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Harmonium - L'Heptade CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 312 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Third and last studio album from this Canadian band who played a very much folk oriented music during their first two albums. Surprisingly enough, the band has to co-finance this expensive project. But the album will sell well (mostly in Quebec) but will lead the band to perform outside their Province.

There are several numbers which feature orchestrations (Montreal Symphonic Orchestra) and which I don't really like : Prologue, Sommeil Sans Rêves, Lumières De Vie and Epilogue. These tracks are almost fully classical music oriented. Not my cup of tea. The last minute of Lumière includes some very nice electric (!) guitar notes. But one minute out of forteen is not what I consider a fair equation and is definitely not enough to make a symphonic prog number.

This album is extremely tranquil, fully on the soft edge (but so were their prior works). This provokes with no doubt a certain dull feeling during this double album while you listen to it from start to finish.

But still , there are some good songs on this work.

Comme Un Fou : for instance. Mostly folkish and featuring a very quiet intro but the final instrumental part is really good and at least we have some symphonic prog moments in here. But this will be the treat with this double album. A mix of folk parts featuring at times very fine fluting and some more prog oriented passages. More or less of these depending on the song.

Chanson Noire for instance : more on the jazzy-folky mood. Not bad at all, but too far from the symphonic prog genre to my likes; even if some beautiful instants reminds me of Trespass. But these instants are far too short, unfortunately (and therefore called instants).

And the same type of structure is applied to L'Appel - Le Premier Ciel (jazzy-folky, I mean). All this is very well played, vocal harmonies are excellent and the mood is very joyful. At times, it is even excellent.

L'Exil is the most poignant song of L'Heptade: still on the smooth edge (as all their offering) but the rhythm gently catches up towards the end. A song full of emotion and subtlety. My fave.

Le Corridor features fine mellotron and the Trespass savour is again very much present but the classical ending is superfluous. Nice vocals from Monique Fauteux.

The last true number is again a looooong and not too useful track and fades in the Epilogue. At this moment, the next key won't lead you anywhere since it closes the album just like Prologue opens it. Same weak orchestrations and classical feeling.

I haven't discovered the secret key which would have opened my ears to discover the beauty and brilliance described by most reviewers. Even if there are not many who think as I do, I 'm not the only either to feel that this is a pleasant album only. Three stars for this symphonic folk album.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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