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AGAPE

Prog Folk • Canada


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Agape biography
Despite being mentioned and acknowledged in chronicles, Québécois band AGAPE remains an unknown star in its galaxy. Their sole legacy resides in a very rare 1972 album called Le Troisième Seuil. I think that even the 11 artists of this ensemble fall into anonymity, apart from this singularly work. André Dumont provides the vocals, Michel Martel is the percussionist, trumpeter Claude Duchesneau adds a tuned flavor in seldom occasions and Jean Bourassa works on a small, recognizable load of effects. Meanwhile, three guitarists (Gilles Bergeron, Marc Lebel, François Kirouac), two bassists (Jacques Mercure, Carole Paquin) and two keyboardists (Yves Chevalier, René Depere) certainly add up to an interesting band format. Ending up uncredited is a melodic flute, airing one of the album's first pieces.

Opinions so far converge that AGAPE's one-off mostly presents psych prog, the sound being much alike the early 70s or perhaps a year or two earlier. It's not a hybrid though, because the folk is possessive, even outside the pure progressive rock margins, with acoustic songs, ballads or half-narrative chants, the melody being accompanied just as chaste, mostly by the guitars. Psych lies instead in bit muzzier accents, Martel's sharp beats or the keyboard register (apparently containing heavier Jaculian organs). Apart from this trickier categorization, Le Troisième Seuil's impact is simpler, pleasant, bit absorbing.

::: Victor Bach (Ricochet) :::

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Buy AGAPE Music


I Walk in the Love of GodI Walk in the Love of God
Eternal Dance Music 1998
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AGAPE discography


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AGAPE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 11 ratings
Le Troisième Seuil
1972

AGAPE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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AGAPE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Le Troisième Seuil by AGAPE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.34 | 11 ratings

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Le Troisième Seuil
Agape Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Fragmented and slightly mad.

Agape was a French speaking Canadian band who only released this album before they vanished from the face of the earth. This album was also a DIY (self produced) album thirty years before that became pretty usual in this fragmented music world. Very brave, these 11 Canadians in Agape.

Le Troisième Seuil is a bit of a wild ride in a territory inhabitated by Harmonium and Cano. This album is not that well produced and not even the transfer to digital media has changed that. This album still retains the wild frontiers DIY feel. The music is a mix of folk and symphonic prog throughout.

The music is pretty good throughout with some great melody lines. But it also has some pretty half baked melodies too. It is therefore a pretty fragmented album which takes the listener on a bumpy ride between decent and good. I will upgrade this album to a rather weak three stars based on a couple of really good songs. The opening song Ouverture for example who has taken a lot from Genesis.

3 stars (barely)

 Le Troisième Seuil by AGAPE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.34 | 11 ratings

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Le Troisième Seuil
Agape Prog Folk

Review by clarke2001
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Wow? What is this?

I don't know, but it's awesome.

A bizarre little record. AGAPE are, I guess, a Christian Rock band. Also, they're a folk band. Most of the time, they're progressive rock band. When they're not folk. Unique, often underlined with psychedelic rock and studio tricks. All that is coloured with various shades of brown; the timbre of the vocalist. He sounds like a baritone without much musical training. And yet, it helps the whole band to be melodic - the layers underneath are spastic and angular.

I don't have a clue what is the story about (I don't speak French), but my impression is anti-war theme, along with philosophy, humans position in the world while being washed with tides of bureaucracy, plus a spiritual message.

Not a bad for a non-speaker, eh? But this band surely produces vivid pictures. You see, the album is full of studio tricks, conversation, sound effects, church organ, typewriter sound, sounds of bombing...making an impressive collage with really distinct mark. And it's not just a pile of acoustic mess - each segment contains it's own development, sported with cross-fading and letting the acoustic guitar to make a thread of a song. There's also flute and piano. And you know what? The more I'm listening to it, the more I like it. I'm rating it with four star without any in-depth explanation - but this sonic hedgehog clicked with me instantly.

 Le Troisième Seuil by AGAPE album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.34 | 11 ratings

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Le Troisième Seuil
Agape Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

What a bizarre UFO this sole privately-released (n 72 ) album from Agape is an eleven-man formation that apparently knew how to capture their sound, because the production is very credible. Graced with a very "pro" artwork, evoking meditation over a sinister background, the back cover in a no-less interesting pagan-time drawing, enhancing the music as well as Bourassa's electronic (and others) effects. . The group consisted of two bassists, two keyboardist, two guitarists, one trumpet blower, André Dumont's vocals a percussionist and a multi-instrumentalist.

Most likely referring to the third stage (Troisième Seuil) of enlightenment, Agape's musical world is a very wild one, starting out like a cross of UFO landing and organ concerto in some wild pagan feast, turning into a mock mass. The singer takes over on harpsichord and sings a light and enlightened folk rock tune, reminiscent of early Floyd, and a little while later of Syd or Dashiell Hedayatt's Obsolète. In the next track, the Hedayatt reminiscence are repeatedly present to the pint that one wonders if it isn't the same artist that moved to Canada. Overall the album, the music wanders from folk rock to psychedelic rock and ahippy-trippy lo-fi

Indeed yet another real unearthed raw gem form La Belle Province where the ideas are so numerous, that had they exploited them better, they would've had enough to make another disc. Nevertheless, Agape's sole album is yet to have seen a legit Cd reissue, something that I hope will be remedied our friends at ProgQuebec. Maybe not essential, but certainly worth a hearing.

Thanks to Ricochet for the artist addition.

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