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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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Alors Joue !Alors Joue !
Import
Arts En Avant
Audio CD$22.99
EpitapheEpitaphe
Double CD · Limited Edition · Import
Arts En Avant
Audio CD$36.99


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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)

3.54 | 11 ratings
Gens de la Lune
2009
3.41 | 9 ratings
Alors Joue!
2011
4.22 | 9 ratings
Epitaphe
2014

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GENS DE LA LUNE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Gens de la Lune by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 11 ratings

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Gens de la Lune
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

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.

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 Alors Joue! by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 9 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.

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 Alors Joue! by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 9 ratings

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Alors Joue!
Gens de la Lune Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

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.

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 Gens de la Lune by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.54 | 11 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

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 Alors Joue! by GENS DE LA LUNE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.41 | 9 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.

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