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Seismic Cry -The Hopeless Flare

Seismic Cry -The Hopeless FlareMontreal based composer and songwriter, Philippe Gaudet, has been working with progressive/art rock since the early 1990's.  His project, Seismic Cry, sees his debut release, The Hopeless Flare.

Like many of the classic progressive albums of yesteryear, The Hopeless Flare is divided in two with the epic Saint Laurent suite with its four sections taking up what would be one side of a vinyl record, for those who can recall the days of the black plastic.

Saint Laurent depicts the story of the steam liner, The Empress of Ireland which, in thick fog on the St Lawrence River, was in a collision with another vessel piercing her hull causing the ship to sink with 1477 people on board of which only 462 survived.  The suite is an instrumental combining classical with prog interspersed with softly spoken narrative in French reminiscent of actor Gerard Depardieu in one of his classic French films.  The music is delicate giving an air that 'all is OK'.  Moments in the piece recall aspects of Karda Estra and Eris Pluvia, the latter especially on the third section.  The ethereal voices of the choir in the closing passage sends shivers down the spine.

The second 'half' of the album consists of five tracks, the first of which, Sharing A Life, is very 'Leonard Cohen' sounding with a prog edge.  The instrumental, Nadir, is a delicate, soothing acoustic guitar piece followed by  the song, Remembering Abbey, featuring some great female vocals from Marie-Neige Chatelain and electric guitar.  I should mention at this point that all vocals in the 'second half' of the album are in English, the lyrics of which are printed in the accompanying CD booklet.  The equally delightful vocal chords of Chantal Caron are to be found on Wonderland, a gentle and slightly sad love song.  Closing the album is Flash, the lyrics of which may not be the happiest depending on one's interpretation, but the music takes on a more upbeat stance.

The Hopeless Flare is an impressive original work.  The overall gentle melancholy feel of the music may not appeal to everyone but those capable and willing to broaden their musical horizons will be pleased they did.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Seismic Cry


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