Asgard - Tradition & Renouveau

Year of Release: 2003
Label: M2U Records Korea
Catalog Number: M2U-1001
Format: CD
Total Time: 34:24:00

I once had Asgard's L'Hirondelle album in my collection without ever knowing I should rate it in between folk and rock. This, their second album, most certainly enhances where L'Hirondelle left off, with especially the electric guitar adding extra rhythm and panache into the soft babbling whole. No doubt the French singing extra underlines the folky feel whilst from a musical point of view Asgard here delivers soft touches of symphonic rock at its best. Flute, mellotron and some wonderful guitar most certainly give it an interesting twist so that this title won't be reserved for folk freaks only. However, once different voices start chanting the drinking-song "L'Alouete Est Ssur La Branche," regardless of some nice synth interventions that remind me of that other French band Alpha Ralpha, it all comes down to traditional folk in the end. The short instrumental "D'Ou Venez-vous Belle" contains the kind of feel one would associate with Peru before it changes towards a marching rhythm.

One of the main symphonic highlights is delivered during "La Petite Hirondelle" by means of bombastic mellotron. "Ce Soir François Villon" tells its story based on a slight Japanese intro before mighty mellotron roars its ugly head again, backed by some synth interventions. Throughout this album Asgard delivers folkrock with several medieval references that sometimes remind me of Malicorne or Tir Na Nog. "Le Vent" is reminiscent of the French films of the seventies in the style of Bilitis, melodic and with the occasional interesting (short) synth solo. The closing song is probably the most interesting of the lot with a nice build up and gentle, fluid guitar playing throughout. Again the storytelling vocals are typical for the time of recording, thus putting a certain age on this album. Although this album sounds dated, however, it most certainly remains an interesting find whether you're into progfolk or French bands in general. Of course the quality of the recording is not high enough to have a very detailed sound here, as especially the mellotron tends to sound heavy in the mix. Mainly acoustic and a little on the short side this lavish re-issue should most certainly find its way to real collectors of the genre and knowing that there are only 1500 numbered copies produced, it most certainly will be for those who are quick on their marks!

Le Braconnier /?Quand Je Menais Mes Chevaux Boire / J'ai Mon Ami Sous Les Brandebourgs / L'Alouete Est Sur La Branche / D'ou Venez-Vous Belle / La Petite Hirondelle / Ce Soir Francois Villon / Le Lac D'Argent / Le Vent / Les Landes D'Harou

Patic Grandepierre - guitar, vocal
William Lawday - bass, violin
Bernard Darsh - percussion, vocal, flute
Guy Printemps ? keyboards

L'Hirondelle (1976)
Tradition & Renouveau (1978)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FR

Added: January 27th 2004
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1085
Language: english


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