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Skeem - Skeem CD (album) cover





3.79 | 66 ratings

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3 stars This French project was an idea of guitarist/keyboardist/singer Serge Barbaro, who had composed some good amount of music by late-90's and eventually he found Mark Eaton, who's lyrics dressed Barbaro's compositions.The execution of these pieces would become true a few years later, when Barbaro formed Skeem with keyboardists Berny Barbaro and Fabrice Rives and bringing over the solid rhythm section of Priam, drummer Emma M. and bassist Bertrand Hulin-Bertaud.The album was recorded in Serge Barbaro's hometown, Toulouse, and it was picked up for release and distribution by Musea Records.

Skeem played a rich, melodic and often bombastic Neo Prog akin to CLEPSYDRA, IQ and JADIS, where emotions meet grandieur, music that passes through angular keyboard acrobatics to laid-back atmospheres and from expressive singing to powerful grooves.Most of the tracks feature accesible structures, big symphonic keyboards and a style drawing inspirations from the 80's British Prog movement.The marching bass lines is very close to IQ's Tim Esau, but the music is certainly less keyboard-driven despite the presence of three keyboard players.As Serge Barbaro was primarly a guitar player and all compositions are credited to him, the album appears to be nicely balanced between his interesting guitar work (sharp lead parts, strong soloing and heavier riffs) and the sometimes pompous keyboard themes, including monster solo fanfares and even huge, orchestral washes.However the result is very unoriginal and at moments pretentious with Barbaro's accented vocals being of an acquired taste.All tracks are long, easy-flowing and well-structured, despite the minimal doses of strong risks, with some very good melodies and waves of positive energy.A couple of more sensitive and relaxed pieces are thrown in for good measure, featuring more emotional vocal performances and some quite dreamy CLEPSYDRA-like keyboard lines.

This is very good Neo Prog, following the lines of the pioneer British acts of the style.Passionate singing, semi-symphonic keyboards and varied guitar work.Although struggling to come up with a sound of its own, ''Skeem'' is still an album which will be loved by fans of the genre.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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