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BAND/AUTHOR:

CRAYON PHASE

(GERMANY)

TITLE:
TWO HUNDRED PAGES
RELEASE DATE:
2019
LABEL:
GENTLE ART OF MUSIC
GENRE:
PROGRESSIVE ROCK
"Crayon Phase does not renew the neo-prog but intelligently knows how to use its codes to produce a dynamic opus."
ABADDON - 14.01.2020 -
Founded in 2008 and already boosted by a first album ("Within My Recollection", 2013), the German quartet Crayon Phase officiates in a dynamic neo-progressive style. The search for a singer for their new project took some time, and it was only six years later that "Two Hundred Pages" was released, with the arrival of Raphaël Gazal, a Brazilian singer who has to his credit a number of participations in metal bands (Pastore, Leviathan... ).

As we know, the neo genre has its followers and its detractors. The former appreciate the melodic approach of a music seeking evolution, the latter are exasperated by a genre that according to them goes around in circles in stereotyped codes and carcans, not renewing a style that has little more to say. And it's true that Crayon Phase can easily be ed among the neo English bands, in the middle of IQ, Arena and Pendragon: the use of synths, the swirling bass and the constant melodic research bring it closer to these bands. Crayon Phase uses all the neo markers: breaks ('Salvation'), instrumental passages carefully alternating keyboards and guitars, extended tracks (except the prologue and the conclusion, all the tracks are longer than 8 minutes), until the theme cover of the last track to seal the concept-album, all the clichés are well gathered.

Still, it's all pretty well done and the band knows how to reuse well-known patterns to conceive tracks that manage to carry the listener away very efficiently. Far from staying in sweetness, the band knows how to energize its music, spicing up its words with double pedal strokes or a nice bass presence (nice line on 'Salvation'), or even electro points in tracks without any dead time, always evolving, maintaining a constant attention. Raphaël Gazal's work is no stranger to this, his diversified vocals can go from a very neo tone (and in these moments, his timbre reminds us of Mark Smit, ex-singer of Knight Area) to a more raucous / scoundrel style ('Procession') where the metal influence is quite perceptible.  

Tracks like 'Paralysed' or 'Retrospective' are thus frankly successful in the dynamic neo-progressive genre. A small reproach however, the instrumental density of the whole would have required some pauses (the acoustic opening of 'Retrospective' is good!); a slight drawback that we can find in some Pendragon albums ("Not of This World", as copious as this "Two Hundred Pages" which is more than 77 minutes long!). 

The tendency being to shorten the length of the albums, let's bet that Crayon Phase will erase this slight drawback in the future. In the meantime, let's hope that neo fans won't hesitate to dive into this opus which, if it doesn't create any surprise, represents very generously its style!

More informations on https://www.crayon-phase.de/

VIDEO

SIMILAR BANDS

ARENA, PENDRAGON, IQ, NO NAME, KNIGHT AREA

TRACK LISTING

01. Prologue - 3:14
02. Two hundred pages - 11:39
03. Turn of fortune - 9:48
04. Procession / Empty grave - 10:01
05. Paralyzed - 9:23
06. The music box - 8:43
07. Retrospective - 12:21
08. Salvation - 8:52
09. 201 - 1:07


LINEUP

Arne Gröschel: Batterie
Frank Wendel: Chant / Claviers
Peter Damm: Basse
Raphael Gazal: Chant
Wolfgang Bähr: Guitares / Basse


TAGS:
Neo
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