the 80's, and when he returned after some years looking at the moon, contrary to expectations, the music is pure early 70's, better than it ever was. But this is no bad, you young friends. This was the climax for the music of all times, the Olympo was made for them. That means a slow path to perfection. This album has no lows. From start to end you'll get a long chain of beautiful tunes, subtle at moments (Hypocrite et Comedian), energetic when needed, multilayered or simple pieces, epic or unpretentious moments, superb keyboards almost anywhere, what else can I say. This is a masterpiece. Uh guys, what are you expecting?. Does contemporary djent or prog-metal give you anything better? Or is it that you are not ready to swallow that much musical complexity, variety and beauty? Cultivate yourself a little. All you have to do is listen to this album three or four times in a row, and your brain will disengage of heaviers and rocker., It's going to happen anyway, you can't stop it, so why don't you start here and now? This album is a delicatessen. I'm sure that Gabriel, Banks, Fripp, Emerson, Howe, Wakeman, Latimer, Sinclair and company are envious and furious for not being able to do something even close to this nowadays, while their former frenchy fan of 40 years ago has now passed them at speed of light. Take my word. Thanks Monsieur Decamps! Don't ever die, please.
 Gens de la Lune by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.65 | 15 ratings

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Gens de la Lune
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

4 stars Happy return this by Francis Decamps, the leader and composer of French band ANGE. It seems he couldn't stop making music, and here he is. One notes the difference between Ange's lineup with and without Francis. Indeed, the music was in this brilliant musical mind (though there are some nice works in the left- overs of the original, as well). This is an album that takes 2-3 rounds to grasp the richness of the composition. Decamps makes it more subtle, but more compact too, there may be fewer ideas but they are better exploited and wrapped with arrangements. Except for tracks 4 and the closing 10, all others have a solid content as a good plate of beans with chorizo, nothing you dream on eating when heading home for lunch but that you would not change for anything else when you start. Every spoonful looks the same, but each gives you something different: it is the only one that counts, because you are enjoying it!. That is this album like. Got it?
 Gens de la Lune by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.65 | 15 ratings

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Gens de la Lune
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After a decade or so leaving Ange, their long-time keyboardist Francis Décamps was again infected by the prog virus and decided to form Gens De La Lune in mid-00's, after meeting with singer Jean-Philippe Suzan.Named after a myth linked to a village near Hericourt, which was set alight a night with fullmoon, the band included also original Ange drummer Gerard Jelsch, James Kaas on bass and Damien Chopard on guitar.In 2008 they make their first live appearance and the following year their eponymous debut was released independently.It features the presence of Motis' Emmanuel Tissot and Florent Tissot on mandolin and flute respectively, Eric Murat offers vocals in two tracks and Christian Girardot appears on bagpipes in the opening piece.

With ''Gens de la lune'' you can admit that the modern French Prog scene is alive and kickin'.The album is a Neo/symphonic tour-de-force of bombastic keyboard parts, melodic tendencies, impressive atmospheres and French lyricism, having evident links to the legendary sound of ANGE, albeit the modern flavor is all over the place.The singing is extremely theatrical, the keyboards are inspired by the vintage stylings of the 70's and the songs' structure contain elements of Folk Music, Singer/Songwriter echoes, Heavy Rock and Symphonic Rock with the later being the driving style.There is no evidence of Decamps getting stuck in the 70's, although the organ and sampled Mellotron/strings' parts are omnipresent, some tracks even contain some multi-layered synthesizers, while the familiar ANGE attitude of passing through acoustic lines and poetic textures is still present.The music becomes often quite grandiose, based on the great orchestral keyboard intros, while the guitar work is very diverse, offering both nice solos and angular riffs.Very flexible material with theatrical branches, which is sure to become a real pleasure to watch on stage.

Nice comeback by this talented French keyboardist and his new ensemble.Poetic, French-flavored Symphonic Rock with efficient keyboard and guitar parts.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 Alors Joue! by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 13 ratings

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Alors Joue!
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Gens de la Lune is a french prog band formed around 2008 by already famous ex Ange member Francis Decaps. They release two albums so far , the new one named Epitaphe is in making or will be released soon. Alors joue aka Then play in english released in 2011 in digipak format with nice artwork and overall package is a more then decent effort from this band. The music is as I expected a continuation of Ange sound, with thetrical aproach both in vocal lines as in music but as a comparation the overall attitude and manner of composing is less elastic and joyful as on Versailles music (another one of the top french prog bands from the'90). There is some powerfull instrumental sections here with nice duels between musicians that sounds quite vintage in aproach, definetly I can say that this album sounds like in late '70 only the production and crystal clear sound betrays the year of release. Gens de la Lune provides something between symphonic prog neo prog and some aheavy prog elelemnts thrown in, pieces like Hypocrite et Comedien or Le Meilleur de la Fin proves that this band needs attention, quite unkown outside France and even there is little known. The vocal parts are theatrical and goes very well in this context with a darker aproach most of the time. All in all I like what I've heared here, I know aswell their debut and for sure I'll check the one who will be relesed soon. 3.5 stars for Alors joue.

 Alors Joue! by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 13 ratings

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Alors Joue!
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This 2011 album is the second release from the band put together by Francis Décamps (ex- Ange), and there is a huge difference between this and the solo album which followed the following year, as Francis should have stuck to his convictions and instead of going back over very old ground should instead have concentrated on the new material as this is a interesting piece of work. As with his other work, all of the vocals are in French, but it isn't nearly as big an issue here as the music is just so powerful. This is classic 70's symphonic progressive rock with strong keyboards and guitars. The large use of extended mellotron chords does mean that this could well have been released 40 or 40 years ago and it wouldn't have sounded out of place, so if Francis was attempting to recreate music from days gone by then he has definitely achieved it.

The vocals are still an issue for me, and provide a harsher edge which definitely gives them an edge, which is just too raw for my liking, and the production isn't nearly as polished as it could be and the result is something that could well have been recorded live in the studio and it would have benefited from some additional finesse. But, if I had to choose between this and the later solo album then this would win everytime.

 Gens de la Lune by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.65 | 15 ratings

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Gens de la Lune
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars Voila, I like this !!

This French band was formed by Francis Decamps. A legend from Ange and his own solo career. A legend with several classic, genre defining albums under his belt. It seems like Gens De La Lune is the new outlet for his ideas and music. This is the debut album from this band.

I am only familiar with Francis Decamps first album and the first Ange albums. Gens De La Lune is operating in the same landscape as both acts. Theatrical songs based symphonic prog in the French folk music tradition. Don't expect any long solo runs on keyboards, moog or mellotrons here. There is none, in fact. Instead, this album serves up some great melodies and a great sound which will bring tears of joy to fans of Francis Decamps and Ange. Including my now watering eyes.

The musicianship is first class. The same can be said about Francis Decamps vocals. He has lost nothing during the last...... gosh !!! .......... 40 years. How does he do that ? Please email me the GPS coordinates for the fountain of youth he is drinking from, please. Me too will have a drink.

The music is dominated by keyboards and guitars in equal measures. But most of all; by Francis Decamps excellent vocals.

The opening song C'no Peran has some incredible bagpipes too. Yes, bagpipes is actually a French instrument too. From Bretagne, if I am not mistaken. And the Basque area in Spain too, I hasten to add before I offend someone. C'no Peran is actually not the best song here. Satanas is an excellent pastoral, folk rock inspired hypnotic song with Francis Decamps excellent vocals and keyboards. That's the best song here by far. But the standard of the songs here is frightening high.

In short, this is a great symphonic prog album in the best French tradition. Add their two albums to your collection of Mona Lisa, Atoll, Oniris, Magnesis, Francis Decamps and Ange albums. The band Gens De La Lune can now be added to this list too. Voila !!!!!!!!!

4 stars

 Alors Joue! by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.62 | 13 ratings

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Alors Joue!
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Eccentric and excessive prog with a French twist

Gens de la Lune have blasted onto the French prog scene following in the enormous footsteps of legends Ange, who are arguably the Eiffel Tower of French prog. Indeed Ange members have helped to make up the band's lineup so it is not surprising that the sound is decidedly similar. This followup to 2009's self titled debut is rich in prog textures and features some of the complex and organic music that have made the band key guest artists in prog festivals and celebrations, alongside the likes of Steve Hackett and The Watch. Francis Decamps on keyboards and vocals is as eccentric as ever and he is well supported by the talented vocalist Jean Phillipe Suzan. The vocal performances are in French and remind me of Ange obviously but also the style of Harmonium or Bacamarte. The powerful instrumental sections are the accomplished work of bassist Farid Boubrit and percussionist Cédric Mells, with some heavy guitar riffs driven home by Damien Chopard. The sound may be mistaken for a French version of Genesis in the early Gabriel era, but the band remain true to their own style even if they are clearly influenced by early Genesis.

The songs range from extreme Genesis sound alikes to just plain weird. The time sigs are off the scale at times and it is always adventurous taking on a myriad of genres from Symphonic to Neo. Even the wild Francis Decamps represents Fish in his stage makeup. There is a dark element to the music focussing on ethereal atmospheres, spacey effects, and heavy staccato Hammond style organ blasts that are counter balanced with tranquil acoustics and sustained keyboard pads.

The raucous No Comment is a case in point, with no holds barred choppy time sigs that blend well with the moderate verses, that slow things down until the next instrumental break. Pianoforte has a very heavy guitar driven feel, with forceful vocals. I have no idea what the song is about but it sounds dark and aggressive.

The title track begins with a soundscape of Genesis sounding keyboard strokes and layered instrumentation. The track encapsulates the majestic bombastic style of the band. There are many time changes and surprises along the way, but from the outset this track typifies the exuberance and unbridled progressive angle of the band. Some of the riffs on this track are stunning, and it powers along with some soloing on bass and drums, joined later by 80s sounding keyboard tones and a killer guitar break.

The acoustics are prevalent on Hypocrite et Comedien, and there are some French style wind instruments that remind me of Paris. There is romance in the music and the well executed harmonies augment this atmosphere. The beauty in the vocal performance is a key feature on this track.

Le Meilleur de la Fin is terrific with excessive ELP style organ and rather heavy guitar riffs. It has a multi layered vocal harmony in the verses that is complex and uplifting. The song takes on detours in many directions and ends up somewhere on another melody, but it all hangs together by the enthusiasm of the band.

Overall this album is a delicious slice of symphonic prog with virtuoso performances all round. It is uncompromised in its French content but totally accessible to the prog connoisseur. I can recommend yet another band from France; despite the language barrier, the music is an enthralling adventure. The songs range from extreme Genesis sound alikes to just plain weird. The time sigs are off the scale at times and it is always adventurous taking on a myriad of genres from Symphonic to Neo. Even the wild Francis Decamps represents Fish in his stage makeup. There is a dark element to the music focussing on ethereal atmospheres, spacey effects, and heavy staccato Hammond style organ blasts that are counter balanced with tranquil acoustics and sustained keyboard pads.

Thanks to atomiccrimsonrush for the artist addition.

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