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Pelegrin – Ways of Avicenna

Ways of Avicenna
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 04 February 2023, 5:12 AM

From their EPK, “The story takes place during the Spanish Reconquista of the 15th century: a young student of a Koranic school is entrusted with a mystical text from Persian philosopher and physician Avicenna, in order to save it from being destroyed by the Spaniards. Through their progressive, melodic and highly evocative songcraft, the trio conjures up the power of travel and wandering in "Ways of Avicenna", while also bringing up the search for wisdom, religious wars, intolerance towards refugees, as well as the contribution of the Arab civilization to human history.” The album has six songs. “Madrassa” is the first. Eastern influenced instruments come at you at first, with a smooth and mellow background. Fuzzy guitars and harmonized vocals come next, with a bit of a funky groove, especially from the leads.

“Thunderstorm” is a bit longer. Smooth tones come first, with dreamy vocals and some effects in the clean guitars. The tones are depressive, and they stay in that grey area for a few minutes. Approaching the half-way point, things darken, with audible bass notes. The thunderstorm is coming. But it never materializes. “Reach for the Sun” is slower and heavier. The tones lighten up a bit as the song continues. Lamenting tones are high in the mix.  “Disgrace” is a short, two-minutes of acoustical guitar and doleful vocals, with that distinct Eastern feeling once again. At this point in the album however, the lamenting tones are feeling a bit overused. “Mystical Appear” has more mellow tones. Five songs in, and we get the same song style once again.

“Forsaken Land” closes the album. Unfortunately, it’s more of the same again. Francois really needs to shake up his vocal style a bit, and try using some swells to accent different passages. This album is becoming rather painful at this point.  As for the album description, I don’t hear much in the way of evocative tones. Indeed, laments rule the album. I am all for some depressing music, but the vocal style and overuse of depressing tones gets a bit old after a while, especially considering the music isn’t very dynamic. If there are some Progressive tones, they are very spare. This album just didn’t excite me.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1. Madrassa
2. Thunderstorm
3. Reach for the Sun
4. Disgrace
5. Mystical Appear
6. Forsaken Land
François Roze – Guitar, Vocals
Jason Recoing – Bass
Antoine Ebel – Drums, Percussion
Record Label: Independent


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