LeBlanc, Guy - All The Rage

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Mahl Productions
Catalog Number: XNtrik101
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:56:00

With a resume that includes Nathan Mahl and Camel, your expectations of Guy LeBlanc's solo album All The Rage will obviously be very high.

This is eight tracks of symphonic progressive rock, two are over ten minutes, most are around eight, and the first thing you'll notice is that there's a good variety from song to song. There's a French ballad, and an English one. The opening track is a long instrumental piece with extended Moog and Hammond passages and some jazzy tinges. The title track has a curious mix of classically flavored piano played over a crunchy distorted guitar. "The One Who Knows" is a bluesy piece with wailing guitars, a honky-tonk piano and smoky Clapton-styled singing. And all songs have programmed percussion that I found to be too prominent in the mix.

The singing is quite good and LeBlanc's delivery is particularly pleasing on the slower French piece "Ailleurs." His angry grunting on the title track will take a bit more getting used to, but it's important to note that the vocals are kept to a minimum and what you'll remember are great melodies and the long, layered instrumentals that revolve around LeBlanc's signature keyboard sounds. However, although he is best known for his keys, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Guy is also a very capable guitarist. The lead guitar contributions are substantial, and the interplay between Guy's guitars and his keys has been well crafted.

All The Rage is very much a solo effort, and although the songs are nicely varied, it is characteristic of one-man projects in reflecting just one personality. On the one hand, that may detract from the depth of the music. But on the other hand, it is rich in sincerity and deep personal emotions - which sit alongside a mildly eccentric sense of humor (read the copyright notice in small print on the CD).

Guy was one of the co-founders of Nathan Mahl in 1980, and joined Camel in 2000. The family health problems that caused him to withdraw from Camel's NEARfest appearance and farewell tour have thankfully been brought under control, so hopefully we can expect to hear much more from both Guy and Nathan Mahl in the near future. Meanwhile - this one is an altogether pleasant listen.

Life On The Blade (12:10) / All The Rage (8:15) / Ailleurs (6:49) / One Sky (7:25) / The Silent Thread (5:05) / The Immortals (9:30) / The One Who Knows (15:17) / Choices (6:25) /

Guy LeBlanc

Subversia (1999)
All The Rage (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: September 5th 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website: www.nathanmahl.com/
Hits: 873
Language: english


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