Sapiens - Chapitre 2 /3: Deus Ex Machina

(CD 2021, 42:52, Quadrifonic Quad 31-21)

The tracks:
  1- Le Flambeur(8:53)
  2- Deus Ex Machina I:
          La Machine
  3- Deus Ex Machina II:
          Une Pice Pour Les Gouverner Tous
  4- Terre Brle(8:52)
  5- Encore Humains?(12:48)

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For a number of years I have been quite impressed with Jean-Pierre Louveton's endeavours. First by his band Nemo, with whom he recorded one progressive rock highlight after another, in the meantime he found the time to release two wonderful albums with Wolfspring as well as launching a solo career with his JPL albums. A few years ago Jean-Pierre's main band Nemo went on a hiatus for unlimited time, which gave JP the time to start with the recording and production of a huge project; Sapiens, spanning three albums. Last year the first parts was released; Sapiens Chapitre 1/3: Exordium (2020, see review) and during the lockdown the second part of the trilogy was finished and is now ready for the world.

The album immediately grabs you with a fine technical, progressive rock track; Le Flambeur, where JP is prominently assisted by the massive drumming of Nemo companion Jean Baptiste Itier. Le Flambeur sees a tense combination of dedicated guitar riffs, the mentioned drumming and JP's intense melodramatic vocals. But still manages to create a catchy, though powerful statement. The album's title track; Deus Ex Machina is divided in two separate tracks, adding delicate electronics and as listed virtual instruments. Especially very strong are the piano parts from both Nemo keyboarder Guillaume Fontaine and Florent Ville. The piano does give this composition something special. Especially the combination of an electric guitar with a classic piano does it for me. Particularly the atmosphere on the second part; Une Pice Pour Les Gouverner Tous is quite intense, the vocal parts are darker, more emotional and both guitar and piano work wonderfully together. Strangely the spoken words on Terre Brle remind me of Pain Of Salvation in a certain way, but musically both JPL and POS are quite different, but individually, these bands are able to create the same dense and grim atmosphere in a song. Although perhaps the most down to earth composition on the album, Terre Brle is an essential track for the story. The final composition Encore Humains ? sees a major role for the virtual instruments and immediately reminds me of Spock's Beard, just due to the intro. Encore Humains ? turns out to be quite an epic, a bit smoother in the beginning than the other compositions, but as intense as the others, halfway thru the track the power delicately starts to build, with subtle jazzy but progressive rock guitar parts and Stephanie Vouillot's background choirs. After the slight rise of power, the subtle emotional voice of Jean-Pierre leads the album to the end.

Although the second part of Sapiens, musically differs from the first album, in my opinion Chapitre 2 /3: Deus Ex Machina perfectly suits to its predecessor. The dark, but emotional atmosphere becomes more intense and the addition of the guesting piano, does give the album something extra. In the end I am very content with this second part, which is at least equally good as the first one. And I am really looking forward to the final chapter of Sapiens.

****+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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