Present - A Great Inhumane Adventure

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Cuneiform Records
Catalog Number: RUNE 207
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:38:00

Roger Trigaux. To those in the know, the man needs no introduction, as his work in the worlds of RIO and chamber rock is of indisputable transcendence. Likewise, his brainchild Present is no stranger to the Rock in Opposition community, its tough-as-nails approach reveling in neurotic ostinatos and heavy metal weight having become a staple of the genre. Outside of a certain microcosm of modern music, however, Trigaux's is a name that has unfortunately gone by largely unheeded, much like that of his original outfit Univers Z?ro. And so it was that Present, armed to the teeth with seething energy and maniacal drive, took a trip to the United States seven years ago in order to change that. The witness? A Great Inhuman Adventure.

Catching the last performance of the aforementioned US tour at the rather prog-friendly Orion Sound Studios in Baltimore, Present's latest outing is a workout in exhausting strength and conviction. While certain bands lack the potency to give their repertoire that extra umph on stage, and certain live albums fail to catch the spontaneity of those that don't, this disc captures the bubbling cauldron that is Present's sonic flurry so perfectly that it feels as if one's speakers are ready to blow at any given moment. With Present's precision and interaction of repetitive motifs creating a sort of counterpoint that is half of the heart of Trigaux's compositional essence, one could be induced to think that the studio would be the ideal setting to adjust everything into perfection. Not so. It might even be appropriate to say that if there is a best way of listening to Present, it's live. Nowhere else would one be able to enjoy the conscious abandon of Dave Kerman, the bile of Trigaux's tortured vocals, the crushing force of Pierre Chevalier's piano, and the perfect building up of tension arriving at exhilarating resolution so profusely.

Curiously enough, those are all elements that work at their strongest on the album's first track, "Delusions." With its periods of crushing dissonance, neurotic jagged cells of repetition, and madman-like vocals, the piece works so well in this live setting that it might very well be worth the price of the entire record alone. From then on, the effectiveness of the ensemble diminishes somewhat, largely because the last three tracks are not as riveting as their counterparts, but even then, it is impossible not to become absorbed by elements such as the demented circus music character of a large part of the appropriately-titled "Le Poison Qui Rend Fou" or the deceivingly subdued tension opening "Alone." All in all, A Great Inhumane Adventure does not limit itself to documenting one of Present's shows; it demonstrates how crucial they are to the experience of its music. Sure, "blood, sweat, and tears" has become nothing more than a catchphrase for rock bands that have no interest in living up to the demands thereof. But for Present, it is the be all and end all of its existence.

Simliar Artists: Dave Kerman/5uu's, Ahvak, Thinking Plague

Delusions (14:46) / Alone (10:58) / Le Poison Qui Rend Fou (10:16) / Laundry Blues (13:01) / Promenade Au Fond d'un Canal (23:33)

Roger Trigaux - guitars, vocals, keyboards
Reginald Trigaux - guitars, vocals
Pierre Chevalier - piano, keyboards
Dave Kerman - drums, percussion
Jean-Pierre Mendes - bass


Keith Macksoud - bass

Triskaidekaphobie/Le Poison Qui Rend Fou (1989)
C.O.D. Performance (1999)
Present 'Live' (1996)
Certitudes (1998)
No. 6 (1999)
High Infidelity (2001)
A Great Inhumane Adventure (2005)
Barbaro (Ma Non Troppo) (2009)

Genre: RIO

Origin BE

Added: September 19th 2005
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 788
Language: english


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