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Reserve de Marche - 2012 - "The Last Twenty Years"

(50:26, MALS Records)


1.  Calorie 7:47
2.  Le Garage 6:28
3.  Forest of a Maniac 9:43
4.  Iron Flow 7:18
5.  Song For Hedgehog 5:50
6.  Stephan's Dream 7:38
7.  Frozen Time 5:42


Alexander Alekseev  guitars 
Andrey Bagdasarov  bass 
Dmitry Pomogaev  drums 

Prolusion. The Russian trio RESERVE DE MARCHE (RDM from now on) was formed by Alexander Alekseev back in 2010, a veteran musician from Moscow's underground rock circuit who started out as a musician in the early 90's. Supplemented by the talents of Pomogaev and Bagdasarov RDM took shape as a band unit, and in 2012 their debut album "The Last Twenty Years" was released through the Russian label Mals Records.

Analysis. From what I understand, the tracks on this debut CD by RDM consist of four demo recordings from the earliest days of the band supplemented by three pieces of a more recent date. In between those the band have solidified, performed quite a few live concerts if I have understood matters correctly, and I surmise that the songwriting is perhaps a bit more of a total band task these days than it was in the early days. If one can use descriptions of that kind for a band that has been active for just about three years at the time of writing. Opening piece Calorie merits mentioning as something of an exception on this production. First and foremost due to what I find to be an intriguing similarity to the Canadian trio Rush in tone, style and expression, both when RDM employs gentler plucked guitar details backed by insistent, vibrant bass and rhythms as well as when this composition hits the harder edged, guitar riff driven territories. A nifty, elegant song in itself, a good manner in which to open a CD, but this song doesn't reveal too much about what is to follow. The following compositions reveal a band that is fond of utilizing layered guitar patterns, which they employ in a rather innovative manner, and extensively so, always with an ear for distinct contrasts in tonal range, expression (or both). Gentle, compact plucked guitars supplemented by resonating plucked guitars are a common feature, as are dark toned, massive riffs firmly residing within metal territories with a swirling nervous typical post rock guitar pattern on top. And just about any combination you can think of between these two extremes. But rather than sticking two merely a dual layer setup we're treated to an at times extensive build of layered guitars, at all times with at least one layer of either resonating or textured guitar motifs of one kind or another, and always with a supportive layer of dampened, compact plucked guitar licks or guitar riffs of some kind. The latter is just as effective when harmonizing as when contrasting the elements with more of a typical post rock or metal expression. Post rock and post metal are both descriptions that need to be applied to this album, and at best it is an intriguing and unpredictable blend of these two styles we're dealing with here. Le Garage, Forest of the Maniac and the subtly subdued Stephan's Dream are all fine examples of this band at their most creative, opening piece Calorie a slight exception, as previously noted, and final piece Frozen Time also merits mentioned in the exceptions department, but in this particular case as a standalone item of atmospheric laden, gentle post rock with a bit more of an ambient touch to it.

Conclusion. RDM has released a fine debut album, in style residing on the borderland between post rock and post metal, with multiple guitar layers of contrasting tonal ranges and expressions as something of a specialty. Those who tend to enjoy fairly innovative instrumental art rock of this specific nature should find this disc to be a pleasant experience, a solid debut from a promising and talented Russian band.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: April 11, 2012
The Rating Room

Related Links:

MALS Records
Reserve de Marche


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