Wednesday, August 29, 2018

WEEND'O - Time of Awakening

Rating: RRR
Label: 2018
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Weend’รด? Sacrebleu! I'm told it's pronounced Window and the French quartet are certainly doing their best to keep things complicated and Proggy. Indeed. It's Prog-Rock/Metal at its fullest and I think I'm in love with their lovely singer/keyboardist Laetitia Chaudemanche. I know. Clearly not the professional way to start up a review with such a remark. But honestly... what a name... Laetitia Chaudemanche... it sounds like something from an ancient story book and the lead vocals are simply floating above or over the complicated compositions. The name is however more original than her singing. It's the rather typical casted singer as of lately and strongly influenced by Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering).

The arrangements are airy (lots of space) as well as musically challenging, modern crystal clear production, yet with a retro sound. It's something of a concept album where side one features 'Time Of Awakening' Parts 1, 2 and 3. The concept is kind of out there and speak of a new and true evolution of mankind. That we are entering a new period in the history of man and woman. And as soon as the opening part starts, the keyboards are making you feel like you're catapulted back to the hairy seventies and why not Alan Parsons and Van Der Graaf Generator. Never quite as 70s or good though, but they've nearly managed to capture a certain keyboard spirit that all of the bands from this period had.

Don't go thinking it's all seventies though, since they have clearly borrowed the "modern" riffs of TOOL for use in their arrangements. Don't think it's anything "modern" about TOOL for that matter. They've been around the blocks for the last 25 years or more. Dream Theater vs Alan Parsons Project, that's one way to describe the music. Final verdict: 'I keep on being amazed by the phenomenon of life'. Emotionally charged and loaded with six prog tracks (plus the bonus radio edit of Angel Dust), Time Of Awakening is perhaps just a bit too airy, spacey, dreamy. Spice up the song material next time and we're definitely cooking.

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