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Mona Lisa - Avant Qu'il Ne Soit Trop Tard CD (album) cover


Mona Lisa


Symphonic Prog

4.10 | 73 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is my favourite Mona Lisa album (and I know most of them): I have no problem in giving the highest rate to 'Avant Qu'il Ne Soit Trop Tard', since I consider it a definite highlight of Frech progressive tradition. Mona Lisa continues to explore its own theatrical over-dramatic symph prog, based on the colourful use of keyboards, the amazing solos on guitar (Jordan feels at home, though he'd just entered the band one year ago) and synth (Pierson at his most confident), the foundation of a solid, undefatigable rhythm section, and the amazingly expressionist vocal style proudly exhibited by Le Guennec. The title track opens the album in the shape of a somber manifesto which gradually grows into delirious exaltation, on the basis of minimalistic layers of synths, to which guitar riffs, tympani, bells are added until a final blow on a gong. This impressive entry gives way to the hard-rocking 'La Peste', which includes another manifesto in the interlude - this time on a stacatto tempo, and with a clear air of ugent protest. The energetic interaction bwteen the lead guitar and the synth main lines makes a major asset in Mona Lisa's instrumental input - this track is one of the most notable epitomes of this. 'Souvenirs de Naufrageurs' is the first symphonic suite of the album, where the intensity is more balanced along the various passages (acoutic/serene, electric/agressive). 'Tripot' is ML at its cacthiest, building attractive melodic lines on a 7/8 tempo, while 'Lena' comes later as an effective exercise on folkish driven sounds - the rhythm section, to which the acoustic guitar is added, paves the way for the flute and synth lines in the interlude and the synth solo in the last section. The sense of bucolic easy-going fun is wickedly disrupted by the final, brief laugh. The three-part closing suite is the greatest musical gem ever created by the band: retaking some of the agressiveness of most of the previous tracks, the first two parts display a fluid transit from the contemplative stage to the energy of anger (not unlike 'La Peste'). The final four minutes are worth mentioning here - using a basis minimal series of chords on synth, a bunch of other instruments (other synths, guitar, bass, bass pedals, vibes, glockenspiel, bells, mellotron) wander in and out in order to create a surreal, zombiesque ambience... makes me feel like I'm trapped in the middle of a cathartic circus of marionettes. Such a great closing for such a great prog masterpiece!
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |


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