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Hecenia - La Couleur Du Feu CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.28 | 34 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars 2.5 stars really!!

At the darkest age for prog (the late 80's), came one French group that pulled a symphonic album (Légendes) that sounded completely caught in a weird time warp. Their second (and last) La Couleur Du Feu (The colour of fire) came out some 5 years later and symphonic prog was on the upswing, due to the Swedish trilogy AglaDotenBerk and other parts of the world picking up on the ashes that had been cooling away for well over a decade. Built upon the previous French group's ashes Elohim (even if the Trutet brothers would leave between the two albums), Hecenia represent a bit the phoenix rising from the ashes of the fire whose colours might just be the subject here. All of the tracks come with a subtitle, but there does not seem to be a concept behind this fully instrumental symphonic prog that borrows heavily in the classical music with some new age moments, such as La Roue Du Temps.

The first part of the album (that we could almost name side 1) is made of fairly short tracks (three of them around the 2-min limit) surrounding two longer ones. None of those short tracks are of much interest (often sounding like new age interludes) and even the 7-mins Empreinte D' Uranus (your anus's footprint ;-) is rather tame and aimless, while Dialogue H2O (also plagued with the era's keyboards sounds) is rather unappealing until Delphine's Harp comes in the track. But the harp's appearance actually takes away any kind of rock influences until the "church organ" comes back, bringing along the bass and drums. While the second part of the track is better, unfortunately I fail to really catch on.

The second part of the album is the 24-minJardin Ethernels (Ethernal Gardens) and unfortunately does not bring much more than the previous tracks had. Actually I sense that there is a strong pretension that sorts of reduces the enormous amount of labour of love invested in such a project to a bit of futile and pompous new age mental masturbation, without ever reaching the orgasm. Between Rondo Veniziano, Rieu and Vollenweider.

A valiant try, close but no cigar, this is the type of second-rate album that does not really bring much to the prog realm: ultra-symphonic new-agey prog that actually gives dredit to prog detractors, feeding their arguments. Not as bad as I make it out to be, but pointless and filled with irritating early-90's twists that makes it sound so dated (drums sound not excepted either). Unless you really have time and money for this, better stay away. I can only picture those that discovered this album upon the time of release liking this album, most of the other progheads probably having thousands of better albums before finally scraping such bottom of the barrel.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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