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Visible Wind - Narcissus goes to the Moon  CD (album) cover

NARCISSUS GOES TO THE MOON

Visible Wind

 

Neo-Prog

3.80 | 54 ratings

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tszirmay
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Here is a band and an album I have been dismissing for way too long, never having given it a chance. And I don't even know why, silly but normal oversight when you have a large collection. I knew in the back of my mind that Visible Wind did a great part in keeping the prog flame alive in the proggy Quebec hotbed, stoking the coals that keep the scene vibrant until today. Keyboardist and vocalist Stephen Geysens is a practiced player who knows how to distribute assorted leads and color richly the backdrops who also possesses a haunting John Wetton-like howl that is often satisfying, dabbling in the magical flute when warranted. His mellotron insertions are perfect. Luc Hébert is a splendid prog drummer, propelling and then caressing the arrangements forward, flailing adroitly at all times. Guitarist Luc Rainville keeps things sonic, blasting into solos only when prompted. Their biggest attribute is the dosing of the segueing pieces, individual atmosphere splices that bleed into a suite-like whole, constantly playing with the tempos and seeking to keep the listener unexpectant , tumbling from oozy pools of drifting synths into the raunchy abysses of classic prog, as portrayed on the eccentric opening tracks, the short breezy intro to "Fuzzy Concept"(a winner!) and the more laid-back fluvial allure of "By the River" .On the delectable and dizzying "Xenophobia", a teeter-tottering ride that slings from one extreme to another , the surging flute takes over the stage, ushering in more pastoral enhancements, a clear Larks Tongues in Aspic II riff (wink, wink, nod, nod) and ending on a blazing electric solo , mellotron washes right behind! This is a brilliant track, way up there quality-wise. The crafty "Intravenus" is a longer track that slides into another raft, heading down a different stream, infusing French lyrics into the vocal programme, usurping synths suddenly surfacing beyond the fence, dialing in a new destination, tasty harder-edged Octobre-like rant (both the swelling organ and the brash guitar are stout reminders of this famed Québec band). I do find myself preferring the previous tracks, so I guess I need to rely on the wild guitar outro that saves the day, in the nick of time. "Lunar Doubts" reverts back to English lyrics and bluesy Floydian guitar spaces (with a title like that, what do you expect?), a masterfully paced projection into the outer orbits of psychedelic prog, electric piano and rippling organ appropriately entering the skirmish. I cannot help detecting a trivial The Flower Kings feel here, not just because of the Roine Stolt vocal comparison but also in each musician's instrumental selections and deliveries. An excellent tune! The next four short ones are less interesting, almost pedestrian by previous standards, not good not bad, just there! The whopping 20 minute "The Awakening" puts this one to rest, a fully atmospheric journey into invisible winds and dense forests. The raspy Hammond bellows loudly, the lead guitar nervously strains on the leash, a lilting oriental theme on the mellotron keeps things interesting as the vocals complement the arrangement. Nothing is hasty or reticent, contrasts proliferate and the mood remains intense, again very remindful of "Stardust We Are"-era Flower Kings, including how the vocals are shrouded in effects. The acoustic mid-section is quite splendid, cascading synths collide eloquently with Hebert keeping things tightly bolted down, slowly emergent in valor and vigor. The return of the sweeping theme adds more structure to an already imposing piece of music. An entertaining slice of prog and their best release undoubtedly! 4 "lunes de miel"
tszirmay | 4/5 |

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