dinsdag 30 november 2010

Ange - 1978 - Guet-Apens


01. A Colin-Maillard (8:05)
02. Dans les Poches du Berger (5:38)
03. Un Trou dans la Case (5:24)
04. Virgule (1:41)
05. Réveille-toi (5:17)
06. Capitaine Coeur de Miel (14:02)

- Christian Decamps / keyboards, vocals
- Francis Decamps / keyboards, vocals
- Jean Pierre Guichard / drums
- Claude Demet / flute, guitar
- Gerald Renard / bass

For the very time of their career, Ange will wait for two years to produce this new studio release. Of course, in the meantime they have released their great "Tome VI", their first live album. Ange did produce some masterpieces already, and some less perfect (though very good) work as well.
The line-up has been rather stable throughout their early days. For the very first time, there will be some major line-up changes. Jean-Michel Brezovar (lead guitar), Daniel Haas (bass) and Gérald Jelsch (drums) who were within the band since "Caricatures" have left.
When one looks at the tracklist, one thinks : great! Long tracks like on their debut album (at least it was my reaction). But will the music be on par ?
I have to say that the opener "A Colin-Maillard" is somewhat remiscent of that period. Very good instrumental parts, purely symphonic and definitely reminiscent of their debut album for my greatest joy. We'll remain in the same territory with "Dans les Poches du Berger". Lyrics are extremely poetic. On this side as well, we revert to the mysterious and intricate lyrics of their early days. Really a great surprise so far. The atmosphere of the song is very "Trespass" oriented, but it is not the first time that this appear in Ange's work.
The lyrics for "Un Trou dans la Case" will renew as well with their sexual and anti-clerical opinions. They are the major attraction of this rather hard song. The short "Virgule" might sound a very light song. But believe me, the lyrics are almost obscene. A lot of allusions again around the sexual aspect of our lives.
I can not think of one English band that went so far in their lyrics. Ange already produced such an innocent piece of music (in appearance) on their album "Le Cimetière Des Arlequins". The song to which I refer is "L'Espionne Lesbienne". It sounds innocent as long as you do not understand the text.
I think that the extreme will be reached in "Réveille-Toi" : "Wake Up! Wake Up! I want this coïtus to risen you from the dead and that it arouses velvet moments in you ! "Wake Up! Wake Up! Can you hear me ? I am penetrating you, bowling you over, I am breathing you, I am burying you !!! I love you, I love you, I love you !!!
The last and epic track "Capitaine Coeur De Miel" is probably the most theatrical piece of music that Ange has ever written. Christian playing several roles during these splendid forteen minutes. Full of lyricism, sex, alcohol. Beautiful and grandiose music, scary at times as well as poignant, vibrant, emotional, bizarre, dramatic etc. In one word, it is one of the best Ange songs.
The questions raised by the personnel changes are answered pretty easily. They have not affected Ange's music (at least for this album). This highlights only the extreme importance of the Descamps brothers on their work. This is their sixth very good album in a row; interrupted with a great live album. Who has done better ? Genesis of course, but who else ?
This band is little known outside the French speaking countries. It would have definitely deserved to have gained more popularity, but singing in French such complex lyrics (even difficult to understand for native French speakers) have cut them from a great international career. And it is a shame. Of course they have appeared in some major festival in the UK (Reading) opening for Genesis but in France, they are considered as a national glory.
This album has not the fame of " Le Cimetière Des Arlequins", "Au Delà Du Délire" and "Par Les fils De Mandrin". But so was "Caricatures" which is one of their greatest albums. As this one. You should really give it a try if you love symphonic music. If by any chance, you can grab some French, your joy will even greater.

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