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4 stars What is Art Rock? guess if it does not fit in any other category we put it down as Art Rock. And this really applies to the band (at least on this 2 CD life ouevre). Some Songs on CD 2 are gigantic, like the neo progressive 'fifth season' or the 'nobody knows'/ Flying guitars, nice rythm changes, beautiful melodies and a very OK singer. Then again songs like the anthem 'fly' a mixture of Foreigner mainstream and even Opus' "Life is Life'. a very straneg combination and therefore rather difficult to give a clear judegment. I dont know the other CD's (there are many many of them) and I have no clue what kind of music these Italian gentleman do these days. But this 1999 double life sounds certainly very interesting. To get an idea where i come from (music wise): Marillion old style, Grey Lady Down, Twelfth Night and Like Wendy
Report this review (#4595)
Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2003 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an extraordinary good live album with great performance, dynamic and clear sound and very good songs. It's recorded at Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, December 22 1996. Machiavel is a band, which have been around since the mid-seventies so we're not talking any newcomers here. They released their debut album in 1976. Probably they were one of very few progressive bands in Belgium at that time. Although many of the songs on this CD were written in the seventies, they sound very fresh as if they had been written in nineties. MACHIAVEL are somewhere between progressive- and straightforward rock with very strong melodies. It's hard to mention any reminiscences because it's obvious that these guys have influences from many different genres. The highlights are the reggae inspired "Over The Hill", "After The Crop", "Jester", "No Way To Heaven", "Rope Dancer" (featuring Toots Thielemans on harmonica), "Fly" and "Fly (Fly-O) (featuring Jean-Luc de Sttellla). This is one of the big surprises in 1999, as I hadn't heard MACHIAVEL before. I think it's strange that they haven't reached a bigger audience outside Belgium. Very Good!
Report this review (#4596)
Posted Saturday, February 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This concert was a legendary one in Belgium. I did not attend this one at the AB (Ancienne Belgique) and I am quite missing it. But in the meantime, I have done my best to witness several "Machiavel" concerts.

I saw the band twice live there (AB), but there are little comparison to this good live set. Lots of good songs do share the bill throughout their long career, and I guess that the magic of this great night can only be caught while listening to this album.

This double CD should please any fan from the band. The most prog songs from the band and truly very good ones are rendered in a splendid manner. "After the Crop" is really a great old tune and this version of "Jester" is just fantastic. And I'm not saying this only because I'm Belgian. And a fan of the band since 76. No. I am expressing my true and honest opinion.

This first part of this concert is by no doubt the best one they ever played. While you listen to these versions from "No Way To Heaven" or "Summon Up", you can only be charmed. I tell you. But since I am honest, "Mary" is of course far from being a masterpiece. Marc being on the lead vocals (sorry marc, I far much prefer to listen to your great voice during the excellent rock programme which you lead on each Sunday morning on the Belgian radio.).

Emotion sits at (almost) every corner of this live set (at least for the ones who know the history of the band). The introduction of "Cheerlessness" is sufficiently convincing. Marc introducing it as the oldest one from the band. Written by Albert Letecheur (their original keyboard player - RIP). I have to say that while I listened to this song a long, a very long time ago (some thirty two years ago), I already felt in love with it. The only minus being the vocals. But while you listen to the closing and instrumental part, it is so gorgeous. Have a try and contact me to share your thoughts..

This live album is so full of surprises, great tracks and wonderful guest STARS. Because Mister Toots Thielemans is a wonderful and world known harmonica player. Usually more on the jazzy edge, but so efficient here during the passionate and crowd favourite "Rope Dancer". This song closes the first CD is an extremely good manner.

Second CD is unfortunately not on par, I'm afraid. It starts with an average version of "Lay Down". I would have expected a more disjointed and wild rendition of this (originally) heavy song. Over extended as well.

"Fly" is of course a song that the band can't ignore during their live sets. Catchy, rhythmic, and even allowing some karaoke moments : it is one out the fave from the band live numbers. Take it or leave it.

I have always felt that this double CD set was dropping in quality during the second CD (which should have been reverse since this is really a "Machiavel" best of live). I would have loved a bit more of their earlier works.Either on the first or second CD.

"Solstice" is some sort of tribute to Hervé. And to be honest the next five songs are just average. The over-extended "Turn Off" does only matter thanks to the good guitar solo. But still, it is quite long.

Track list was not well thought of. All the best moments on CD one. Either you release only one CD, or you just decide to share the great numbers over two discs. But this was not the option chosen. Unfortunately.

Of course, one of the many encore (but the only one worth) is "Fly-O". As usual, "Fly" is being played twice (even "thrice" at times). This version is featuring the legendary and totally disjointed band leader from "Stellla" (three L's). He is extremely humoristic and so Belgian... Just listen to this joyful and closing "Fly-O". If ever you grab some French (and knows a bit about the Belgian sense of humour), you will be controlled by Jean-Luc fantastic sense of humour. Completely hilarious.

Three stars for this live album. If only the second CD would have been on par with the first one.

Report this review (#164559)
Posted Friday, March 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Live was my first (and so far only) contact with this interesting band from Belgium. So take my review with care, since I don´t really know their studio albums. First I should say Machiavel is a good band. They play a kind of pop rock with some prog influences. if you´re looking for something really new, symphonic or avant guard, look elsewhere. But if you like good, simple, well played melodic rock with much variations, then this is for you.

I have to agree with ZiggyZowie review: CD 1 is quite better than CD2. Still, they managed to deliver a fine, convincing performance on both. Most of their most celebrated songs are here like Rope Dancer, Fly, Over The Hill and Jester. They prove to be excelent live and even if their singer does not have the greatest of the voices (at least for my taste), he seems to have a strong stage presence. The musicians are of course very goodm specillay guitar and keyboards. Production is also very good.

In all not a very outstanding CD for ProgArchives (I would rate it higher if it was a generic rock site) . And yet I have to say I liked it a lot. If you enjoy melodic rock, you should not miss it.

Report this review (#239047)
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Review Permalink

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