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Ange (France) - 1973 - "Le Cimeterie des Arlequins"
(37 min, "Phonogram" / "Musea")


*****+

Tracklist:



1. Ces gens-la 4:47 (Jacques Brel)

2. Aujourd'hui c'est la fete 3:25 (J. M. Brezovar, C. Decamps)

3. Bivouac 1-ere partie 5:32 (C. & F. Decampss)

4. L'espionne lesbienne 2:52 (C. Decamps, D. Haas)

5. Bivouac final 2:12 (C. & F. Decampss) 

6. De temps en temps 4:08 (=)

7. La route aux cypres 3:18 (C. Decamps, D. Haas)

8. Le cimetiere des arlequins 8:46 (C. Decamps, G. Jolsch)



Line-up:



Christian Decamps - vocals

F. Decamps - keyboards

J. M. Brezovar - guitars

Daniel Haas - bass

Gerald Jolsch - drums



Prologue. "Le Cimiterie des Arlequins" was the second album by one of the best and the most influential bands that came out from France, Ange.

The Album. Seven out of the eight compositions that are present on "Le Cimiterie des Arlequins" album, including the instrumental piece Bivouac Final (track 5), conform to a unified stylistic concept, which, of course, represents Classic Symphonic Art-Rock of a very original character. In the case of Ange, whose music on "Le Cimiterie des Arlequins " is very French and just breathes with uniqueness, it doesn't matter at all that the theatrically dramatic kind of Progressive Rock was pioneered by Genesis, who, in their turn, performed a very English music. The Classic Art-Rock ballad La Route aux Cypres (track 7), consisting for the most part of acoustic structures, is the only song that differs from all the other tracks that are featured on the album. Though, of course, the presence of acoustic ballad on the album of Classic Symphonic Progressive is justified. All six of the remaining tracks, namely Ces gens-la, Aujourd'hui c'est la fete de l'apprenti sorcier, Bivouac 1-ere partie, L'espionne lesbienne, De temps en temps, and Le cimetiere des arlequins (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, & 8), are similar among themselves both stylistically and structurally. The quantity of the vocal and instrumental parts is, on average, equal on each of these songs. Though, of course, the instrumental arrangements that are featured on them flow nonstop regardless whether there are vocals or not. Thanks to the vocal genius Christian Decamps, the vocal palette of "Le Cimiterie des Arlequins" is as rich as the instrumental. Overall, the arrangements that are present on this album are by no means as powerful and hard-edged as most of those on any of the early albums by Genesis. The progressive beauty of this album lies in the contrast between quiet and, at the same time, intricate instrumental arrangements, most of which are full of some of one intriguing mystery, and Christian's eccentric, ranging from screaming to whispering, vocals, all of which have the same mysterious feel to them. All the basic instrumental arrangements are here truly symphonic. They consist of complex and diverse interplay between passages of Mellotron and solos of organ, electric guitar, and bass. The drumming is masterful throughout the album as well. There are many of the essential progressive ingredients on this album, though the frequent use of complex time signatures is especially evident among them.

Summary. The compositional talent of both the Decamps brothers and the performing skill of Ange as a whole are simply outstanding. And here is my 'verdict' on "Le Cimiterie des Arlequins": I am going to include it in my Top-20 list of 1973. Certainly, most of you, profound Prog-lovers, are well familiar with this album. So my review on it has a secondary rather than original character. However, I received this CD from Thierry Sportouche, the editor of Acid Dragon, who sent it especially for my review. For more info on the Acid Dragon magazine, visit its official web-site at: http://www.perso-club.internet.fr/acidra/ad2.htm

VM. June 28, 2002


Related Links:

"Musea Records" web-site: http://www.musearecords.com/


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