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Saens - Escaping from the Hands of God CD (album) cover





3.68 | 55 ratings

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3 stars Having been tempted by some positive promotion from their record company Cyclops (well it would be wouldn't it) I bought Escaping The Hands Of God upon its release in 2002. I must admit it was an album of initial disappointment and hasn't received too many plays over the years. However it's an album that due to reasons I'll go into in a minute requires a lot of perseverance to fully discover.

Firstly at 74 minutes there's a lot of music to wade through with six compositions, all except one over 10 minutes and most considerably more. Saens have produced a complex and to a large extent, dark sounding album. There's a lot going on here and most of the melodies require a bit of digging to discover. Vocalist Pascal Bouquillard doesn't have the most endearing voice, a bit whinny at times and isn't the most melodic of singers. Incidentally although Saens are a French band unlike fellow countrymen Nemo, Bouquillard chooses to sing in English for the most part and will likely be an acquired taste for most people.

Another problem is that although the music holds together pretty well over all, it's often a case of finding one of the more interesting sections and before you know it its gone and we're into something else. Bits come and go but are not easily remembered later. The music moves through a number of styles; we get symphonic sections, jazz influenced moments, latin (briefly), and even choral chanting giving an eclectic sound constantly shifting through complex themes. Saens are good players with some pleasing searing and fluent lead guitar work. The keyboards too hit the mark with an excellent occasional church organ sound alongside the more expected synths, piano etc.

Overall then despite the fact that Saens have produced a good album with some strong moments, it's a record that tries to be a bit too clever for its own good at times and although it has grown on me somewhat over the years it's still one to be admired more than loved.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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