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ANGE

Symphonic Prog • France


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Ange picture
Ange biography
Founded in Belfort, France, in 1969 - Still active as of 2017

Formed by brothers Christian Décamps (vocals) and Francis Décamps (keyboards) and later joined by guitarist Jean-Michel Brézovar, bassist Daniel Haas and Gérard Jelsh on drums, this French symphonic progressive rock band, similar to contemporaries such as Genesis and King Crimson, is undoubtedly France's most important prog band. Marrying prog rock influences with French folk and theatrical vocals à la Jacques Brel (Ange covered Ces Gens-là from Brel, and it turned out to be their first hit in 1970), Ange's music, but mostly their lyrics, are second to none. Thirty years later, after multiple lineup changes, charismatic and theatrical frontman Christian Descamps leads the new Ange generation alongside his son Tristan on keyboards, Hassan Hajdi on guitars, Thierry Sidhoun on bass, Caroline Crozat on vocals and Benoît Cazzulini on drums.

The classic line up (except for the drummer which changed often) recorded many cult classics, such as « Caricatures », « Le Cimetière des Arlequins », and a series of masterpieces like « Au-delà du Délire », « Émile Jacotey », « Par les Fils de Mandrin » and « Guet-Apens ». 10 years after « Guet-Apens », the same lineup would reunite and release two albums, « Sève qui Peut » in 1989 and « Les larmes du Dalaï-Lama » in 1992. While being modern, these albums nevertheless captured the main ingredients unique to Ange. Their latest albums, « Culinaire Lingus » and « ? » see the band as inspired and pertinent as ever, as if Descamps had found the secret of eternal youth.

This band is more than highly recommended, it is mandatory listening for fans of theatrical symphonic progressive rock, especially the period between « Caricatures » and « Guet-Apens ».

Eric Beaudin 2006

Ange official website

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Buy ANGE Music


Au-Del? du D?lireAu-Del? du D?lire
Philips
Vinyl$177.00 (used)
Le Cimetiere Des ArlequinsLe Cimetiere Des Arlequins
Import
Philips Import 1998
Audio CD$10.00
$7.49 (used)
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ANGE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.82 | 111 ratings
Caricatures
1972
3.49 | 156 ratings
Le Cimetière Des Arlequins
1973
3.96 | 269 ratings
Au-Delà Du Délire
1974
3.72 | 146 ratings
Emile Jacotey
1975
3.48 | 120 ratings
Par Les Fils De Mandrin
1976
3.97 | 123 ratings
Guet-Apens
1978
2.61 | 40 ratings
Vu D'Un Chien
1980
1.75 | 27 ratings
Moteur!
1981
1.84 | 29 ratings
À Propos De...
1982
2.49 | 35 ratings
La Gare De Troyes
1983
2.12 | 28 ratings
Fou !
1984
1.84 | 25 ratings
Egna
1986
2.31 | 20 ratings
Tout Feu Tout Flamme
1987
3.40 | 31 ratings
Sève Qui Peut
1989
2.67 | 38 ratings
Les Larmes Du Dalaï Lama
1992
2.38 | 18 ratings
La Voiture À Eau
1999
3.60 | 38 ratings
Culinaire Lingus
2001
3.10 | 20 ratings
By The Sons Of Mandrin
2003
3.03 | 19 ratings
?
2005
2.83 | 18 ratings
Souffleurs De Vers
2007
3.88 | 44 ratings
Le Bois Travaille, Même Le Dimanche
2009
3.49 | 42 ratings
Moyen-Âge
2012
3.85 | 29 ratings
Emile Jacotey Résurrection
2014

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

3.96 | 39 ratings
Live 1977 - Tome VI
1977
2.51 | 11 ratings
Ange En Concert 1970-71
1978
4.56 | 7 ratings
Un P'tit Tour Et Puis S'En Vont
1995
3.30 | 11 ratings
Rideau !
1995
3.98 | 7 ratings
A ... Dieu
1996
2.39 | 5 ratings
Rêves Parties
2000
3.77 | 15 ratings
Tome 87
2002
3.38 | 12 ratings
En Concert - Par les Fils de Mandrin Millésimé 77
2003
4.54 | 10 ratings
Le Tour De La Question
2007
4.81 | 7 ratings
Zènith an II
2007
3.60 | 5 ratings
Souffleurs De Vers Tour
2009
4.50 | 6 ratings
Escale à Ch'tiland (2CD+DVD)
2011

ANGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Concert Volume Un - Sève Qui Peut
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
En Concert 1990
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Zénith 1985
1993
4.00 | 2 ratings
Concerts 1976/1977
1994
4.33 | 3 ratings
Anthologie - Sève Qui Peut Tour
2003
3.17 | 4 ratings
70's / 80's - Deux Décennies De Concert
2003
4.05 | 2 ratings
Live Tour 2003-2004 Par Les Fils De Mandrin
2006
5.00 | 1 ratings
Un Ange Passe ...
2007

ANGE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.23 | 7 ratings
Réimpression 72-76
1977
3.53 | 7 ratings
Vagabondages
1989
3.13 | 5 ratings
Mémo
1994
3.39 | 5 ratings
Master Serie Vol. 1
1998
3.13 | 4 ratings
Master Serie Vol. 2
1998
3.91 | 2 ratings
Master Serie Vol.1 & 2
1998
4.00 | 3 ratings
Ad Libitum
1999
4.05 | 2 ratings
Les Talents Du Siècle - Best Of
1999
4.25 | 4 ratings
Au-delà du délire / Émile Jacotey
2009
5.00 | 2 ratings
Les 50 plus belles chansons
2011

ANGE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Israel
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tout Feu Tout Flamme
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Caricatures
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Le Soleil Est Trop Vert
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ode A Emile
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
La Suisse
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
10 Ans Déjà
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Le Moribond
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fou! (Promo Single)
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Moi Le Maudit
2009

ANGE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Le Cimetière Des Arlequins by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.49 | 156 ratings

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Le Cimetière Des Arlequins
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

4 stars Do consider one of French leaders in symphonic progressive rock world ANGE would have established their musical originality with bizarre psychedelic wall of sound. I've listened to all of ANGE's albums in Phillips era, and clearly noticed their second studio creation was kinda development and simultaneously another portfolio (amazingly this was my first ANGE's album oh great). This sound approach that would never be listened to since then reminds me of Phil Spector's "Wall Of Sound" and The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds related to the method. And the soundscape can be understood as a mixture of such a psychedelic drone, bizarre artistry, and sorta French narcissism ... the eerie, exaggerated sleeve art (by Jacques WYRS) would mention all of this album.

Just from the beginning of the first shot "Ces Gens-L'" we can get impressed with heavy percussion, deep mellotron, and theatrical voices. Their play in this album is not so skillful nor technical as upon their following creations, let me say, but unique sound innovation should be considered as a fantasy. It's quite amazing and interesting for us to imagine that such a fanatic fantasy be generated mainly by D'camps brothers (especially Christian's voices and Francis mellotron). And above mentioned, G'rard's percussion or drumming reminds us of massively echoic Hal Blaine's world. Apparently his drumming in one of ANGE's early pop masterpieces "De Temps En Temps" must be inspired by Hal and Phil. The last titled track is exactly a rock kaleidoscope, with mysterious phrases, weird keys, and mischievous moments.

From the beginning to the end, we cannot escape out the dreamy, and a tad sarcastic space. Have not experienced (and will not experience) this identified, innovative creativity.

 Au-Delà Du Délire by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.96 | 269 ratings

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Au-Delà Du Délire
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by Menswear
Prog Reviewer

5 stars One kick in the crotch!

Ouch and ouch again. What a blast! In terms of theatrics we all know Peter Gabriel, Ian Anderson, Fish, Matthew Parmenter or recently Gerrit Welmers of Future Islands. But the real McCoy, the supreme mogul of intensity is Christian Décamps. He is, period. The guy is simply a volcano, a massive erupting volcano of entertainment. Even pushing 60 years old, go see him on YouTube; it's uncanny.

That band is to me, the scariest I've listened of my whole life. The lyrics are out of this world, flirting with madness. And when I say madness, I'm evoking creepy imagery . Such a clever and graphic poetry has to be the work of a genius\ madman. And that atmosphere! It's like walking in a Lucio Fulci colorful fog, but scared out of your mind. Tough to find words, but the organ effects they use is chilling to the bone.

Incredible band to say the least: fantastic lyrical imagery, intense\ gripping atmosphere and the best frontman this side of the Universe. I'm simply baffled by their level of intensity and dramatics. They are clearly influenced by Genesis, but they appropriated themselves the formula and refined it a la Française giving themselves a true calling card.

When we think of France, we think more of fine foods than rock n' roll legends, but these guys are simply exceptional. The real deal.

 Le Cimetière Des Arlequins by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.49 | 156 ratings

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Le Cimetière Des Arlequins
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Tales of poetic dreams and strange nightmares

3.5 stars

Second studio album by the French proggers, "Le Cimetière Des Arlequins" was the first ANGE album I listened to and still remains my favorite today. Why? Maybe because of its overall particular hazy and mystical atmosphere the music delivers through fantasy, haunting and mysterious ambiances. This impression is mainly due to the predominance of the band's unique spacey mellotron-like sonority, created by Francis Décamps by reverberating a Viscount organ through a Hammond organ. More modern than its predecessor, the disc was very innovative and exciting for 1973 - especially considering the French rather radio-friendly musical landscape at the time - but sounds quite dated nowadays.

ANGE is often referred as the French GENESIS, but is this really the case? I can understand this comparison, as there were not many known symphonic prog bands in France in the 70's, however I do not find it entirely right. If you're a newcomer, a better description of the Décamps brothers and co.'s compositions would be something like 'chanson française-meets-medieval-meets-space-and-symphonic-rock', with more emphasis on eerie keyboards and theatricality than on virtuoso guitars and breathtaking passages. Furthermore, the tracks are shorter, with more conventional durations. The important word is: atmosphere.

The record opens with the surprising spacey cover of the famous Jacques Brel's song "Ces gens-là". Nice and original, ANGE chose not to include the "Frida" section, whose glorious and positive tone and lyrics contrast with the rest of the track. Once again, the band prefers to focus on satire. "Ces gens-là" will be released as a single and will be their first success, making them famous in France. Supported by the flute and somber organs, the medieval "Aujourd'hui c'est la fête chez l'apprenti sorcier" possesses an unusual progression. Alternating calm and even heavy guitar riffing passages, this composition is really good. Despite its repetitive and irritative beginning, the mysterious and haunting "Bivouac Première Partie" is quite pleasant, with a unexpected acceleration. On the contrary, "L'espionne lesbienne" is easily the weakest song of the disc. A boring sexual delirium.

As its title suggests, "Bivouac Final" begins where "Bivouac Première Partie" ended. A powerful and somber kind of space rock. Then comes one of the few moments with a hopeful tone in this album, "De temps en temps". This lighter composition is pretty, but its ending is completely out of place. Inspired by Van Gogh's painting "Road with Cypress and Star", "La route aux cyprès" is an acoustic pause, where Christian Decamps and Daniel Haas plays a relaxing peaceful tune. Longest song of the record, the 9 minutes title track is also the darkest and features various ambiances: a little eccentric, gloomy and even scary as hell! Enjoyable although a bit uneven.

With "Le Cimetière Des Arlequins", ANGE defines its own style and identity: a magical elixir of medieval, spacey, spooky and symphonic progressive poetry, with slight heavy touches. Fairytale organs and some guitar riffs create a somber and mysterious atmosphere serving a theatrical singing. This second opus from the Frenchs may well be their most sinister and spaciest offering, and therefore possesses its own particular charm.

For all these reasons, "Le Cimetière Des Arlequins" is my personal favorite from the Décamps brothers and co., as well as the only ANGE studio album I really appreciate. Check it out if enjoy symphonic prog, space rock and haunting hazy musical tales...

 Master Serie Vol.1 & 2  by ANGE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1998
3.91 | 2 ratings

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Master Serie Vol.1 & 2
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

4 stars Time waits for no one, as the Stones used to say. Forty years almost in a row, except for a little rest in the 90's. In the 70's, Ange was not one of my favorites in symphonic prog - with the exception of their marvelous debut CARICATURES, the next two LE CIMITIERE DES ARLEQUINS and AU DELA DU DELIRE were a collection of highs and lows with too many reminiscences from contemporary giants, you know, youngsters having fun rehearsing their Englishmen idols. What I disliked the more was their insistence in emphasizing the lyrics, and not particularly for the French singing, that's less relevant, is that music sometimes is left in a second plane supporting tales and narratives that no one cares about. And still they managed to make a few of the greatest masterpieces of prog in the mid 70's, the EMILE JACOTEY and PAR LES FILS DE MANDRIN. When they returned in 2000, without genius composer Francis, the band was led by brother Christian, they were different, as we all are after a while (I used to listen to Deep Purple and now I can go with Ange, you see), but they managed to stay away of mainstream, probably making a hole in their pockets, but it made me think the Decamps brothers were worth a second chance in my ear. Most tracks here contained in this compilation belong to the first five albums, the best no doubt. A good bunch of the most celebrated themes that is perfect to introduce yourself to this band led by brothers Decamps with Francis making most of the compositional effort. There are a few more tracks scattered that have been taken from the pile of irrelevant albums they issued in the 80's. The producers may have left them out without any loss.
 Le Bois Travaille, Même Le Dimanche by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.88 | 44 ratings

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Le Bois Travaille, Même Le Dimanche
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

4 stars In the last decade, Crhistian Decamps line up of the French reedition of the band Ange managed to craft a good album CULINAIRE LINGUS, with such a great cover (don't miss it). Their sound is nothing like it used to be, it is a different band, and though suffering the natural fatigue of the years, every now and then Christian manages to put together a few great compositions in the same album. This is one. The themes are now less based on keyboard riffs and shifty backgrounds (that was Francis specialty, who returned to stage with GENS DE LA LUNE). Christian's Ange flows on monotonic dark sounds, and strong darker vocals; it is evident the music is not coming from a happy soul anymore, as it used to be, it is tragic. Don't know if that's a personal feeling by C. Decamps or that he realized that the weird tales fit better with dark music. Still too much emphasis with the lyrics, what a boring insistence! But it is patent here that the composition was cherished and the arrangements are great, not as in two former albums. The best tracks are Sous les Nez de Pinicchio, L'Oeil Et L'Ou'e, Dames et dominos, Les Collines Roses, and the closing track A'Lombre Des Pictograms. This is sort of a melancholic epic that deserves a few shots in your ear.
 Emile Jacotey Résurrection by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.85 | 29 ratings

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Emile Jacotey Résurrection
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

3 stars This is a revisited version of the great 75 work by the French band Ange, now without brother founder and genius composer Francis. Thirty years have gone and the band is rampantly energetic with new lineup, of course. Except for a few added tracks, the repeating themes are by the most part copycat of the originals, with very little re-interpretation. I ignored if they just wanted to re-issue the album with improved rec quality -the original was not bad for the time, I have to say- but for this short trip I wouldn't go out. Very few tracks have improved; if anything, it was the other way around, as in the great Les Noces, in which some new airs tried to update the sound to modern times, but it turns out kind of repetitive. Curiously, one track that gets a new appealing air is Aurelia, which in the original reminded quite a bit to Genesis, while in the resurrected one.... too (yea), but with other borrowings. The changed finale in Le Marchand de les Planetes is interesting, and the claps in the background of the Ode to Emile are nice. The new tracks are not very inspired and they cut down the high mark of the grandpa.
 ? by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.03 | 19 ratings

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?
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

2 stars Strange this album of French act Ange. It is completely different to all I've listened from them. The music is dark, experimental, kind of ambient, not very prog, not very inspired. As usual, too much space for the lyrics, which I don't praise particularly. A bunch of uninteresting tunes with some tricks here, some unusual instruments there, nothing that you will remember after one listening, nothing you want to replay. Decamps keeps trying, he has an attitude, no doubt, but there seems to be no much left in the jar of the genius. A couple of tracks just to mention some, the Naufragé du Zodiaque and the Passeport Pour Nulle Part have some interesting moments.
 Culinaire Lingus by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.60 | 38 ratings

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Culinaire Lingus
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

3 stars There is no much left of the original ANGE's sound of the 70's. All but Christian Decamps founder member have long gone. Whatever. Decamps signs all tracks. 25 years later and his music is more energetic than it ever was. That's something, uh! May I dare to say that it is as much inspired too? If you follow the career of the great prog musicians, when the good days of impulsive creativity have gone past the 30-y, many have survived composing mainstream music, but few have maintained the creativity and freshness, and appetite, and? all you will see in this Culinaire. That's more than adapting to modern times, it's talent, my friends. Decamps gathered a bunch of excellent musicians and give us a bunch of tracks all different, a torrent of ideas, styles, moods, it is as if someone released a long-chained beast of music. If anything, the long tracks are the weakest, too long for that few ideas. 3.5-4. Thanks Monsieur Decamps for this late cadeaux.
 Par Les Fils De Mandrin by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.48 | 120 ratings

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Par Les Fils De Mandrin
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

5 stars Mandrin had remarkable sons, no doubt. To me, this is the more balanced album of the French band Ange. There is no musical evolution, but who wants that? This is the last good album of the band first and original sound. We all know what happened afterwards, as many other great bands in the mid 70's. If you had known the Punk was coming to sweep it all, wouldn't you have preferred to have a few more albums like this instead? As usual, Ange tells stories in their music, but in this occasion the singing is less bothering, and not because there aren`t long speeches, there are plenty, but because the voice is not hyperbolic as in other occasions, and the slow passages remain audible enough. Several themes are crafted with short chorus excerpts linking long interludes that spite of being designed for the singer, they have beautiful keyboards, guitar or flute sections, in a folkish air. The entry in the title album theme is something not to miss, or in Atlantis, or the introductory Cantique in the Hymn A La Vie. Few times in prog music the slow sections and interludes get a higher inspiration than the climax parts, and these have no loss either. Unfortunately, the sound is rather deficient; you have to squeeze your equalizer. I noticed an English edition many years later that probably had a better production, but reviewers don't seem particularly fond of it. This album deserves a careful remastering. .
 Sève Qui Peut by ANGE album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.40 | 31 ratings

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Sève Qui Peut
Ange Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

2 stars This album is full of brilliant moments buried in uninspired tunes. Is it a soundtrack? The lyrics are always commanding and the music waiting for the story-teller to finish. What a waste of musical resources. I know this has always been the trademark of the band. So? The title theme is a pop song (shame!). Les Plaisirs Faciles needed so little to make a good track. The theme NON¡ has great motivated riffs wrapped by insipid texts. Grand Sentiments is the only track one may enjoy from start to end. One can see the band still has a lot to say musically, but they use it only to tell stories?? K'mon.
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