ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Edhels (Monaco) - 1985 - "Oriental Christmas"
(48 min, "Musea")


Ragtag Baby  3:17

Spring Road  4:48

Tepid Wind  4:35

Ca...Li...Vi...Sco  3:47

Oriental Christmas  4:20

F...D...Smile  5:30

Imaginary Dance  4:15

Souvenir 76  3:35

Absynthe  3:57

Agatha  4:00

Nan Madol  5:48

Line-up: Marc Ceccotti - guitars, keyboards, bass; Noel Damon - keyboards; Jacky Rosati - drums, keyboards; Jean-Louis Suzzoni - guitars

I am probably the only reviewer who feels so tired of comparisons and who especially doesn't like when someone uses some doubtful comparisons just to describe some opus the easiest way. I am not sure at all that lovers of comparisons think of their readers seriously (if ever). Maybe this way they're just trying to simplify a reader's (purchaser's) problem in choosing a CD he's looking for? But listing the performers (sometimes up to 10 in number) a certain band has similarities with, don't they think they just spoil a reader's (purchaser's) game this way? Also, there's no need to use comparisons in descriptions of bands whose music is extremely complex (RIO, for example). Because none of prog-beginners is likely to read an article (review) devoted to a RIO band and all the other with the same or nearly the same level of complexity. And beginners are the only category of listeners (readers, buyers) that most often really need comparisons in our reviews, but these should not be made up comparisons, but correct and valid, otherwise it's sometimes like a lottery what we offer our readers. In one review, devoted to the latest album of Jose Ledesma Q (who is a musician working within the RIO genre) I've found no less than 12 "comparable" bands, whereas I myself consider this album one of the most unique in general. (I am now looking at that review once again and find that I still wonder why these 12 performers are listed there?). It is practically the same story with the Edhels (officially) debut album. The majority of the reviews devoted to "Oriental Christmas" I've read conclude that this one is nothing but an obvious King Crimson influenced album. While listening to it repeatedly, I don't hear any obvious influences at all. I can just assume Edhels were inspired by the early King Crimson work on the "Oriental Christmas" album, which, on the whole, is as original (and different from any other Edhels album) as all others in the band's discography. The most "rockish" among the other Edhels works (except their latest "Universal"), "Oriental Christmas" is not too notably yet slightly more accessible album than both following Edhel's aces ("Still Dream" and especially "Astrological"). Yes, the music of Edhels is not extremely complex on the whole (though, at least the music on "Astrological" has more than just a moderate level of complexity), but bearing in mind the way a Prog-lover goes developing his comprehension of increasingly more complex progressive structures, this band's discography is the closest step to comprehend the music of the Titans of Classic Progressive Rock. In some ways there is a way leading to the development of the listener's taste for more complex music - step by step - already within the band's discography. Because, beginning with the Edhels (real) debut album and concluding with the fourth one "Astrological", each their new album is more complex than the previous. Back to "Oriental Christmas", this album clearly shows how mature Edhels became just three years after the band had been formed by a few very young musicians.

VM. April 12, 2001


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