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Anoxie - Pastales  CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.61 | 10 ratings

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Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This collection of demos, b-sides, and other odds-and-ends from the defunct and rather obscure band Anoxie represents their only full-length album, although as a collection it probably doesn’t qualify as a legitimate studio album. But that’s splitting hairs, I suppose.

For a French band these guys seem awfully melodic to me. My previous experiences with many French bands is they often have more eclectic arrangements, and tend to require much concentration and attention to fully comprehend. Anoxie isn’t like that at all – their music is quite approachable and pretty comfortable to listen to. Two exceptions to that comment though: first, the lyrics in the vocals are very hard to discern due to a combination of electronic manipulation of the vocals, and second because some of the tracks are rather poorly mixed. Considering these are early attempts by the band, this is understandable. Musically though this is a very enjoyable and varied album.

The songs pretty much fall into three tendencies. First are the few slightly grand, almost symphonic tracks like the opening “Overture”, “The Lullaby of a Butterfly”, and the rather muted “The Wizard of Odds”. All of these are instrumental tracks, and all are well-produced, melodic, and enjoyable.

Second are the electronic-focused tracks, synthesizer-driven and mostly reminiscent of Tangerine Dream in the same era, as well sometimes of Eloy (although in my mind they are a bit more sparse than any Eloy music I’ve heard). “Visa For Another World”, “Mutation”, and “The Returning” fall into this grouping.

And finally there are several thematic pieces where the music is meant to evoke a mood that matches the title (or vice versa perhaps). The Eastern-sounding “A Chinese Kite in Clear Blue Sky”, chamber-like “Hymn of Hope”, minimalist “The Lullaby of a Butterfly”, and whimsically romantic “Marie” all fit this description.

Like I said at the outset, this is more of a grab-bag collection than it a representation of a contiguous studio session. But the individual tracks are comfortable, pleasant, and mostly interesting. This is a good example of that period of symphonic rock in between the early classic bands like Yes and Gentle Giant, and the neo period of the eighties. As such it’s a good album to add to your collection if you can find it, but I wouldn’t call it essential. Three stars for sure though.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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