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Dionysos - Le Prince Croule CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.00 | 36 ratings

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4 stars The Collapsing Prince...

The French Canadian prog scene has received a very distinguished reputation around these parts and deservedly so too. With acts like Harmonium, Maneige and more recently Godspeed You! Black Emperor, this French speaking part of North America has been a hotbed for musical visions with a twist ever since the late 60s.

This is why I find it all the more puzzling that a band like Dionysos haven't received the same amount of glowing reviews as their contemporaries, because the music on offer here is just about tailor-made for you people out there with a hard on for the early eclectic prog rock sound. It's an amalgamation of different things, but first and foremost can you hear how the preceding decade has diminished in favour for an edgier feel - a more tumultuous and boisterous sound. Sure, the powerful and sludgy organ work does give off a psychedelic hippie silver-lining that reeks of early Santana, but surrounding it is an altogether different sounding animal. This is 1972 with all of its charm and far reaching musical ideas - with a magical content of melody, flair and that something special that escapes any wording out there.

The vocals here are all in French, and while they may be an acquired taste, they do however suit the music perfectly. They're breezy and wafting - floating over the different hard rocking soundscapes like swirling black feathers. This is something that feels infinitely French to me. I've heard it so many times, - especially a band like Harmonium utilise this breezy vocal trade, and what it does to the music, is to breathe a lightness into the midst of things - a sudden gust of autumnal wind cooling everything around it. Dionysos are no different, and on this their sophomore release Le Prince Croule, the counterpointing effect of rocking edgy guitars and that of those vocals are downright gorgeous.

Apart from the closing cut that infuses long jams and inspired unorthodox vocal sections, all of these tracks are short and to the point - even if they feel developed and large in scope. They have a way of melting together creating a red line running all the way through the album, and more than once did I feel transported deep into a sonic tale of sorcery and thick French wine.

Le Prince Croule simply means the collapsing prince.....?!? My high school French has sadly met its match here, even if the odd phrase seems recognisable and decipherable. You do, however, not need to speak the language to get with the program here. There's plenty of things to enjoy besides the lyrical content, and to those of us who get woozy whenever a guitar jumps into overdrive and starts soaring electrically high above our heads, - we certainly get treated to some eargasms en route.

There's a distinct early feel to this one. I am reminded of bands like Raw Material and a decisively more symphonic and psychedelic sounding Van Damme Generator. All in all Dionysos strike me as the French Canadian version of Os Mundi, but then again writing something like that only makes sense to me and a couple of German pensioners. We're talking obscure here - though not because of a weird unapproachable sound. More like bad exposure and hard to find albums, which similarly echoes the feeling I have regarding Dionysos. These guys deserve far more attention, and if you by some miraculous touch of faith stumble over one of their reissued albums, then I wholeheartedly recommend them. This is sonic honey right here!

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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