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TRACK LIST: 1. Introduction vegetarienne 7:20 (Cael) 2. Tetraktys 5:10 (Koskowitz) 3. Artefact 4:04 (=) 4. Film 3:39 5. Grass 4:04 (Gindt) 6. Umanak 14:14 (Cael) 7. Ce sont des choses qui arrivent 6:15 (Gindt) 8. Les lions 4:00 (=) 9. Oarystis 4:40 (Koskowitz) 10. Gargamel chez les cosaques 1:22 (Cael) LINE-UP: Jean Cael - bass; synthesizer; voice Daniel Koskowitz - drums & percussion; voice Antoine Gindt - guitar; synthesizer; voice Alain Casari - alto sax, clarinet, & flute; voice Denis Tagu - piano & organ; voice Recorded at "Centre Andre Malraux", Vandouevre. Executive producer: J.C. Hesse at Gazul Records.
Prolusion. As far as I know, "Il y a des Jours" is the only album by the French band Hellebore.
Synopsis. Like the US Cuneiform label, Gazul Records is an asylum for the most non-conformist progressive bands and performers working with such difficult musical forms as those typical for Rock In Opposition and the so-called New Music (Fifth Element, of course). There are ten instrumental compositions on "Il y a des Jours" and, with the exception of Vegetarian Introduction (1); all of them are the representatives of RIO. Just like its title, the opening track of the album lacks 'meat' and is mostly about quite a mellow Symphonic Art-Rock, though some arrangements on it remotely remind me of those on Anglagard's "Epilog". Overall, this is a very good composition, but not a masterpiece, unlike any of the other tracks here. Beginning with the second track, Tetractys, and down to the end of the album, the music is in the vein of Classic RIO, though elements of all four of the other classic progressive genres, and also those of Avant-garde, are available here too. Furthermore, while such RIO-related features as the absolute unpredictability of development of musical events, seemingly dissonant arrangements, and a tense atmosphere are typical for this album, its musical palette is almost free of dark colors. The "voices" (see line-up above) are heard on a few tracks on the album and represent either whispers or vocalizes. As it's stated in the CD booklet, "Il y a des Jours" is the brainchild of the band's bassist, drummer, and guitarist. However, keyboardist Denis Tagu and wind instrumentalist Alain Casari are certainly the main arrangers of the music of Hellebore, and arrangements are the most important constituent of progressiveness of music. While all of the band members are real dabs, it's hard not to notice that the parts of Denis's piano and organ and Alain's clarinet and sax are especially diverse and virtuosi. Well, all of this is just particulars that hardly concern the overall quality of Hellebore's music, which is top-notch and by all means.
Conclusion. Hellebore's "Il y a des Jours" is one of those gems of RIO that are and will always be a classic for the future of the universe and regardless of whether these were Earthly or Martian Prog-lovers who missed it.
VM: June 20, 2003
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