Eclat - Volume 3. 1997 France

Eclat - Volume 3. 1997 Kezako (CD)

Eclat, from Marseilles, were one of many French progressive rock bands to have emerged in the 90s, only to be completely forgotten in modern times. Eclat reminds me most of Minimum Vital, especially in regards to the energetic electric guitar and Medieval themed undertone. The album is primarily instrumental, and the only vocal track 'La Madeleine', is also the album's only clear misstep. A fine album worthy of investigation. Eclat appears to still be active, though I haven't heard anything past their 2002 album, which seems to be the case globally.

Architectural Metaphor - Creature of the Velvet Void. 1997 Italy

Architectural Metaphor - Creature of the Velvet Void. 1997 Black Widow (Italy)

CD issue: 1997 Black Widow (Italy)

Architectural Metaphor were a space rock / Krautrock band from the Boston area, that are long forgotten today, but had a bit of momentum during the late 90s space rock renaissance (most notably playing in the festivals of the day plus various compilation albums). Generally Architectural Metaphor performed as a trio, with loud electric guitar, effects, found sounds, and pounding drums. The latter is unique in that they are provided by a female, who also is their lead singer and "space whisperer". Creature of the Velvet Void is their second full length "proper" album, and marks a distinct improvement on their debut Odysseum Galacti. Musically, Architectural Metaphor are clearly informed by the early Kosmische Musik scene, such as Amon Duul II, Ash Ra Tempel, Cosmic Jokers, et al, as well as the usual space rocker suspects like Hawkwind and Gong. They're not the most accomplished musicians you'll ever hear, but for the type of music they play, a bit of raw amateurism plays to their favor. Besides, any band that names a tune 'March of the Wooden Potatoes' has to be onto something special...

I bought this CD not long after release, gave it a few listens, and filed it. It's been nearly 20 years since I last heard it, and I had forgotten just how good this album is. Apparently I need to investigate the albums they released afterward as well.

Present - Live! 1996 Belgium

Present - Live! 1996 Cuneiform (USA CD)

An interesting live album from Belgium's Present. Sounding more like a psychotic blues rock take on their first 2 albums, the album has a rawness and deep soul missing from their studio works. Present always sounded to me like a typical mathy, ultra precise, avant prog unit. Here, they sound a bit messy, and even give into the odd guitar jam, just the kind of dirty soot the band needs. I've had this CD since it first came out, and never held it among the finest of their works, but I'm hearing it in a whole different light this go round. Hmm.

The Word of Life - Dust. 1995 Sweden

The Word of Life return with their sophomore, and ultimately last effort, Dust which is somewhat different from the predecessor. There'...