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Minimum Vital - Sarabandes  CD (album) cover


Minimum Vital


Eclectic Prog

3.65 | 56 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars On paper (or websites to be precise), this sounds like a real winner...a French prog band blending medieval influences and some fusion into a symphonic base, but, just as battles are not won on paper, neither are my ears. This turns out to be a remarkably self-indulgent recording that substitutes the most irritating repetitiveness for innovation and compositional development. It's an album that's hard to listen to but which provides few rewards for the effort. Comparisons to Gentle Giant seem most fitting for me - that contrived ancient approach that demonstrates musical virtuosity without warmth.

The meat of the disk is supposed to be the title tracks, but they epitomize the above distractions. Usually it is the guitars that zap us for too long too hard, but sometimes it's the bass. Minimum Vital seems an equally opportunity over loader. The waste of potential is also evident in "Hymne et Danse" which has an intriguing slow beginning and some lovely passages but unfortunately seems stuck in digital, either going full bore or barely at all. "Danza Vital" starts off beautifully before it too goes off the rails in the middle section. Indeed the breathless pace reminds me of a lot of neo prog. Only in "Le Chant du Monde" is a nostalgic vision fulfilled, whether intentionally or not.

While the vital signs are operating far above the minimum, I find myself wishing that the patient could be properly sedated all too often.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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