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(57:51, Progressive Promotion Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Se Taire 4:13 2. Elle Espere 3:54 3. Annee Lumiere 5:15 4. Ici Encore 6:08 5. L'Espoir-1 5:38 6. L'Espoir-2 6:57 7. Controle 5:44 8. En Paix 6:21 9. Elle 4:56 10. Crash 8:45 LINEUP: Damien Dahan – vocals Lionel Giacobbe – guitars Anastasia Moussali – vocals Patrice Cannone – keyboards Jean Vincent Filipinni – bass Sebastien Vignard – drums
Prolusion. The French band ELORA was formed in 2005, named after the daughter of bassist Jean-Vincent Fillipini. Following live performances in and around their base in Marseilles they released an initial EP in 2010, and in 2013 they signed with the German label Progressive Promotion Records for the release of their debut album "Crash".
Analysis. Citing bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside and Pink Floyd as some of their many influences, Elora is a band that has chosen an accessible variety of progressive rock as their chosen field. Which makes their choice of record label a natural one, as Progressive Promotion Records have started making a name for themselves by signing progressive rock bands that have chosen fairly appealing and accessible variety of this kind of music as something of a specialty. Elora's take on this music is one that tends to stick fairly close to conventional rock music in main structure. Most compositions feature a distinct verse and chorus framework; you have an instrumental sequence around the halfway point, and the chorus or a variation of it is likely to appear towards the end of the songs. This general framework is, of course, flavored with alternative or additional themes, songs featuring a second set of verse and chorus constructions or otherwise expanding upon this canvas in a subtle or more distinct manner. We are talking about a progressive rock band after all. But the basic structure more often than not references back to this architecture. In terms of arrangements, alternating gentle and harder edged parts are the name of the game here. Careful, clean guitar motifs supplemented by piano, smooth keyboard textures or soft symphonic backdrops are usually reserved for verse passages, erupting into a harder edged, more intense display for the chorus section, occasionally drifting towards a metal tinged expression for the latter. With suitably complex rhythms increasing or decreasing intensity as needed, and with a sweet, driving bass guitar presence as a key feature. Male and female lead vocals are an important feature too, both of them featured as sole lead vocalists just as often as utilizing the dynamics of a dual lead vocals based setup to enhance the emotional impact of the songs. Strong and distinct moods, enticing melodies and strong lead vocals make this album an intriguing one to my personal taste, the opening quartet of songs most of all with many fine creations following in their wake. A strong debut effort by a band exploring a variety of progressive rock that should have a fairly broad reach.
Conclusion. Accessible, melodic progressive rock with a stated influence by Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd and Riverside is what Elora has to offer on their debut album, and just like the fellow French band Delusion Squared arguably with the former of these as the most natural comparison as far as stylistic expression is concerned. Tight, elegant and enticing progressive rock in short, and of a kind and variety that makes it logical to recommend this album to fans of bands like Porcupine Tree first and foremost.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: October 17, 2013
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