Short album reviews by The Prog Yak. No puffery here, just a simple review and score from 1 to 5 yaks! Have a new album you'd like The Prog Yak to review? Let us know.
La Barque Ailée et L'Albatros ...Quand S'envolent Les Mots
The fifth album, "...When Words Take Flight...", by the French symphonic prog group, Seven Reizh, signals a dramatic finale to the quadrilogy that began in 2001 with "Strinkadenn'ys". This innovative work takes inspiration from key pieces of their last two albums, "La Barque Ailée” (The Winged Boat) and “L'Albatros” (The Albatros), offering a fresh perspective on these familiar compositions.
The album is far more than a mere retrospective, instead guiding the listener on an entirely new musical expedition. The journey is enriched by 12 new musicians, complementing the already substantial ensemble of twenty artists. These new additions bring an eclectic blend of unfamiliar sounds, introducing instruments like the Norwegian nickelharpa, the Chinese guzheng, the Turkish ney, bamboo flutes, and handpans--instruments that were previously uncharted territory for Seven Reizh.
This instrumental project is enlivened with an array of new voices from Turkey, Vietnam, France, Germany, and a Franco-Russian countertenor. This compelling fusion of instrumental and vocal compositions has led Seven Reizh to coin a new term for their music: “instruvocal."
Each track has been carefully reimagined, incorporating new themes and compositions designed specifically for the fresh additions to the ensemble. The entire project has been meticulously repackaged and mixed anew, providing listeners with a distinctive sonic experience.
The album symbolises a profound engagement with global influences, inviting listeners on a unique musical exploration. Concluding a 24-year musical saga, it serves as both an end and a fresh beginning. This dichotomy is symbolically represented in the names of the first and last tracks: "Antre", a Breton word for "entrance", and "Klozañ", the Breton word for “closing."
Spanning nearly ninety minutes, the album is available as a trifold vinyl and a double CD, both accompanied by a luxurious 24-page booklet showcasing original artwork and photographs created specifically for this project. A high-definition audio version (24 x 96 kHz) is also available on Bandcamp. This album stands as a fitting epilogue to a long journey, while simultaneously heralding new musical explorations.
We're enthralled by this release and have chosen to feature it prominently in our New Music rotation on Prog Radio. We invite you to tune in and experience it for yourself.
Devotees of Prog Radio are well aware of our vibrant mix of music, encompassing works from nearly 500 distinct prog artists. Our playlists frequently include tracks from the mesmerising French-Canadian ensemble, Cirque du Soleil. If this aspect of our musical palette resonates with you, we're confident you'll love this new album!