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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Le Mur

In Tenebris (Vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

These guys call their music “heavy space rock.” I can’t argue with that. In some ways, this almost feels like the kind of thing you might have if you created a more psychedelic and proggy version of Sleep. This is quite a strong album that covers a good range of musical territory. Yet, it’s all trippy and spacey. It’s good stuff, however you slice it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side 1
O.m.e.n. – The Beginning
Organ starts this and the cut grows out from there as other instruments are added. This piece is less than two minutes and more or less a space rock piece. There are some non-lyrical and some whispered vocals, but it’s essentially an instrumental.
Cage
Coming in heavy and psychedelic, this builds out into a fast paced jam that’s part space rock and part psychedelia. There are some proto-metal aspects, but also some early Hawkwind links. At eleven and a half minutes in length, it’s of epic proportions. After working steadily forward for a time, it hits a crescendo and then drops off. Mellower modes build up gradually with some real spacey psychedelia built into it. That path is followed through to a logical conclusion with some great space sound emerging. Then it drops down and a new jam emerges. I love the vocal arrangement on this. It reminds me of the more rocking end of Hawkwind. It should be noted that it does earn a parental advisory. The final built up sections gives way to chaos to end.
One Way Ticket to Space
Again, psychedelia, more mainstream prog and space rock merge on this piece. Like good space rock, the changes are gradual. At times this makes me think of Hawkwind. There is definitely a different flavor at play, too, though. This has long instrumental sections between the vocal movements, just like the previous number. It is quite a rocker. It does have more vocals than the previous one, though. It also has more of a “song” structure at its heart.
Side 2
Die Nacht der Lemuren (Teil III)
To me, this feels like a cross between jazz and psychedelia as it works out. The vocals section seems to bring that same message home. The saxophone wafting over the top later is a great touch. That sax continues as the song dissolves into chaos later. Spacey weirdness takes control for a while. Then it works out into a fast paced jazzy jam that’s the backdrop for one of the longest vocal based sections of the whole album. It slows down at the end and keyboard textures segue into the next piece.
In Tenebris
Atmospheric keyboards serve as the backdrop as bass builds up a song structure. Eventually it fires out into fast paced jamming. After developing along that line for a while, it drops way down for the vocals. Then the movement and evolution is again slow and steady from that point. After the vocals are gone again some guitar starts to really lead it. Some maniacal laughter is heard over the top and then it really picks up power and intensity. It develops into some of the hardest rocking music of the whole album and that laughter is heard again. After a time it drops back down, but just a little. Then another hard driving guitar solo segment takes it. It ends abruptly after rocking out like that for a while.
O.m.e.n. – Riddles in the Dark
Organ starts this out and we’re into another psychedelic jam from there. Eventually this works out to a jazzy kind of jam over which the saxophone solos.
 
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