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Miriodor: Avanti! (2009)

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Miriodor: Avanti! How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The seventh release from this French-Canadian band that boasts a thirty-year union, offers more musical wizardry and unanticipated surprises interspersed throughout these seven vibrant works. The core quartet is augmented by a horn section on select tracks. Here, multilayered dream sequences engage polyrhythmic and complex theme-building exercise that aim to taunt a willingly receptive mind's eye.

The musicians generate quirky, polytonal melodies, sometimes spiced with a sense of antiquity due to keyboardist Pascal Globensky's or bassist Nicolas Masino's use of a clavier. During various movements, they conjure up ethereal overlays amid the progressive-rock element to complement robust and punchy horns choruses. With cleverly enacted slants and interweaving storylines, the band renders an upbeat program, augmented by cartoonish digressions, pummeling pulses and soaring solo spots. It's a whirlwind endeavor that offers a present-day uplift to the unit's rather notorious modus operandi.

On "A Determiner," the artists merge a folk element with a complex and regimented time signature, nicely contrasted by free-jazz sax parts and Globensky's interweaving keys. However, they turn the tide yet again during "Avant!," via Bernard Falaise's hard-rock guitar lines and the rhythm section's weighty beats, all contrasted by an ominous sub-plot. Miriodor's meticulously designed and mind-bending arrangements instill the best of many progressive musical worlds. This unit seldom ceases to amaze.

Track Listing: Envoutement; Bolide Debile; La Roche; Ecart-Type; A Determiner; Avanti!; Reveille-Matin.

Personnel: Pascal Globensky: keyboards, acoustic guitar; Rémi Leclerc: drums; Bernard Falaise: electric guitar, bass; Nicolas Masino: bass, keyboards; Marie-Soleil Blanger: violin; Marie-Chantal Leclair: saxophones.

Record Label: Cuneiform Records

Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


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