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Atoll - Tertio (CD)









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ATOLL is one of the most renowned Seventies French Progressive rock bands, if not one of the best. Singer André BALZER, drummer extraordinaire Alain GOZZO and their colleagues display a music both complex and very elaborated, with sophisticated arrangements and constant melodic research. Recorded in 1974, Musiciens-Magiciens reveals itself as a great debut album. Undeniable masterpiece of the band, L'Araignée-Mal (1975) saw the arrivals of the talented guitar player Christian BEYA and famous violinist Richard AUBERT (KOMINTERN, GONG, TRIBU, VIOLON D'INGRES, ABRACADABRA...). The two keyboards players know perfectly how to use their Mellotrons and Moogs with accuracy, into varied and tricky compositions. This opus is the most ambitious piece of work ever made by ATOLL, recorded as the band was at the peak of its form. The inspired and masterfully played jazz-rock of Cazotte n°2 is the perfect counterpart of two long tracks filled with lyricism. And watch out for the conceptual title-track clocking at twenty minutes ! The whole puts ATOLL besides YES or KING CRIMSON for musical sophistication, as well as THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA. An impressive calling card, isn't it ? Recognised then both for their melodic perfection and for their composing and arranging skills, the members recorded Tertio (Without a second keyboardist or a violinist) two years later, resolutely performing a refined Progressive rock in which the singer's peculiar voice became verbal music. Rock Puzzle (1979) presents a more concise and varied music that followed the same orientation as the one taken by ANGE and MONA LISA at the same period. The first two albums include some live bonus tracks, and the fourth one three previously unreleased tracks with the great John WETTON ! Disappointed by the split-up of U.K., the British singer-bassist had seriously thought about joining the band from Metz. He gave them such songs as Here Comes The Feeling, performed a few months later by ASIA ! The four first ATOLL studio albums are now reissued by the Musea label in Digipack format, reproducing the original vinyl cover. Tokyo, C'Est Fini is a live album recorded in Japan in 1989 by the New ATOLL, in which Christian BEYA was the only original member remaining, now accompanied here by youngsters such as singer Raoul LEININGER and drummer Gilles BONNABAUD. It was during this period that L'Océan was recorded, becoming the last ATOLL studio album ever. It is now reissued by the Musea label, in a clearly revamped edition. The CD benefits from re-recorded or never-heard-before parts, and the bonus-tracks are made of two live songs, as well as the track Try Not To Worry, composed in 1983 by a short-lived incarnation. The splendid cover-art is obviously inspired by the one illustrating the famous Tales From Topographic Oceans, painted by Roger DEAN for YES. Musically speaking, this sequel shows how good the band adapted the complexity of its writing to the sound of the Eighties. Do you really want to taste the best of French Progressive rock ?

ATOLL (France)

1 - Paris, C'Est Fini (5'54)
2 - Les Dieux Même (7'31)
3 - Gae Lowe - Le Duel (4'46)
4 - Le Cerf-Volant (5'41)
5 - Tunnel (I. Part One) (5'46)
6 - Tunnel (II. Part Two) (8'09)