Over the years I have become quite a fan of French progressive bands like Nemo, Lazuli, Klone and Mörglbl, just to name a few. I guess there is something in the wine that makes those bands different from the others. Jean-Pierre Louveton, initiator of the French progressive band Nemo and guitarist for Wolfspring was already releasing solo albums under the moniker of JPL since 2002. However, since his main band Nemo went on a the hiatus in 2015, his focus now lays with his solo project. Since his previous release; Retrospections Volume III (2018, see review) two years have passed, but now JPL returns with one of the most prestigious release of his career. At least, the first part of it. Sapiens, Chapitre 1/3: Exordium is the first of three releases that unfold the concept about the history of man.
Grim and darkly orchestrated the instrumental opener Mastodonts starts, a well-chosen combustion of heavy guitar riffs and movie score referring orchestrations shows us how the mastodons of the earth had to make place for a completely new species, the Homo Sapiens. A little more lighter, melodramatic composition, where the orchestrated parts work in favour for the guitar driven elements. The fine solo parts are a wonderful addition to the track. Ecco Home sees the rise of the human as we know them and could refer either to Jheronimus Bosch painting or to Friedrich Nietzsche's work. Please enter you own preference for this one. Nevertheless, the song is a smooth, nicely flowing instrumental, where the guitar gently takes over from the piano/keyboard laden opening of the song. The final riffs give a hunch of JPL's Nemo. A Condition is a perfect melodramatically composition, filled with subtle piano and a Pink Floyd style guitar solo. Le Chaud Et Le Froid sees the addition of spoken words, which gives the song a special feel. This composition holds strong progressive parts, like the piano and vocal combined opening, and the close to progressive metal parts that follow. Strong guitar parts and powerful drums are accompanied by smooth orchestrated keyboards and catchy melodies. Making this my favourite track so far. Planète A takes you on a melodic journey, with smooth vocal and keyboard parts, a Gilmour driven guitar solo and strong powerful bass parts, even some minor space influenced elements appear. Together with the close to epic Le Chaud Et Le Froid, Alpha Centauri is one of my favourite tracks of this first part of Sapiens. A brilliant seventies sounding (church) organ dominates part, but also the guitar parts are so diverse on this song, progressive rock and jazz perfectly bond in this song. The atmospheric parts and melancholic vocals take this song to the end, leaving us waiting for the next step,....
Again Jean Pierre Louveton served us with a more than wonderful album, blending all of his ideas into one interesting album. But this is only the first part of the trilogy. Listening to this masterpiece, I am very confident about the next parts. Love this one!
****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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