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(54:34, Musea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Adyane 5:21 2. Chasse a la Licorne 8:35 3. Voyage 10:09 4. La Cite des Dieux Oublies 15:13 5. Labyrinth 15:16 LINEUP: Philippe De Canck – keyboards Philippe Clesse – guitar; violin Jean-Louis Tauvel – bass Bernard Petite – drums
Prolusion. France’s ACINTYA was a short-lived band that existed in the second half of the ‘70s. Here is the reissue of “In Live”, their sole live album. They also have one studio output, “La Cite des Deux Oubles”, the review of which can be read here.
Analysis. Recorded live in 1979, this album is made up of five instrumental compositions too, but only two of them are new, namely Chasse a la Licorne and Voyage, whereas the others, Adyane, La Cite des Dieux Oublies and Labyrinth, are rehashes of the same-titled tracks from “La Cite des Deux Oubles”, featuring too few differences to compare them with the originals. So I’ll only describe the former two, and I must note that they are simpler than probably anything ever before recorded by the band. It won’t take more than a minute of each of them to understand what subtle variations on the already formulaic themes Acintya will use to define their sound. While having a vintage aura, most of the music is lush symphonic rock rather than familiar prog territory, with keyboards forming – or covering, if you will – much of its overall palette. Both of them remind me for the most part of Camel’s “The Snow Goose” at its most reflective, both in the fluid writing and creative orchestrations, as well as the predominantly semi-romantic, semi-melancholic mood which is evoked. However, while lush, majestic and multifaceted alike (almost orchestral-sounding), the keyboards at the same time develop too sluggishly, lazily putting layer upon layer, rarely venturing on real soloing. The drumming and the bass playing are at times much more varied than the parts of keyboards, while those of the guitar just don’t come close to fitting in (most of the time I don’t hear the ‘axe’ at all, though). All in all, the mellow nature of the performance of the latter two instruments detracts from what could be superb pieces. Only within the final section of each of them the music becomes more intense and dynamic, suggesting classic symphonic Art-Rock and Space Rock respectively. On Chasse a la Licorne the implied episode atmospherically recalls late ‘70s Eloy, albeit strict comparison ends there, while the one on Voyage is clearly in the vein of Yes, with synthesizer leads instantly evoking Rick Wakeman‘s. I’m inclined to think that both of these pieces are outtakes from the studio album, whilst Labyrinth and So Close were written later most likely.
Conclusion. While of the same sound quality as the basic material (the album as such) of the “La Cite des Deux Oubles” CD, “In Live” is musically simpler than that, at least overall. Bearing in mind that it only contains two ‘new’ tracks, neither of which is really intriguing, those who want to acquaint themselves with Acyntia’s work should choose the former item, to my mind and way of thinking.
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