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Present - Nš 6 CD (album) cover

Nš 6

Present

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.35 | 88 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars A few changes compared to their previous returning albums, most noticeably Daniel Denis and Alain Rochette gone, finding suitable replacements in Dave Kerman and Pierre Chevalier. Roger Trigaux is also taking a bit of a backseat because of his declining health; he is taking on the role of musical director and composer only playing guitar on one track. Ex-bassist Guy Segers has now moved up a step into being their manager. This album was recorded in Israel, but mixed in Belgium, but more significantly, it was not released by Cuneiform but by Carbon 7 , a small but adventurous Belgian label also handling Aka Moon, amongst other.

Even if most members are now quite young, Present shows that this rejuvenation process is not harming their musical directions, on the contrary. Dave Kerman is a very worthy successor to Daniel Denis and is now the spine of the group and also brings a slight touch of humour in the band with their impressive (and oppressive) 17-min The Limping Little Girl, where he keeps intervening with the now-famous line "Didn't You Hear What Your Mother Said?" which is clearly pun on their early classic Poison Qui Rend Fou. Children's rhymes and other oddities are present throughout the track.

Le Rodeur is the only moment on the album where Roger Trigaux is to be heard. The next killer track is Ceux D'en Bas, which clearly makes reference to Univers Zero's Ceux Du Dehors, and you'd better hang on to your sanity as the ride proposed is a roughie and a toughie. This almost 6-part 20-min suite depicts the fine line between dreams and nightmares and is one of the most astounding compositions Trigaux has ever written, although for some reason it is not performed in concert. The only sung-track (Le Cauchemard Yo in the CD'eB suite) still reminding you (a bit) of Magma and the finale is certainly Dantesque with the throbbing bass battling the mellotrons (Chevallier has yet to master this last instrument, though) in a blood-curdling chaos. After those two monster tracks, the last Sworlf has problems getting much a notice, but still manages some interest, mostly because it is very slow paced and very gothic while staying reflective, reminding me of Shub-Niggurath.

This album compared to the previous Certitudes is quite a step upwards as they leave their slight Zeuhl twist totally behind, and heads in adventurous (but by no-means groundbreaking) gothic RIO style, as the new group is out to make their own sound. Certainly a very-much needed album to all complex music fans, this is not easily accessible. But all of Present's fans should find their thrills in this oeuvre.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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