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Eclipse Sol-Air - Bartok's Crisis CD (album) cover


Eclipse Sol-Air


Crossover Prog

4.04 | 27 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars Released in 2011, 'Bartok's Crisis' was the second album by this German-French outfit, following on from their debut some four years earlier. At this time the band were a six-piece, although there are numerous guests to boot, but in reality they were the brainchild of Philippe Marie- Arnauld des Lions (vocals, keys, rhythm guitar) who always saw this as a project with a revolving line-up. With male and female vocals and songs in three languages this is a band that obviously wants to be different, yet these are probably the simplest to understand as when it comes to music it is way more complex. Imagine as a base a band that is bringing together strong elements of both Horslips and Red Jasper, and then mixing in a little Renaissance. From there all bets are off as this is an incredibly varied album and there are times when they are pure symph and at others they are obviously neo. The first time I played "Waiting For You" I was amazed to notice at the end that it was more than fifteen minutes long as it just flies by, with some wonderful hooks and loads of different phases.

But that is just the first of the four longer songs found in the middle of the album, with "Benedictus" closing in at 11:06, "Phantome" at 13:03 and "Die Rumanen" at 21:25. It is true to say that there are places here where it does sound as if the long song has been artificially created by putting in some sections that have little connected with the rest (such as the drum solo), but we're progheads so does it really matter? By the end of the album I was totally confused as to what I had been listening to, and just know that I enjoyed it. This feels much more like a theatrical production than 'just' an album, as the songs are often very visual. I have to confess to doing a double take on the last song of the album though, as it is the old sing in a round "Frere Jacques" that I was taught as a young child. It never sounded like this though.

This is one of the longest single discs I have come across, at 82 minutes, and it is certainly never boring! Well worth investigating further,

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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