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SHYLOCK

Symphonic Prog • France


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Shylock biography
With endless comparisons to King Crimson, Shylock remains one of the premier French symphonic bands. Other comparisons are made to Arachnoid and Pulsar. Darkness is the key here. Their influence can be felt in such bands as Xaal, Minimum Vital, Tiemko, and Änglagård.

1977's "Gialorgues" was recorded with the primary membership consisting of drummer André Fisichella, guitarist Frédéric l'Épée (who went on to play with Philharmonie), and keyboardist Didier Lustig. Bass player Serge Summa was added for the second album, 1978's "Ile di Fievres" (Fever Island).

Their outstanding moments are shown in their more lengthy compositions. However, virtuosic musicianship was never absent.

H.T. Riekels (bhikkhu)

Shylock official website

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Ile De FièvreIle De Fièvre
Import
Musea 1979
Audio CD$12.75
$10.89 (used)
GialorguesGialorgues
Musea 2003
Audio CD$150.64
$150.64 (used)
Welcome to IllusionWelcome to Illusion
Import
Mtm Music & Publish 2004
Audio CD$34.88
$19.99 (used)
DevotionDevotion
Import
PID 2009
Audio CD$51.98
$22.94 (used)
GialorguesGialorgues
Import
Musea 1975
Audio CD$15.83
$9.99 (used)
PyronizedPyronized
Import
Dark Matter Distribution 2006
Audio CD$29.99
$28.70 (used)
GialorguesGialorgues
Extra tracks · Import
Indies Japan/Zoom 2009
Audio CD$28.51
Ile De FievreIle De Fievre
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$33.82
$64.96 (used)
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SHYLOCK discography


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

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

3.66 | 52 ratings
Gialorgues
1977
3.65 | 60 ratings
Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)
1978

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SHYLOCK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.65 | 60 ratings

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Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars SHYLOCK "Ile of Fèvre" is a singular disk, because it mixes the progressive symphonic with a great jazz-rock dose and some quite experimental passages. Also presents several influences of bands with musical concepts many antagonistic styles, among the ones which King Crinsom (that is represented in the guitar passages and some very characteristic rhythms) Gentle Giant (for certain passages where there is a great prominence for the percussion, the case of the track 4 "Himogene") the already mentioned Jazz Rock in the vein of Return to Forever, as in the track 6 "Laocksetal", Symphonic Prog of Emerson Lake & Palmer as in the track 1 "Ile de fièvre." Due to this there is no monotony and in certain moments it doesn't seem to be the same band in all of the strips. è without trace of doubt a disk that deserve figurest in any collection of Progressive Rock! My rate is 4 stars !!!

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 Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.65 | 60 ratings

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Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars As with their first album, I like it and also as with the first album, I don't exactly know what I like about it. Maybe that's this ubiquitous feeling that surrounds Anekdoten, King Crimson and others. You know that it's something special, yet it's undefinable (like this Monolith in 2001 Space Odyssey), like somehow beyond this dimension (or you can say divine, if you believe). And as you can guess, I don't agree with Ken Levine's opinion, because not only this is one of these groups where it works (Ile de fievre starting in classical mood, then turning into symphonic solo and then both. Yes, in some way of understanding, everything here is solo, as this is one of these "more" prog bands, leaving conventional structures and patterns behind completely, in the end of the song, we can hear somewhat a climax, that results in general into fine, epic track). It is by a long way good album and shouldn't be missed, if you want to enjoy good, instrumental symphonic Prog).

4(-), little bit worse than its predecessor

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 Gialorgues  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.66 | 52 ratings

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Gialorgues
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars It's 77, year of one particular important petition in our country's history and in Prog ? Well, it's quite late, so these guys should better sound to make any major impact. You know, when you're not in the beginning of making something (Rock'n'Roll, Prog, PA), at least do it (if not so originally) with an acquired skill, experience, you've gathered over the years. Polished, perfected, enhanced. The best of your genre, right ? Well, Shylock is doing it well. I personally don't see much references (hear) to King Crimson, or similar "weirder" bands, maybe on second track, but especially 1st and 3rd (the longest) are symphonic a lot, pleasing, classical like (you know the stuff).

4(+), very good.

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 Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.65 | 60 ratings

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Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is SHYLOCK's second and final album. For me this is a definite upgrade over the debut, and they've added a bass player making them a four piece band. This is one of those albums that excites me just thinking about it. The drum work is incredible and the guitar is often Fripp-like and always impressive. I also like the synth and mellotron work. This is a classic.

"Ile De Fievre" is the longest track at 13 minutes and a song that many claim to be one of the best tracks ever recorded. It's that good. Light synths to open before it kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes with guitar and drums. Incredible sound ! This is contrasted for a while with the organ section that follows until 3 minutes in when the tempo picks up and drums and synths lead. It then settles with relaxed guitar after 7 minutes then kicks back in before 8 minutes with mellotron and guitar. Nice bass and drumming here too. Mini-Moog before 11 minutes as bass joins in.

"Le Sang Des Capucines" opens with sounds coming and going. No real melody until the guitar offers that around a minute in. It kicks in before 2 1/2 minutes. Love the drumming as it builds. "Choral" is a short mellotron dominated track. "Himogene" opens with a really good bass / drum display. It eventually turns funky with guitar. Great sound. "Lierre D'aujourd'hui" is dark and haunting with some incredible drumming. "Laocksetal" settles a minute in. Check out the drums and especially the guitar that follows. It kicks in after 3 1/2 minutes. Nice. Bass a minute later. It settles again this time with percussion after 6 1/2 minutes. Mellotron rolls in. Synths come in and they get noisy late. Piano, bass and drums stand out early on "Le Dernier". Guitar joins in. It settles 3 minutes in then starts to build. It settles again after 6 1/2 minutes in then builds again. Great sound.

I highly recommend this classic from France. A solid 4 stars.

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 Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.65 | 60 ratings

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Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Area70

4 stars If Italian progressive rock had slumped by the end of the 1970s, the French were definitely doing their part at the tail end of the decade. Shylock were similair to Italian bands in that they only left behind two albums worth of material, but they definitely did their part in saying a lot with a little.

This all-instrumental album is most likely classified as symphonic, as it carries many of the dark overtones of compatriots Arachnoid and Pulsar, but Shylock also feature a strong fusion angle, especially through the guitar.

In addition to the sharp guitar attack, another "fusiony" edge comes through in the jagged rhythms, which points in small part to Zappa early 70s work and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Another comparison would be Italy's Arti e Mestieri, although not nearly as melodic in their songwriting. The track "Himogene" also reminds me of the funkier, looser side of Goblin. The keyboards have the dark, brooding quality which fans of French prog would consider a staple. They have a rich, analog depth that sets a great stage for the rest of the band.

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 Gialorgues  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.66 | 52 ratings

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Gialorgues
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Disciplined French symphonic, both promising and frustrating

Shylock is one of French symphonic's little gems from the '70s that occupy their own little niche. They are often compared to King Crimson but I find them somewhere between the harshness of some Crimson works and the more romantic German symphonic of the time such are Novalis and Rousseau, and not quite as rich as either example. In terms of their own countrymen they are less acclaimed than Carpe Diem, less playful than Ange, less luscious than Pentacle, more powerful than Clearlight and Pulsar, and not as dark as Arachnoid.

According to their bio the band was born in the summer of '74 when keyboardist Didier Lustig and drummer Andre Fisichella left their Nice based cover band to do something original. It fell into place like a storybook tale. They saw an ad leading them to guitarist Frederic Lepee and one day after their first meeting they agreed to start a prog band, becoming instant friends and sharing musical ideals. They took summer holiday in the French alps to begin working on material. A local priest allowed them to practice in the little village church which is the one you see on their album cover. There they labored intensely in the truest spirit of progressive music and unbridled enthusiasm: each member throwing ideas forward frantically and democratically until the pieces began to take shape. After holiday and back at college they began to search for a bass player but they never found one and instead guitarist Frederic would handle bass duties. The band began to play live dates and the following summer recorded their debut in a mere 10 days. The original pressing sold about 3,000 copies but was very well received and instantly gave them a name on the French prog scene.

The album consists of two main pieces of 13 and 19 minutes with a short piece in the middle. Both main pieces alternate the melodic and flowing with occasional harsher, in some cases experimental passages (the latter particularly in the second long track which features strange percussions/sounds.) There are moments that are simply wonderful with nicely arranged melodic themes and in particular the guitar is my favorite, with some very intense riffs and fast picked progressions. I think the first track contains the best ideas. But while Shylock is an occasional spin for me they are not a favorite. I used a nice word in my opener calling them disciplined; another adjective could be "anal." This band is just a notch too tight for me. The drummer in particular sounds too often just overwound and this obsession with coloring within the lines runs through the others as well, never allowing me to get emotionally too involved. An example is between minutes 10-12 of the first track where some beautiful and nuanced guitar and piano are playing out.rather than laying back for a breather to give them some space he just plows ahead seemingly oblivious. Maybe I'm not sophisticated enough to follow his reasons but moments like this I'm ready to get the cane and start pulling from behind the curtain. Then in the second piece you get these juvenile, rather amateur sounding oddity noises and percussions sprinkled about that tell me they could have used more time crafting other bits from their repertoire which no doubt was larger than these three pieces by the time they recorded. Shylock's debut is not a disaster but nor is it a masterpiece. It has its moments of great interest but I would personally go for other French stuff first, the bands I mentioned above (except maybe Clearlight) are all more satisfying than Shylock. Oddly enough, I find the short, tacked-on bonus tracks almost more interesting than the original three tracks. They have the benefit of the band's experience being recorded after their game was essentially over, and feature only keys and guitar without drums. Without the frenzied sound of the early stuff, you can better hear and absorb some of the finer intricacies of their guitar/keyboard composition. 6/10

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 Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.65 | 60 ratings

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Ile de Fievres (Fever Island)
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

1 stars Given my distaste for the histrionics of many French symphonic progressive vocalists, one might expect that an instrumental album from that country might have a better chance to score with me. To boot, Shylock does not go for overly flambuoyant instrumentation or dramatics in the arrangements. The flipside to the coin is that I am not a big fan of instrumental prog either. Cutting my teeth on mid 70s FM rock radio, music without vocals was largely left to the jazz or classical kingdoms, unless you were doing something quite exceptional like Mike Oldfield or Rick Wakeman. To this day, I consider wholly instrumental prog, as a rule, to be the product of laziness, in composition, arrangement, band recruitment, vocal talent, and concept. It's an excuse to eschew the whole premise of a song, and therefore the whole rock idiom by and large. Of course there are exceptions, but Shylock is in no way one of them. I cannot grasp anything in here - it's just shapeless symphonic music, perhaps improvised but it matters not, because synergy does not seem to be a strong suit for Shylock, to add to their many shortcomings. Sure I hear some Frippisms but so what? King Crimson knew how to please die-hards and wannabes alike, at least some of the time. A miserly album that isn't worth a pound of anything.

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 Gialorgues  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.66 | 52 ratings

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Gialorgues
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars

With a dark cover and concise name SHYLOCK creeps into my ears. It's KING CRIMSON mixed with CLEARLIGHT and PULSAR (the best description I can give), and it's another classic from 70s. Pretty overlooked yet desent stuff - very well played and composed, all instrumental, with lush arrangements, unusual musical hints but never descending into avant stuff (which is so loved by French proggers). Highly recommended!

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 Gialorgues  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.66 | 52 ratings

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Gialorgues
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars They named the record after a mountain in France whose peak could be seen from St.Dalmas' Church (album cover). Perhaps KING CRIMSON is their greatest influence, and like Fripp the guitarist here used to sit on a stool during concerts. SHYLOCK are a three piece instrumental band from France. The original album featured three songs and it was about 36 minutes long. Apparently you cannot buy it that way anymore as 5 tracks have been added that were recorded some 5 years later without the drummer who had left by then. My evaluation(4 stars) is based on the original album tracks only. The extra 5 tracks were recorded either for soundtracks or library music and are dominated by the keyboards with no drums and little guitar. Hard to tell it's the same band actually.

I like the first song "Le Quatrieme" opening with light keys as guitar and drums come into play in a dramatic way. This contrast continues throughout the song and the guitar sounds great.

The next song "Le Sixieme" features more amazing guitar and drum work and is by far the shortest of the three original tracks. "Le Cinquieme" opens with percussion and various strange noises for two minutes until the guitar comes into play.This song is almost 19 minutes long and is all over the place.

For me this record was well worth buying for the first song alone and more specifically the memorable guitar work that is featured on it.

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 Gialorgues  by SHYLOCK album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.66 | 52 ratings

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Gialorgues
Shylock Symphonic Prog

Review by Rainer Rein

3 stars My personal fave of these two records of Shylock. Gialorgues one is maybe more dense compared to the mor "diffusive" Ile De Fiévre. And in my oppinion seems to be the best work of Frédéric L'Épée ever. Mellow epic jazzy progrock but not very original - three longish compositions as a whole band from original LP-recording and five bonus tracks as a duo (guitars+keyboards). My personal fave of the whole recording is Le Quatriéme and fave of these bonus tracks - Prélude a l`Eclipse. 3,5 stars really.

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