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Dan Ar Braz - Douar Nevez CD (album) cover


Dan Ar Braz


Prog Folk

3.77 | 25 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars One of DAB's better known albums, the debut Douar Nevez (New Territories) also happens to be his proggiest and more instrumental. Before that, the guitarist had been his fellow Breton folk buddy Alan Stivell's acclaimed guitarist for a few years. In his first few albums, DAB had some renowned studio acolytes, such as Dave Pegg, the Zeuhlish Benoit Widemann on keys, Emmanuelle Parrenin on the hurdy, and Molard on Celtic winds. Musically, much od DAB's early solo music can be likened to symphonic Celtic music, with less clichés than many of his other fellow Breton bards. One could almost liken him to some kind of early Mike Olfield (Omma-Ridge era), but with more integrity and less commercial drive. Recorded and released in 77 by the Hexagone record label, the front cover presents a very prog fantasy artwork that fits rather well with the music inside it.

Of course, this debut album may not be representative of his later works, but there is plenty of celtic folk, both in musical themes(with some ullean pipes, the ever-present jigs, etc..) and in the story/concept's inspiration (the lost city of Ys), so a lot of it can sound slightly cliché, but not repulsive. Indeed, much of the space is left open to AR Bras' excellent guitars (especially acoustic), some dreamy Widemann keyboards, and most importantly we get to avoid the usual kitschy narratives that usually come with this type of epic mythical subject. So to understand the plot (well reading the track titles already gives you a good hint), DAB included a famous Breton poet's explanation on the inner gatefold, but it doesn't give you a story line per se, either. All the better really! Easily my fave DAB work, Douar Nevez should be one of the first and best Celtic prog folk album to have in his shelves.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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