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Madelgaire - (Im)Patience CD (album) cover

(IM)PATIENCE

Madelgaire

 

Neo-Prog

3.98 | 49 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars It's difficult to estimate at how much (Im)Patience the band's followers had to endure, because the promise of this album dates back to Mathusalem's days, but let's just say that since the group's only personnel change (Bertrand Vanvarembergh, ex-Globalys) in late 05, the clock started ticking, and it's been half a decade's nerve-wracking (Im)Patience, hence the album's tongue-in-cheek title. Lead by their two lead singers the low-pitched frontmen Lossignol and the higher-pitched drummer Rocteur, the group develops a neo-symphonic prog with heavy progressive folk ambiances and tell French-sung historical tales in the theatrical raconteur-troubadour style, somewhere between Ange and their buddies AmAndA, but haven't developed the visual theatrics aspects (yet). The group is also pulled by Bertrand's rather wide array of keyboards (including a loaned mellotron) and solid ethics and perfectionism, inherited from his Globalys days. The bon-vivant Memen (bass) and Letertre (electric guitars) round up the group.

Opening one of only two surviving tracks from their '02 demo, Gimme A Light is the of two tracks sung in English, but has it ever been extensively re-worked and extended to almost 14 minutes and the musical passages sound between Anglagard and W&W-era Genesis. Pascal's vocals and rant onto anti-smoking regulations are the obvious link to the older version, and this neo-prog track is a witness of their earlier Genesis influences. The album closes on the other English-sung track, the 9-mins+ Regrets, which is much in the same Anglagenesis mode. Oh yeah, I'm not sure if it's a wink or for real, but Dominique also adds a live-recorded guitar piece that can only draw risky comparisons with Hackett's Horizon.

The other older track is Vae Victis (with now added vocals, but without the grunts and squeaks of old), that has been incorporated in their mega three-part 27-mins+ Banquets De L'Equinoxe suite, which is obviously the core and centre of the album, their "meisterwerk" if you wish. Sung in French by Dominique Lossignol (in a lower-pitched voice), it (the suite) shows that the group seems much more at ease in that language, but also that their folkish-medieval influences are also their true personality in the raconteur- troubadour mode, much more so than their incessant Genesis-references. The quieter Les Murs takes us in the Ange world of theatrics, but spiced with an AmAndA (their buddies) twist for good measure and mellotron a-go-go. The slow-starting 11-mins+ Dame Brune movement is their most delicate moments with both Letertre and Lossignol arpeggio-ing away on their acoustic guitar, while Bertrand's synth layers are adding depth, and Dominique's hypnotizing chants are driving us up Les Murs in ecstasy. Rocteur's drumming is particularly effective, while Memen's bass punctuates to the perfection the ambiances. There is a really strong passage where the vocals and music alternate exchange and enhance each other, producing a spine-chill moment.

I have a few slight remarks about the group's first official release, namely the "modern" artwork not really fitting the sonic folky/symphonic contents, but also the juggling between two languages. If the group does quite well in English, the band's real character and heart explodes in the French-sung tracks. So I'd advise them to choose one medium or another for their future endeavours' cohesiveness. I'd also ask if Lossignol intends on picking up his violin again for future works. Definitely one of the year 2010's top 3 albums from Belgium, and even maybe in the top 3 of the year's French-speaking prog albums.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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