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Ange - Guet-Apens CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 146 ratings

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4 stars The final triumphant blast of the gloriously creative period Ange enjoyed during the 1970's, 'Guet-Apens' found the French symphonic outfit producing one of most impressive efforts of their career thus far, and at a key juncture too. Issued on the French arm of Phillips during 1978, this would prove to be the rockiest Ange album so far, featuring a smoother, harder sound and a streamlined production but still firmly rooted firmly in the group's highly-progressive symphonic style. The winning formula sees both Decamps brothers given much more space to stretch out - vocalist Christian employs a mellotron for the first time on an Ange album whilst brother Francis lets rip on lead guitar - the group hitting the perfect moment between their progressive inclinations and mainstream aspirations. This powerful new sound is best heard on the two lengthy tracks that bookend 'Guet-Apens', with the atmospheric opener 'A Colin Maillard' exuding a misty rock vibe over it's slow- burning eight-minutes and the extraordinary fourteen-minute epic 'Capitane Couer De Miel' building up a heavy head of steam through some red hot guitar heroics courtesy of Francis Decamps, all the while thrusting Ange ever deeper into into darker realms of heavy rock. This final track provides a glorious explosion of a finale, with Christian Decamps grizzly vocals adding a sense of urgent menace to the song's heady atmospheric trip. Elsewhere, a quartet of impressive shorter pieces fill out the space between 'A Colin Maillard' and 'Capitane Couer De Miel', each one anything but filler. The fragile acoustic ballad 'Dans Les Poches Du Berger' harks back to the more careful, art-rock style of 'Les Cimetiere Des Arlequins', providing gentle relief after the album's opening histrionics, whilst both 'Un Trou Dans La Case' and 'Reveille-Toi' exhibit the Descamps brother more playful streak lightly embossed by yet more hard rock moments. Overall, 'Guet-Apens' proves a fine album, the new, confident, rocked-up approach adding an exciting edge to Ange's keyboard-heavy sound. It would prove to be the final Ange album of note, yet caps of the six successful years since their 1972 debut 'Caricatures' very aptly. Although very much for those who enjoy Ange's classic albums - both the daunting strains of 'Le Cimetiere Des Arlequins' and the inspired brilliance of 'Au-Dela Du Delire' - 'Guet-Apens' also makes for a great place to start for those looking to explore the colourful world of Ange. Simply put, this is highly-impressive stuff from one of the key group's of the French progressive scene, and a contender for one of the truly great French albums. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 4/5 |


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