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Shylock - Île de Fièvre CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 104 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Shylock's second (and last) album was recorded under much better conditions, they had a major label which allowed them to record in Switzerland's better studios, but the least we can say is that this investment did not pay off for the label as it sold less than their debut album. His is really too bad, because on the whole, this second album is an altogether more interesting work than Gialorgue.

Starting off with the epic title track, Shylock lunges again in the Genesis realm and if not for some good drumming, the track would remain mostly a derivative piece of music. The next track is quite interesting really; Sang Des Capucines is delving into the more improvised Wetton-era Crimson (somewhere between Easy Money and Fracture) and might just be the album's highlight. The short Choral is a bit meaningless (if a bit pompous) but could've served to another track, but not to Himogene, which again bows its Crimson face to Jamie Muir's type of percussions and funky jazz bass lines to Mahavishnu Orchestra (the guitar sounding more like John Mc than Hackett, now). Lierre D'Aujourd'hui is more proof that Crimson spirit not only lived in Shylock, but also through them managed to infect Xaal and Nebelnest after them. The closing epic, Laocksetal is a rather difficult piece ending rather abruptly and leaving the listener wondering where to go next.

Again like on the previous album, Musea (whom has reissued them in Cd format quite a while ago) has added a bonus track, which does not change much to the album's progress, but is also of limited interest.

Like most young groups in the late 70's, they were a bit victim of the punk wave, but also of the public growing tiresome of albums like these which brought little new (although there were worthy almost-inventions), and were not easily accessible (the lack of vocals did not help either), so after trying to modify their sound to be more successful, Shylock had the good taste of not insisting much more and disbanded. Their two albums, while not essential, are both worthy of the symphonic progheads' collection, even if this second album is much more advanced than its predecessor.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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