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Present — This Is NOT the End
(Cuneiform Rune 517, 2024, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-04-19

This Is NOT the End Cover art

When I learned of Roger Trigaux’s passing a few years ago, it was certainly a saddening moment; I got to know Roger over the few days he stayed with us when the band toured the USA in 1998, and he was a kind and respectful individual like few I have had the opportunity to know. In spite of all of his accomplishments over the years, there was no ego — he was genuine. This will likely be the final recording of his band Present, and it almost didn’t happen, only thanks to the insistence of his friend and manager Michel Besset, sound man Udi Koomran, and the members of the band who carried forward following his untimely death. Trigaux had composed the album’s two-part title track and centerpiece, and the band had gotten back together and were working diligently to bring it to life when the unthinkable happened — but they forged ahead and finished the project, a process that from the beginning until the album’s release took a total of five years. The two parts together are 39 minutes long, a swirling whirlwind of complexity, power, darkness, and angular shadows, with moments of gentle beauty and soft shifting tonal colors that encompass a spectacular vision that after probably a dozen listens I’m only just beginning to become familiar with as I write this. Also included is a new version of “Contre,” a track that only appeared previously on the 1996 Present Live! album. Interestingly, Trigaux composes but plays no guitar on the album, only keyboards and vocals (there are very few vocals, only the lyrics by Edgar Allen Poe at the beginning of “Part 2” and on “Contre”), while Francois Mignot handles the guitars. Other players are Keith Macksoud (bass), Pierre Chevalier (piano, keyboards, vocals), Liesbeth Lambrecht (violin), Kurt Bude (sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), and Dave Kerman (percussion). Those who choose the download will also get as a bonus a six minute edit of part 1. With This Is NOT the End, Present goes out with an intense slab of power and mystical chaotic beauty, maybe their best? It’s certainly worthy of consideration.

Filed under: New releases, 2024 releases

Related artist(s): Dave Kerman, Present

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