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Tracklist: 1. Selaou 10:17 2. Dornskrid 3:10 3. Sovajed a-feson 6:02 4. Naer ar galloud 6:49 5. Hybr'Ys 9:35 6. Kan Ker'Ys 6:25 7. Linvadenn 5:03 8. Tad ha Mamm 8:02 9. Enora ha Mael 4:40 10. Mall eo monet da Ys 8:50 All music & lyrics by G. Le Dortz & C. Mignon. Line-up: Claude Mignon - vocals, keyboards Gerard Le Dortz - vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass, drum-programming Guest musicians: Oliver Carole - guitars Gwendal, Gurvan, Gwenhael, & Konam Mevel-s - various woodwinds Produced by Yaka. Recorded & mixed by Thierry Chassang at "Master" studio, Mulsanne, France (2000/2001).
Prologue. Well, here is another material that I can't begin differently than with the words that (alas!) I use often while reviewing the latest releases by Musea Records. So, I haven't heard of this band until now.
The Album. On "Strinkadenn", the French band Seven Reizh presents an original blend of Symphonic Progressive and Gothic Rock with the elements of Celtic music. With the exception of Dornskid and Kan Ker'Ys (tracks 2 & 6), all the other tracks on the album feature the singing in Breton dialect. It's a Celtic-based language spoken in Brittany and a few of the other scattered provinces of France. Claude, who has a beautiful angelic voice, sings on most of the songs on the album, while the lead vocal of Gerard is featured only on three of them. However, five out of eight songs contain the parts of second vocal as well. The vocal musical palette of the album is as impressive as the instrumental one. However, while the instrumental arrangements that are featured on the first four tracks on the album are beautiful, they aren't that complex and intriguing. Three of them: Selaou, Sovajed a-feson, and Naer ar galloud (tracks 1, 3, & 4) are the songs of Neo Symphonic Gothic Rock. They were performed by the duo Seven Reizh with the use of all the instruments and programs that are listed in their studio equipment (see line-up). Dornskrid (2) is kind of a Gothic romance (or ballad, if you will) that, instrumentally, consists only of interplay between passages and solos of acoustic guitar and passages of synthesizer (a string ensemble). Claude sings the parts of lead vocal on the first three of these songs, while Naer ar galloud was entirely sung by Gerard. By the way, Sovajed a-feson is the only song on the album, on which Claude sings with her real voice. On all of the other songs, she uses her 'operatic' talents. Beginning with Hybr'Ys (5) and up to the final note of the album, the music of Seven Reizh is outstanding by all means. Which happened in many ways thanks to the appearance of the Mevel brothers, all four of which are the masterful woodwind players. All six of the remaining songs are very rich not only in sound, but also in the so-called progressive ingredients. Diverse interplay between the traditional 'Rock' instruments and such specific ones as bagpipe, oboe, flute, various horns, etc are typical for all the songs that are featured on the second half of the album. Each of them has at least a slight medieval (or gothic) feel to it, while Kan Ker'Ys, Tad ha Mamm, and Enora ha Mael (6, 8, & 9) are just filled with flavors of medieval folk music. Both of the Hybr'Ys (5) and Linvadenn (7) have a dramatic feel to them. Though Linvadenn is also marked with a slight flavor of the music of East. However, the last track on the album, Mall eo monet da, turned out to be the culmination of it. This song features the wonderful, dramatic and expressive, lead and backing vocals by both of Claude and Gerard. Instrumentally, it is also the most complex and intriguing composition on the album. Apart from interplay between the traditional 'Rock' instruments and various woodwinds, it also features the parts of cello and harp.
Summary. Ten tracks that are featured on this album can be divided into three categories of quality. The first four tracks on the album are good, Hybr'Ys, Linvaddenn and Enora ha Mael (tracks 5, 7 & 9) are excellent, and Kan Ker'Ys, Tad ha Mamm, and Mall eo monet da Ys (tracks 6, 8, & 10) are masterpieces. So on the whole, Seven Reizh's "Strinkadenn" is an excellent album.
VM. May 30, 2002
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