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Children in Paradise biography
French band CHILDREN IN PARADISE was born from an idea concieved by front woman Kathy Millot (aka Dam Kat) in 2007. Guitarist Gwalchmei Hengrist joined the project immediately, while Loc Blejean (Uilleann pipes, whistles) joins in 2008 alongside Hilaire Rama (bass) and Pat O May (guitars), the latter appearing as a guest musician when they record their debut album later on. Patrick Boileau (drums) joined in 2009, completing the initial version of the band. When they hit the recording studio in 2011, Philip Turbin (keyboards) temporarily joined for these sessions.

Children In Paradise's debut album "Esyllt" was released at the start of 2012, and album and band both were given a favourable reception worldwide. For the live performance of the album some line-up alterations was in store, with Jean Marc Illien (keyboards) and Stéphane Rama (bass) replacing studio keyboardist Turbin and initial bassist Hilaire Rama respectively. Kathy Mellot is currently working on a follow-up album, tentatively planned for a 2014 release.

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4.42 | 25 ratings
3.96 | 12 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Morrigan by CHILDREN IN PARADISE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 12 ratings

Children in Paradise Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars I was first drawn in by the spectacular artwork, as the front cover is simply out of this world. Within a minute of hearing the song "Alone" by Children of Paradise, I was hooked, lined and snared. A trebly bass grumble, tingling and later sizzling guitars, a seductive female voice (Kat Millot) and an extraordinary groove got me real good. The music here represents the follow up to the trilogy to the Celtic myths and legends that began with their debut album Esyllt (2012). Inspired in part by the ancient Celtic legends of Ireland of the 11th century, focused particularly on the fabled "Táin Bó Cúailnge", Morrigan is an invitation to travel the darkest roads of Ireland, on the heels of the hero Cu Chulainn and the warrior goddess Morrigan, a clever concoction of atmospheric rock blended with prog tinged with some metal, somewhere between dreams and nightmares, thoroughly infused with Celtic nuances. Their website says it best: "Children in Paradise invites you to travel to the Sidh, the other Celtic world, somewhere beyond the horizon of the sea, in these beautiful islands, deep of peace, harmony and purity. The music of Children in Paradise is a mix of many influences, sounds inspired by Pink Floyd, Anathema and a study of atmospheric environments and the power of sacred music, like proggier and edgier Dead Can Dance... With a rare finesse in the arrangements, the voice of Dam Kat, so fresh and full of emotions occasionally remind Kate Bush or Beth Gibbons of Portishead."

As detailed earlier, one of the finest opening tracks ever comes in the form of "Alone", a sparkling display of shimmering prog-rock, buoyed by a curmudgeon-like bass rasp that scratches and claws like some raptor in heat. Dam Kat unleashes the Gibbons plea with great effect, hushed and choking with emotion. Guitarist Avec Gwalchmei slams his axe with frenzied zeal, tortured and pained. This is one hell of a keeper. As if to further the distressed mood, the dense melancholia is maintained on the plaintive and dejected "I Wait", featuring a tremendous vocal performance that will surely astound even the harshest critic, a desperate wail that envelops like a warm blanket of psychedelic comfort. A tremendous follow-up track.

On the devastatingly impeccable "I'm Falling", the group introduces for the very first time on a prog recording an ancient instrument that the Celtic warriors used on the field of battle, the carnyx, here played by John Kerry. It sounds like the ram's horn used by Jews to announce the end of Passover but deeper and angrier. Kat offers a dramatic tone, creating quite the wraith-like impression but the band like to rock as well with fat bass punching hardy drum beats and a wild guitar ride. This is absolutely first rate progressive whichever way you look at it. Soft and then ballsy, eerie and then corporeal.

The ethereal and at times spooky "Intro I Will Follow You" is an outright jaw-dropping, visceral, pulsating and tortuous lament that stretches far and wide, shrouded in a densely Gothic mist, a million shades of grey, murky and instinctual. The instrumental grandiloquence features the right amount of propulsion and a wide array of atmospherics that soothe and bite. When I start laughing nervously half way through the piece, that is really good news, its means I am getting blown away, once again, a feeling that never gets old or boring. This is a masterpiece of music, period.

After 4 majestically slayer tracks , the pace slows down and veers into softer realms , as perfectly emoted on the powdery 3 part title track suite , first a swooshing but warm breeze, Dam Kat laying down again her best Beth Gibbons impression, no mean feat as the Portishead lung had some blistering moments in a too short of a career. The martial drums announce a rockier riff that blazes forward, the guitarist is simply world class, very stylish and original, using both traditional as well as prog-rock traditions and blending them into something wholly different. The third section "the Nightmare" propels the atmospherics into a bruising lamentation, bombarded by a rock drum attack from Frédéric Moreau, shoving Dam Kat's pleading cry to surreal heights. As the title so correctly implies, things get quite terrifying.

A trio of great tunes finishes off this thrilling opus, the rotund "Stay" in particular, solidifying the moody experience with all the usual suspects, laden with sombre strings, a wide percussive beat and judicious use of Uillean pipes and low whistle, courtesy of guest Loic Blejean. A slicing guitar solo does the piece even more justice. Next up, "In My Mind" at first maintains the ominous dread that permeates all the tracks but evolves into a blistering attack, moodily bombastic and heavily orchestrated, confirming Dam Kat as quite the prog vocalist (her wailing is superb) and Avec Gwalchmei as a stylistically effective fret-man. More Irish pipes add to the shrouded fury. Finally, "He's Dying" finishes off with a spellbinding eulogy, infusing more Celtic influence and lovingly encapsulates the dazzling and yet mournful voice, a pulsing funeral beat and woven atmospherics from both guitars and keyboards.

I started this review about the exquisite cover art that would easily win any contest in terms of visual appreciation, yes it's simply breathtaking and much like identifies with the music presented here. Technically, the final part of the trilogy is being prepared as we speak and I frankly look very much forward to chasing down that, as well as their debut album.

4.5 Divine infants

 Morrigan by CHILDREN IN PARADISE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.96 | 12 ratings

Children in Paradise Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Wonderfully dramatic, melodic Goth prog from Bretagne, France. The spooky yet sultry and ethereal vocals of singer- songwriter-co-producer "Dam Kat" are sublime and fascinating--even transporting. The Celtic-tinged musics and lyrics are hypnotic. I'm drawing a blank as to comparisons. SOUIXIE AND THE BANSHEES, SCARLET STORIES, FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM all come to mind and yet none of them are right.

Morrigan is Children of Paradise's second album and second in a trilogy of albums focused on "Celtic Myths and Legends." The music is never complex but the mood set is always deeply engaging--especially the trap that is the album's first four songs. The "I Will Follow You" (7/10) suite is the album's weak spot--though the opening "Intro" (5:09) is awesome. When the band/music lets go of the dark, gloomy, bass-dominated styles it seems to lose its magical power. 8."Stay" (5:00) (8/10) is pure SARAH MACLACHLAN. 9. "In My Mind" (5:48) (8/10) could have come from a CORVUS STONE album and notes a return to the heavier rock style that is Children of Paradise's strength. 10. "He's Dying" (4:02) sees a return to a SARAH MACLACHLAN style--especially in the vocal. The music is by-the-numbers rock drama. The presence of harp and pipes improves and expands its appeal--as does the heavier second half and eerie finale (8/10).

Album highlights: its first four songs: "Alone" (5:36) with its awesome rolling bass line, guitar harmonics play, and stunning vocal (10/10); the mesmerizing "I Wait" (4:10) with the album's best guitar and drum play (9/10); "I'm Falling" (5:01) with its awesome special effects (horn) and animal-like growl-vocals (9/10), and; the "Intro" (5:09) to the I Will Follow You suite with Dam Kat's most delicate and ethereal vocal (9/10).

My main complaint with this album is with the poor quality keyboard contributing such a large portion of the band's low end and strings--which makes the music sound dated a lot--like 1980s THE CURE. Strengths: Dam Kat's vocals, the guitar and bass sounds, the gloomy music to match the songs' mysterious subject matter.

 Esyllt by CHILDREN IN PARADISE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.42 | 25 ratings

Children in Paradise Crossover Prog

Review by Mind_Drive

5 stars Prepare for the most unique listening experience since the discovery of "highlander psychedelic ambient blues folk rock"!

This is the perfect example of a band pushing the boundaries of music through the unthinkable mixture of different styles, creating very exceptional and highly enjoyable soundscapes.

This extraordinary creation takes you on an emotional ride through lush ambience, dramatical climaxes and bittersweet melancholy.

With old middle-european legends as theme and the spare but extremely efficient use of the Uilleann pipes you litteraly feel like standing in the foggy highlands, wet grass under your feet - listening to a mothers sorrow or witnessing a raid of a little village in this dark and mystical times.

The only drop of bitterness (in terms of album-quality) is that i feel the second half of the disc to be just a little weaker then the first - as if it was meant to close less emotional, the most memorable moments for me are found in the earlier stages. but still:

For it´s uniqueness and originality, the lovely soothing voice of Dam Kat, the great guitar soli and the awesome use of Uillean pipes - what a powerful instrument! - i´ll give this debut 4.5 / 5 foggy tears of hope!

 Esyllt by CHILDREN IN PARADISE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.42 | 25 ratings

Children in Paradise Crossover Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I thought I'd try something different this time 'round: I feel like reviewing an album that is not new, but deserves your attention all the same. As my biography states, I run a page on Facebook called The PROG Mind. Well, I get all kinds of music sent to me there, and Dam Kat, the singer for a band named Children in Paradise, introduced me to her band's first album. I want to say right now---I'm ever so grateful.

Children in Paradise's debut album "Esyllt" was released in 2012, so it's not overly old. However, it's definitely one of those albums that flew under the radar. This French band has quite a style of progressive rock, infusing it with atmosphere, cinematic style, and Celtic flavor. If there's one thing that I'm a sucker for, it's Celtic elements in music. And Children in Paradise deliver on ALL fronts here. "Esyllt" is a wonderful work, full of gorgeous melodies, incredible ambiance, ethereal soundscapes, and an emotional connection that one will not find often.

I have to laugh as I look at the list of influences this band claims. Everything from Dead Can Dance and Pink Floyd to Howard Shore and Led Zeppelin is present, and I laugh because I love almost every band they mention! First and foremost, I can hear Pink Floyd and Dead Can Dance, but the mighty Tull and others are definitely present, as Children in Paradise display a dark, moody, folksy atmosphere in much of "Esyllt". However, it isn't dark in the creepy sense, but instead it's blackened with tears and depth of topic.

The band pulls all of this off with an array of instruments. First of all, Dam Kat's voice is the centerpiece. Her voice is a celestial palette of emotion and feeling, and you can almost hear her tears. She makes this album what it is, and I believe she has become one of my favorite female singers. Just as important, though, is Gwalchmei's guitars. This is where the Gilmour influence is evident, as he plays soaring, complex solos with ease. These guitars only add to the emotion present, and are easily one of my favorite parts of the album. Patrick on drums, Stephane on bass, Loic on pipes and whistles, and Jean on the keys all add their own touches to the mysterious music, from the folksy vibe added by the pipes to the pure beauty added by the keys. The band feels tightly knitted already, and no one is competing for showtime. This is a band with emotion and art as their goals.

But what about the album itself? "Esyllt" is a variety of legends and myths, from King Arthur to Tristan and Isolde. I love this sort of thing, and so I was excited to hear how the band would portray the stories. The band outdoes themselves in crafting music that just seems to fit. Right away, they give us the sad "Little Butterfly", the sacred "King Arthur's Death", and my favorite track, the supremely emotional and sorrowful "My Son". The heartache and the pain in the deaths of loved ones are only matched here by the sublime music and emotive guitars and pipes. Each and every track on "Esyllt" is a treat, from the haunting "The Battle" to the hopeful "I'm Alive". And, as the ethereal atmospheres swirl around you, you can't help but feel the spiritual and inspired nature of the music as a whole. It's truly a mesmerizing experience from beginning to end.

As of now, Children in Paradise are working on their second album, and I, for one, can't wait. I can't wait to experience the sounds and powerful ambiance again. This band has something truly special and truly unique here, and I can't get enough right now, either of the amazing vocals or the musical perfection. And, so, Children of Paradise, certainly influenced by many of my favorite bands, are certainly not caged by their influences. They, on their very first album, have created something new, beautiful, and unforgettable. This, my friends, is an album to own and share with those you love. I know I will.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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