Mike McLatchey    24-April-2001 En Regardant Passer Le Temps

Carpe Diem - En Regardant Passer Le Temps
(Musea FGBG 4122.AR, 1975/1994, CD)

This may be one of the longest anticipated CD reissues of all time for progressive rock, the great Carpe Diem's debut album. Hailing from Nice (where Shylock, Step Ahead and Visitors are from), this quintet produced two albums of very high quality before being lost in the turn of the decade. En Regardant Passer Le Temps is a supremely excellent example of progressive rock, especially of the French scene, on par with the greats - Atoll, Shylock's Ile De Fievre, Pulsar Halloween, Arachnoid, Terpandre, and Artcane Odyssee. It took hints from the past and combined them to express something new and unique.

Carpe Diem had their roots in the early English symphonic rock style - King Crimson, a little Van Der Graaf Generator, East of Eden and to a lesser extent Marsupilami, yet their music incoporated that distinctly French filter, an approach that occasionally sounds similar to Gong or Moving Gelatine Plates. Their music was spacey and atmospheric with that rare sense of professional restraint that only the classic symphonic groups had like PFM, Banco, or Ezra Winston. The result was a slightly jazzy and very spacious music of a fragile and delicate nature, yet with a sense of power that grows behind the complex musical structures. Throughout the four tracks, their melodies are very harmonically rich and refined, often with three parts from keys, sax, and guitar. This album is an essential, a classic that has surely stood the test of time.

(Originally published in Exposť #5, p. 32, Edited for Gnosis 4/23/01)

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