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Etcetera - Tales of Ardour & Deceit  CD (album) cover

TALES OF ARDOUR & DECEIT

Etcetera

Symphonic Prog


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Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This album shows two faces of ETC: The first, a strong symphonic band with some GENESIS influences doing an agressive, changing and magnificent piece, the long suite "The Song of Marsh Stig". Altough at few moments this composition is close to metal rythms, it's the pearl of the album.

After the suite, the second face of ETC appears: most of the music is now atmospheric and even very relaxing, with long guitar driven soundscapes reminding me CAMEL, specially at the seventh track, the short and beautiful "The Exit". Some moments could be a little bit boring, but -generally- the music remains interesting.

"Tales of Ardour & Deceit", maybe, isn't the most creative progressive work, but it's nice and pleasant to the listener. A good album to check out.

Report this review (#26012)
Posted Thursday, May 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In '98 the Danish progrock band Etcetera released their debut-CD entitled "Fin du siecle". Not until five years later their next, long awaited album came out. The first, very long track "The song of marsh" (15 minutes) is very alternating: a sumptuous climate featuring moving Mellotron (like mid-Led Zeppelin), dreamy twanging acoustic guitars and volume- pedal guitar play (in the vein of early Genesis/Hackett) and fiery, more complex parts with saxophone like King Crimson and bombastic church organ with echoes from Keith Emerson. So you can conclude that this band sounds like a progrock stew of the Seventies dinosaurs! Then the short "Songs" with tender Fender Rhodes piano, beautiful acoustic guitar and halfway wonderful violin-Mellotron and vocal harmonies. In "Kentisch suite" you will be delighted about the fiery wah-wah drenched guitarwork and runs on the Moog synthesizer and Hammond organ, VINTAGE TIME!! The track "The lady of Castela" is indeed Spanish influenced delivering an intro with Spanish guitar like Julian Bream, followed by twanging acoustic guitars, mellow flute (evoking early Hackett solo) and soaring keyboards and a bagpipe sound. The climates are very alternating featuring choir- Mellotron, up-tempo with Gilmour-inspired guitar and great Moog and Hammond work. The final tracks are "The exit" (excellent brainwork!), this short song contains fiery electric guitar and an exciting guitar/synthesizer duel and "The ghost of Yang Part II" with lots of nature sounds. Although this CD delivers lots of captivating progrock moments, to me it often sounds a bit too fragmentic, the compositions need more maturity. But Etcetera deserves credit on their second album, I'm looking forward to their next one!

Report this review (#38882)
Posted Friday, July 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Tales Of Ardour & Deceit is the last album so far from Danish symphonic prog rock act Etcetera ( or ETC as it says on the cover of the album). Drummer and co-founder Johnnie McCoy left the band in 2004. Leaving only composer and multiinstrumentalist Frank Carvalho left. The band is in fact a two man band. They use guest musicians when vocals or saxes are needed, but besides the drumming Frank Carvalho plays everything from guitars and bass to organ and synths.

The music is very influenced by the early seventies prog scene and bands like Genesis, King Crimson, Yes and Gentle Giant. Just listen to the song melody and the voice from guest vocalist Michael Munch on the opening 16:23 minute long epic The Song Of Marsh Stig. It could have been Gordon Haskell ( King Crimson) in disguise. This is mostly an instrumental album though and there are only vocals on The Song Of Marsh Stig and the second track called Songs. The music is very pleasant with some great melodic guitar playing and lots of vintage synth and organ.

The musicianship is excellent and it´s hard not to be impressed with especially Frank Carvalho. His guitar and bass playing abilities are just as good as his keyboard playing and his compositional skills are excellent IMO.

The production has the right seventies sound and it fits the music perfectly.

Fans of early seventies symphonic prog rock should definitely check out Tales Of Ardour & Deceit. If you´re anything like me and love symphonic prog rock because it´s great music and don´t give a rats a.. if it´s original as long as it´s quality music, you´ll probably enjoy this very much ( Etcetera is not a clone band by any means though). This is actually the only Danish Symphonic prog rock band that I know of. Most progressive Danish bands from the seventies have either grown out of the sixties beat or blues rock tradition or the jazz/ fusion genre and not much has happened since ( this album is from 2003). As a Dane it´s kind of sad that our country haven´t spawned more progressive music but Tales Of Ardour & Deceit is definitely something that I found was worth my time. I´ll rate the album 4 stars. These are not 4 big stars though and I could have given the album 3 big stars instead but I´m allowed to be a bit patriotic now and again as long as I tell you that I am. There´s only one problem with Tales Of Ardour & Deceit. It will probably be very hard to find anywhere. I´ve never seen it in any store and the copy I have used for this review is actually a loan from the public Library in Denmark. It´s too bad as this music could surely give a lot of people a good experience.

Report this review (#184626)
Posted Friday, October 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Tales Of ARdour & Decit was danich group Etcetera´s fourth and final album before they disbanded. And it came as a bit of a disappointment to me. Please, don´t get me wrong, the CD is good, you can see the guys in the band are superb musicians and they have all the right influences you may want for a symphonic prog band (Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, Pink Floyd). The problem seems to be that they were unable to come up with a personality of their own. Their music seems to be just the sum of the styles they like, not a mix.

Just like I said on my review of their second album, this CD is like a bunch of tracks put together with different styles and no common threat. Every song seems to be recorded by a different group. Even if no one is weak, it hardly sounds like a cohesive whole in the end. which is a pity because they are all good). It all starts very well with the 16 minute The Song Of Marsh Stig (strong KC beginning, but it lacks some focus in the end), then comes the very Gentle Giant-ish Songs (which sounds too much like that group´s Nothing At All). And so it goes. The band simply never reached the songwriting skills needed to match their terrific musicanship. With time and more persistence they very well may have reached another level completely, but since they have broeken up, we´ll probably never know. the production, the playing and the arrangments are all top notch.

In the end I found this Cd quite pleasant and tasteful. While they falied to have their very own distinctive sound, they still could deliver some fine tunes. If you like 70´s symphonic prog and don´t mind for the lack of originality, then this album is recommended. At least they did have the chops and the guts to do it all right. My rating: somwhere between 3 and 3,6 stars. Good (sometimes very good!), but non-essential.

Report this review (#241776)
Posted Sunday, September 27, 2009 | Review Permalink

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