Exposé Online banner

Whitechapel — Le Masque d'Harlequin
(Musea MP 3055.AR, 2006, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2008-01-01

Le Masque d'Harlequin Cover artYes, it's a French band that sings about a jester. To be honest, it's probably just the title track that's about the jester or harlequin in question, but it also has a jester's face on the cover. With a tear on it. Okay, now that the obligatory cheap lampoon of the album is out of the way I can listen to this with nary a jester in mind since I can't understand the words. The band basically operates in a symphonic metal realm, though it must be said that the metal aspect rears its head more in the form of 80s metal than modern prog metal. The complexities and brutal attack of modern metal are generally replaced by a relatively smoother, more relaxed approach, sometimes even coming across as a hair band. Neo-prog-metal anyone? Vocalist Fabrice Altairac is more than up to the task with a great range and tone, often hinting at The Scorpions' Klaus Meine. I enjoy French vocals as much as the next guy, though I had my doubts about them in this context, but Altairac carries the job off with aplomb. The rest of the band is strong as well, concentrating more on ensemble play without a tremendous amount of in your face soloing. I could complain about the digital lushness of the keys but that seems a bit futile in this day and age. Besides, the mediocre sound quality is distraction enough to keep your mind off of them.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Whitechapel

Latest news

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Soft Machine - Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 – The challenge for any archivist of the Soft Machine catalog has been to present just what it was like to attend a performance by the classic line-up of Wyatt, Dean, Ratledge, and Hopper. Now with half...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues