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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Le Mur

Exorta (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This new vinyl release from Le Mur is very classy. In the first place, the record is high quality, and the music is captivating and unique. They include a download code, too. I will say that I did download the music because I needed to be sure where one track ended and another began for my track by track review. That said, comparing the two versions, I prefer the sound of the vinyl, but I'm biased toward vinyl, so take that as you may. I would also say that just letting this run, without worrying when one song begins and another ends, is the best way to enjoy it. This is psychedelic, and trippy and quite proggy. There is a post prog, shoegaze element at times, but this is never really limited by one sound. It is experimental and largely without constraints. It's also very cool.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Side 1
           
O.m.e.n. - Towards the End

This rises up gradually, with sort of an ambient element giving way to a guitar based introductory section. The tune grows outward from there with a cool almost space rock meets psychedelic vibe to it. This is essentially an introductory instrumental, but a fairly extensive one at that.

Die Nacht der Lemuren (Teil 1)
A nearly screamed vocal movement starts this piece.  It's a powerful, almost punky jam. Still, there is plenty of prog tendency here as this drives forward. As the title suggests, the lyrics are not in English. There is some killer psychedelic jamming that emerges further down the road as this shifts direction. From there we're taken into some trippy, mellower territory that further emphasizes the psychedelia. As it begins to rise upward I'm reminded of things like Iron Butterfly. That works through and gives way to an echoey kind of post prog sort of jam. The cut makes its way to a jazzy, trippy section further down the road. There is almost a Nik Turner meets Miles Davis kind of thing going on at times here.
(Intro) - The broken pieces of...
Echoey vocals bring this into being, more or less unaccompanied. There is a real trippy, space rock element at play as this continues. It grows by more layers of vocals joining, creating almost an otherworldly chant sound. Musical textures rise upward after a time in a dark way. The vocals take on a slow moving, electronic vibe as this evolves. This cut is dark and pretty freaky. It should be noted that this labeled on the cover in the following way, "First piece: Fields of Misery, second piece: Broken, third piece: Intro from the Past."
Our Doom
Starting with a keyboard section, doom metal merged with psychedelia and prog are on display here. The cut has definite ties to shoegaze type sounds. It grinds forward in some great dark ways. This has some cool shifts and changes. It gets into some screaming hot territory further down the road. This is quite a dynamic and unusual number.  
Side 2
          
These Symptoms are Temporary

Dark soundtrack-like textures start this. As it continues to build upward it gets some rocking guitar. It eventually moves out to more of a rock song structure from there. But there is still a guitar heaviness along with prog and space elements in place. The vocals come over the top of that backdrop, both bringing some punk texture and emphasizing the space rock. There is a definite psychedelic edge as it drops back further down the road. Further down the road it drops to a distorted guitar section and then gradually rises back upward with a sound that's part doom metal and part shoegaze with some definite psychedelic space in the mix, too. A faster moving rock section emerges from there as this continues. The number continues to evolve, eventually working out to an echoey kind of driving guitar solo segment for a bit.

Exorta
After a percussive section, the title track comes in with some bouncy trippy stuff. This is very space rock oriented and also quite cool. It works through for a while. Then it drops way down to a more classic progressive rock element to move slowly forward. There is a definite symphonic texture on this mellower section. This eventually makes its way out to a hard rocking jam that's faster paced and so cool. It has plenty of space rock built into it.
O.m.e.n. - Arisen
Spacey weirdness opens this cut and allows it to build upward. The vocals have an almost chant-like texture at times. There is an echoey kind of trippy texture to a lot of this, but it's also bombastic and powerful at points. This flows well, evolving in gradual ways. It really combines a space rock psychedelic texture with something closer to shoe-gaze. While there are some vocals (as mentioned before) the bulk of the track is instrumental. After a false ending there is a short bit of Iron Butterfly like stuff right at the end.
 
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