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Seven Reizh - L'Albatros CD (album) cover


Seven Reizh


Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 103 ratings

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4 stars This is another lavish epic from Claude Mignon, Gerard Le Dortz and their myriad guests, who show as much dedication to the project as its parents. Apparently "La Barq Ailee" and "L'Albatros" were originally conceived as the final part of a trilogy that began with "Strainkadenn Ys" in 2001, but the scope of the story and the limitations of CD lengths necessitated their split. It's therefore a "trilogy" in the manner of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". Underpromise and over deliver!

While the concept and production are as fantastical as they should be, and "L'Albatros" is somewhat more diverse and memorable than its predecessor, I feel unfair in judging it as somewhat formulaic. Most of the tracks clock in the high single digits, and follow the playbook of beginning reflectively, with one of the three main singers taking and sometimes relinquishing lead in the language of their character, after which the intensity builds to a bombastic end with the charge led by a wind instrument, sizzling electric guitar, or pipes. Like Loreena McKennitt, Seven Reizh is loyal to the Celtic tradition no matter what the lineage of the piece. Sure I hear Arabic and world influences, and even Chinese motifs in the opener, and this is undeniably symphonic in nature, but the filter is stuck on Celtic. Personally I don't mind that at all, but I sometimes find the music is so familiar and likeable that I take it for granted. For all the twists and turns, it's a bit predictable, but it does sound wonderful in a home stereo setting!

It's taken nigh 20 years for this work of the heart to reach fruition, but our gents have managed to liberate their albatross. Where to go next? Well deserved rest or perhaps a more conventional production? Now that doesn't seem very likely. 3.5 stars rounded up.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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