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Pelegrin – Al-Mahruqa

by Sergio Andrés at 10 October 2019, 10:28 PM

What we have here is a pleasant trippy Psychedelic offering from a French trio. The apparent influences are DEAD CAN DANCE, LED ZEPPELIN, APHRODITE´S CHILD, MANFRED MANN, and some others, yet way more exotic. There is more than a nod to the mid-eastern sounds; one can quickly feel an actual walk through a Persian market or an Andalusian alcazar with these melodies and vibes. The record has an outstanding production. I can hear every instrument in the right spot, with the proper volume setting.

“Majoun” – opening track - explores the boundaries of the Phrygian mode through nine minutes of epic detouring. “Farewell” has an Alternative edge, with extended Gilmour-ish solos. So far, the only element that doesn´t convince me is the voice. It does not click on me, a mere subjective rant. “Home Again” has a calm and mellow attitude, in a good way, maybe the feminine voice went a little bit too far and made it a little bit campy, or perhaps I´m a grumpy ass, both cases, who cares. There is a wicked major-minor shifting towards the 4:50 mark, but don’t panic; nothing is menacing, there is no BLACK SABBATH influence in line of sight.

“Dying Light” has more bars for the vocals and some terrific lead arpeggios at the 4:00 mark. Guessing this song could be the transitional tune to the final opus “Al-Mahruqa” which sounds a lot like some local heroes, South-American trip Prog combo, LOS JAIVAS (from the Levant we are heading to the Andes.) Those infectious fuzzy power chords embellished with the occasional 3/4 time signature feel brings the “Alturas de Machu Pichu” record to mind. Love how the guitar player does voicings on the high registers against the beat, almost in a Reggae-style, and last but not least, what the drummer does with the ride cymbal doesn´t cease to amaze me, smart instrumentation, I can feel the Nick Mason old-school touch.

Overall, it has been a positive experience to spin this record, wasn´t expecting something this proficient, especially with all the Modern Metal releases. We are witnessing a tight and creative band with well-crafted tracks, proper lyrics (for the sounds), and nothing but a timeless record.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Majoun
2. Farewell
3. The Coldest Night
4. Dying Light
5. Al-Mahruqa
François Roze - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Jason Recoing - Bass
Antoine Ebel - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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