Machiavel - 2005

Year of Release: 2005
Label: Bang
Catalog Number: BC0415
Format: CD
Total Time: 54:57:00

Ever since the seventies, Belgian based band Machiavel has been the absolute number one when it came down to progressive rock. Other names such as Isopoda, Flyte, Irish Coffee, Waterloo, Mad Curry or Lagger Blues Machine didn't get the same exposure Machiavel got. After three albums the band changed musical direction and with the composition "Fly" they got their first big hit (in Belgium anyway). Several more non-prog albums followed, resulting in a completely different fanbase. In fact, the band got better known in the French speaking side of Belgium than the Flemish speaking side. After spending tons of money in an American studio, the band called it a day. Many years later they were asked for a guest appearance during the famous Francofolies festival and although their set only consisted of three songs, the response was so magnificent that they decided there and then to give it another go. To be honest with you, someone from EMI was waiting backstage suggesting to do a Machiavel greatest hits package. The remarkable sales of the latter finally resulted in a second life for the band. Once the vacant chair was filled with the presence of ex-Now keyboardplayer Hervé Borbé, Machiavel was on to another winner.

After several new studio albums and some incredible live shows, the band has just released their brand new studio album. Entitled 2005 and delivered in a stylish digipack, no fewer than 13 brand new compositions are being delivered, incorporating a wide range of rock approaches. The opening track "Chronic Love" already gets heavy rotation on certain Belgian rock stations and truly it deserves to be a big hit as it includes all the necessary ingredients classic rock cuts are made of. Just listen to "The Might Is Right" and think of tens of thousands of people going mad in a huge stadium, as this is the perfect song to forget all the sadness of everyday life and put a bright smile on your face. Instead of overcrowded arrangements, Machiavel illustrates they have been around for a very long time, knowing exactly what to do when it comes down to production. The ballad "River Of Shame" is a nice example of this based around Thierry's acoustic guitar, piano and an occasional synth outburst. It's all well dosed turning it into a very sympathetic tune also adding some nice slide guitar. Authentic seventies power with Led Zeppelin tendencies is delivered by "Washing Their Hands," without any doubt the most ingenious composition of the entire album, based around an addictive guitar. If delivered by Page and Plant without any doubt this would turn out to be a classic the world over! Maybe we can even refer to "Your Shoulder" as being Machiavel's very own "Stairway To Heaven," subtle but effective from the first chord down to the final note.

In fact, those of you who have heard the band's previous albums such as Welcome To Paradise or Virtual Sun will have noticed the band's capacity to compose and perform state of the art rock music without the need to over arrange one single moment. Mario Guccio's voice has never sounded better, whilst guitarist Thierry Plas (who's married to Vaya Con Dios singer Danni Klein), once again plays just the right amount of notes necessary to lift each single song to another dimension. The album closes with kind of a pièce de résistance for Hervé Borbé who is given the chance here to demonstrate his skills on the piano. The kind of nakedness what arrangement is concerned turns "Roaming With Ghosts" into a one of a kind experience. It ends this fine album with a bold exclamation mark! Whatever facet of the rock genre Machiavel embraces it with vigour, sense for originality and an incredible professionalism. 2005 can most certainly be seen as one of Machiavel's finest, an album you keep on listening to from front to back and back again.

Chronic Love (3:57) / Running Around (3:4) / Watching The Time (4:04) / The Might Is Right (3:59) / River Of Shame (3:57) / Washing Their Hands (3:49) / Ronny Runs (3:48) / Black Snow (4:21) / She's A Snake (4:06) / Wondering (4:36) / Your Shoulder (4:39) / Hearing The Rain (4:01) / Roaming With Ghosts (5:23)

Mario Guccio - vocals
Thierry Plas - electric & acoustic guitars
Roland De Greef - bass
Marc Ysaye - drums
Hervé Borbé - piano, keyboards

Machiavel (1976)*
Jester (1977)*
Mechanical Moonbeams (1978)*
Urban Games (1979)*
New Lines (1980)*
Break Out (1981)*
Valentine's Day (1982)*
The Cry Of Pleasure (1987)*
The Best of Machiavel (1991)
Machiavel (1993) (enhanced reissue)
Jester (1993) (enhanced reissue)
Mechanical Moonbeams (1993) (enhanced reissue)
Urban Games (1993) (enhanced reissue)
New Lines (1993) (enhanced reissue)
20th Anniversary Machiavel - The Very Best Of (1996)
Virtual Sun (1999)
Machiavel Live (1999)
Break Out (2000)
Original Hits (2000)
'Heaven's Rules'
Anthology (2001)
Welcome To Paradise (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin BE

Added: March 6th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 659
Language: english


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