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Carpe Diem — En Regardant Passer le Temps
(Musea FGBG 4122.AR, 1976/1994, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 1994-10-01This may be one of the longest anticipated CD reissues of all time for progressive rock, the great Carpe Diem's debut album. Hailing from Nice (home of Shylock, Step Ahead, and Visitors), this quintet produced two albums of very high quality, before being lost in the turn of the decade. En Regardant is a supremely excellent example of progressive rock and especially of the French scene, on par with the greats — Atoll, Shylock Île de Fièvre, Pulsar Halloween, Arachnoid, Terpandre, and Artcane Odyssée. It took hints from the past and combined them to express something new and unique. Carpe Diem had their roots in the early English style — King Crimson, a little Van Der Graaf Generator, East of Eden, and to a lesser extent Marsupilami — yet their music was undeniably more of a result of the French culture with a sound that reminds one slightly of Gong or Moving Gelatine Plates. Their music was spacey and atmospheric with that rare sense of professional restraint that only the classic symphonic groups has like PFM, Banco, or Ezra Winston. The result was a slightly jazzy and very spacious music of a fragile and delicate nature, yet with a sense of power that grows behind the complex musical structures. What makes this album's four tracks great is Carpe Diem's refined sense of melody, which reminds one of the great moments of their contemporaries like Shylock or Arachnoid. Often their melodies are very harmonically rich with three parts from keys, sax, and guitar. I could go on and on — this album is superb and essential, a classic that has surely stood the test of time.
Related artist(s): Carpe Diem
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