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Harmonium - L'Heptade CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 312 ratings

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4 stars Canada's Harmonium went for the grand move for their third studio album, producing a double-sided concept album which incorporated a full-blown orchestra into the mix and also saw the band upping their use of keyboards, synths and electric guitars, as well as for the first time incorporating a full-time drummer who is prevalent on most tracks. Belying their folk origins but not completely ignoring them, the band cultivated a rich, symphonic sound for 'L'Heptade' which built upon the ideas and themes sown in their beautifully-orchestrated previous album 'Si On Avait...'. Indeed, following up that 1975 release was always going to be a tough task. 'L'Heptade', although a tad overlong and indulgent, does represent a step up compositionally, with 'L'Heptade' proving a much more ambitious album that nevertheless still manages to retain their core folk principles. Like 'Si On Avait...' 'L'Heptade' is filled with moments of pure beauty, with soaring violins, lightly-strummed acoustic guitars, Serge Fiori's trademark emotional vocals and some stunning keyboards creating yet another wonderful artistic statement that showcases the band's instrumental expertise and their cultured ear for pretty melodies. However, despite the plethora of gorgeous sounds on offer 'L'Heptade' does sometimes prove a difficult listen thanks in part to it's inordinate length but also because many of the songs feature slow, careful intro's that tend to drag. One does tend to feel slightly exhausted after listening to both sides consecutively, but there is no denying the power of this remarkable album. Those with the time to enjoy 'L'Heptade' will be richly rewarded. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 4/5 |


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