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Carpe Diem - En regardant passer le temps CD (album) cover


Carpe Diem


Eclectic Prog

3.73 | 118 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 20-Year Chronological Run-Through pt. Fourteen: 1976.

French symphonic prog band CARPE DIEM was founded, albeit with another name, in 1969 in the city of Nice. Alongside bands such as Alice and Ange, they were one of those early French bands that drew notable influences from British progressive rock, especially from Genesis. This group only was pretty slow in starting their recording career. The line-up on this debut (with a title meaning "On watching the time pass by") was shaped in 1974, and the album came out in the spring of 1976.

The four-track album is mostly instrumental, although I think the voice of keyboardist Christian Truchi is fairly pleasant. The relatively brief but delicious instrumental opening track 'Voyage du Non-Retour' is uptempo and jazzy space rock with a GONG reminiscence. Soprano saxophone, electric guitar and keyboards build melodies in a groovy setting that sounds suitably jam-based. The three longer pieces go into more symphonic heights.

'Reincarnation' has flexible melodies and a drive that remind me of early CAMEL (debut/Mirage-era), and German ELOY could be another good reference. Derivative perhaps, but very enjoyable, with an exception for the robotic vocals in the midway -- fortunately very shortly. The flute and soprano sax parts are great. 'Jeux du Siecle' mixes the spacey psychedelia of Saucerful-era PINK FLOYD, fast sax melodies la VdGG and some Genesis reminding melodies & sounds. The guitarist has been compared to both Steve Hackett and David Gilmour.

Also 'Publiphobie' combines instrumental and vocal sections in a balanced and dynamic way. The atmosphere is often intense and dramatic as in the Gabriel-era Genesis songs such as 'Fountain of Salmacis'. The heavy use of reeds and the instrumental orientation make this band suitably different from Genesis (or Ange), and this album is a strong four- star classic for me. Of the French bands, PULSAR might be the best reference.

Matti | 4/5 |


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