Gauthier, Daniel - Above The Storm

Year of Release: 2000
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 57:11:00

The only well known Gauthier so far is French fashion designer Jean-Paul Gauthier, but this could soon change as this Canadian multi-instrumentalist happens to have released his second album Above The Storm. A sequel to the limited edition of En Ce Jour Et Pour Toujours it soon becomes clear that the vocals will be the weak point throughout this album. From a musical point of view, Daniel Gauthier is surrounded by an extra guitarist and drummer in order to create a wider variety of sounds and atmospheres. In the title track Daniel's solid bass playing is mixed in the foreground with the sound of the drums sadly sounding a little metallic. In "Empty Space" it's obvious that Daniel's main language is French, as his English singing is thin and the accents wrongly placed. In a way his timbre slightly makes me think of Druid's Dane Stevens combined with Machiavel's Marrio Guccio. Gauthier is mainly a bass player and this is neatly illustrated by really mixing the bass to the front, as happens throughout "Evening Of A New Romance," even outplaying the acoustic guitar.

Cheap sounding repetitive synth loops form the basis of "Quartet Solo" on which some Steve Howe type guitar solo is spread before the approach of the song changes completely, turning this song into Daniel Gauthier's very own "Fish Out Of Water." The marriage between bass and acoustic guitar give "Real Love" a fragile structure, once again reminiscent of vintage Machiavel or Flyte. I think Gauthier should invest in a good sampler as some of his keyboard sounds really sound as if they come from a toy factory. Just listen to the organ in "Silent Years" and imagine what it would have been like using a real Hammond C3! The album closes with almost 18 minutes worth of "Cross The Bridge" which tries to emulate a cross between "Close To The Edge" and "Tubular Bells." Again poor keyboard sounds take away the strength of the composition, which nevertheless includes some interesting twists and turns, reminding me of Nathan Mahl.

Above The Storm offers enough interesting material to make us eager to hear that third album. However our Canadian Chris Squire certainly needs to work on his singing (maybe try a vocal coach to wipe away those accents!) and also has to invest in better sounding keyboards as well. Maybe the inclusion of a separate keyboard player might be the solution here. After all Yes's "Close To The Edge" was already their fifth album so there's still time for improvement.

Above The Storm (6:54) / Empty Space (4:31) / Evening Of A New Romance (6:45) / Quartet Solo (6:47) / Soft Souvenirs Of 184 (1:57) / Real Love (6:56) / Silent Years (5:14) / Cross The Bridge (17:58)

Daniel Gauthier - bass, keyboards, acoustic guitar, vocals
Bruno Dub? - drums, percussion
Gaston Gagnon - electric guitar

En Ce Jour Et Pour Toujours (1998)
Above The Storm (2000)
The Wish (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: August 2nd 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1563
Language: english


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