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Patrick Rondat - Amphibia CD (album) cover


Patrick Rondat


Progressive Metal

4.00 | 13 ratings

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4 stars Amphibia is Patrick Rondat’s third solo album. Released in 1996, presented Patrick’s famous frog that’s associated with all his solo work ever since.

The opening song Amphibia, one of Patrick’s biggest compositions, is, as he himself described it, a “journey through different musical landscapes”. This 28 minutes long composition shifts from melodic passages, arranged for both electric and acoustic guitar, to heavy riffs and back again. It’s a presentation of what Patrick is really capable of both as a guitarist and as a composer. The song is split into six parts with the same theme interleaving throughout the whole piece. The title amphibia is the front cover frog here symbolizing life in two different environments, water and land, and is also “a play on the English name for the French: Frogs”, according to booklet comments. The song begins with a tide-like hit and soothing acoustic musing that emerges out of it, then changes to steady rocking pace in second part with melodic guitar on top, that spectacularly collapses to a slow drumming, making way for a weeping guitar backed by a keyboard in part three, which yet again changes to heavy metal shredding in part four–I really like how Patrice’s clanging bass accompanies the guitar here. Fifth part goes back to hushed acoustic guitar and piano playing pari passu–a very nice effect–which slowly gains momentum to end with quasi-classical guitar sweeping in part six.

Among other songs, like almost-classical heavy metal Camouflage or blues-like Shattered Chains, you’ll also find Vivaldi Tribute, which is Vivaldi’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor L’estate (Summer) Presto that Patrick used to play as a practice!, Jean Michel Jarre’s cover Equinox IV or live performance recording of Burn Out known from Patrick’s previous album.

Although–well, of course–this is a guitarists solo album and as such a guitar-centric recording, you can, if you’ll listen carefully, hear some interesting rhythm section work going on, like short but snappy bass clang in Amphibia part four I had mentioned before, Tommy Aldridge’s great drumming or Phil’s pianowork. This album is an excellent addition to any prog music collection– one of the gems of my own–and generally great listening for all prog-junkies.

therek | 4/5 |


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