Shylock — Île de Fièvre
(Musea FGBG 4177.AR, 1978/1997, CD)
by Henry Schneider, 1997-12-31:Recording their second album in 1978, Île de Fièvre, Shylock finished their musical career with a tour de force. The six tracks from the original LP are a collection of superbly crafted symphonic rock combining influences from Rick Wakeman, Genesis, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Zappa, and Heldon. Musea also included a seventh bonus track recorded a year after the album, just as the band was breaking up. This track, "Le Fernier," does not have the sonic clarity of the rest of the album and Shylock’s performance is subdued in comparison. As usual, Musea provides extensive liner notes covering Shylock’s history from Gialorgues to the band split in 1979. An excellent release that closes out the chapter on one of France’s finest bands of the 70s.
by Dan Casey, 1997-02-01:
Finally, this reissue has arrived. Rumors of Musea releasing this French symphonic masterpiece can be traced back to as early as 1992. When Shylock's first, Giarlogues, was reissued a few years back by Musea it seemed their second, Île de Fièvre, would not be far behind. But, who cares, it is finally here, hallelujah! From the opening Elka strains of the title track to last spacey moments of the epic "Laocksetal," this four-piece band maneuvers through some tricky symphonic territory and does so always with precision, ambition, and masterful craftsmanship. Finer examples of symphonic prog-rock from this era cannot be found. The 13-minute title opus is worth the price of the disc itself, with its fluent Minimoog lines by Didier Lustig and soaring guitar leads from Frédéric L'Épée (currently of Philharmonie). The shorter middle pieces between the monster bookends are more abstract and ambiguous pieces, but they certainly showcase the band's maturity and giftedness at sculpting various moods. As a bonus, Musea have appended the original CBS album with one bonus track, of (much) lesser sonic quality, but musically every bit as exciting, and representing the band in the last stages of its brief existence. All French, all instrumental, and all outstanding. If there is only one reissue you purchase this year, this should definitely be the one. Enjoy!
Related artist(s): Shylock
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more
Spring Heel Jack / The Blue Series Continuum - Masses – John Coxon and Ashley Wales take advantage of their Thirsty Ear jazzy label mates by diving head first into a maze of grooves, pulse and mood. But don’t expect a clever ambient dub from these... (2001) » Read more