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Caf轱ne - La Citadelle CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.29 | 23 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Music displayed by this French band on their first album is complex, intricate. Not too much symphonic unfortunately.

The opener "La Cour Des Miracles" (which was a quarter of Paris where thieves, murderers, beggars etc. were living in the middle ages) is the best song from this work. It holds many theme changes (too many?), starting on a medieval mood (fully in-line with its title of course), then a Genesis style musical part (keys) featuring lyrics which refer to the dangers of this place for a casual visitor. An excellent guitar work during the second half of this excellent song punctuates it brilliantly.

The band sounds better while playing instrumental sections. Fortunately "Insomnies" doesn't feature too many lyrics. Their lead voca list sounds at times as Daniel Balavoine (a French pop singer) and doesn't always fit in the style of music "Caf閕ne" is playing.

The instrumental "Delenda Est" is a bit chaotic to my ears. Very much Crimsonesque. Highly technical, for sure, but not my cup of tea.

The band is often switching mood. When you listen to the soft "April Theme", the band almost plays in the folk territories. And even if the lead singer on this one is Patrick Jobard (who is usually doing the backings), I can't say that this change is dramatically better. What is excellent though, is the superb guitar solo in which Patrick excels. A pity that the vocals are not on par (they remind me here of another French band : "Il Etait Une Fois". Which is not really what you would have expected with such music).

The closing number is a long piece of music (almost sixteen minutes) which is partially ruined by the vocals. Fortunately, the band will opt for guests vocalists. I assume that they were aware of the problem. The good point is that as for "Insomnies", this number has long instrumental parts (guitar are agoin so great) that the listener still can enjoy most of this song. Almost neo-prog, then folkish in the final and long part.

"La Citadelle" is an interesting album which deserves three stars on my scale. Eclectic or cross-over prog are probably more suitable to catalogue this good band.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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