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Seven Reizh - La Barque Ailée CD (album) cover


Seven Reizh


Symphonic Prog

3.71 | 72 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars As usual the duo of Claude Mignon and G'rard Le Dortz have surrounded themselves with a gaggle of talented vocalists and instrumentalists towards the realization of another sympho-celtic concept piece, this one dedicated to one of Breton Jean-Marie Le Bris' early flying machines. Added to the Breton and Berber lyrics we now have - gasp! - English - on a few of the tracks.

As before, nobody is quite in the league of SEVEN REIZH in its field. While Celtic extravaganzas are nothing new, most have sunk under their own flabby pretensions or, while well meaning, simply don't include enough compelling music to sweep this listener away. That is sadly the case on "An touriou II" and "Harp" here, which sidle up a little too comfortably to contemporary pop. Luckily the lengthier pieces still ignite often enough to justify comparisons to prior works and to quality prog in general, like the best of MIKE OLDFIELD's Celtic inspired output, particularly in the climax of "La voie de milieu". The piano solo that closes the disk is so nuanced and deliberate that it ends up unwittingly exposing the primary weakness of this incarnation of SEVEN REIZH: it doesn't mark any appreciable breakthrough in style or substance, nor do Mignon and Le Dortz vary the atmosphere across widely divergent concepts. I have been allowing this audition to bleed into their prior works and find them largely interchangeable, admittedly at a high level, but with "La Barque Ailee" perhaps not quite attaining the peaks of "Strinkadenn.." or "Samsara".

The sequel called "Albatross" was due in 2016 but the website is mum on the subject so I guess we will just have to wait. Perhaps SEVEN REIZH are also waiting for a new injection of inspiration. In the meantime, I would recommend working chronologically through the discography, and, if you already have and enjoyed what you have heard, by all means pick this one up. It just might not be as exhilarating as that first flight. 3.5 stars rounded down.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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