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Hauteville - 2006 Relief Data Incomplete



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ARTIST: Hauteville
ALBUM: Relief Data Incomplete
LABEL: Lion Music
SERIAL: LMC175
YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Lydie Gosselin - vocals * Didier Therry - keyboards, bass, guitars * Denis Turmel - guitars * Laurent Ober - bass * Vincent Turmel - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Monster (The Race) * 02 From Adam To Atom * 03 Perfectablism * 04 Immaculate Eyes * 05 Like Anybody Hellse * 06 The Perfect Lens * 07 Relief Data Incomplete * 08 Jaywalker * 09 Reflection * 10 There Be Dragons

RATING:

WEBLINKS: N/A


Background
What is going in France? The prog scene is taking off, and don't Lion Music know it! Hot on the heels of powerpop/metal sensations Venturia, the label has snapped up budding hopefuls Hauteville in an attempt to recreate more crossover magic. The label, in their bio suggest that the band are difficult to pigeon-hole.. and they'd be bloody right. Hauteville cover all sorts of territory really. Here's a list of artists that came up on my audiometer throughout the course of listening: Lana Lane, Lisa Dalbello, The Corrs, Iona and Kings X. The band are still a bit of a mystery, so don't bother going to their website right now, as it is still under construction. However, the main-man is Didier Thierry, who provides much of the instrumentation along with production chores. The vocals of Lydie Gosselin are gorgeous throughout, she is very much the focal point ,and the band do their best to provide an ambient landscape for her to weave some magic. Like many French bands from the past, the lyrics always seem to have some political or social (or anti-social) aspect to it. Hauteville are no different. Why is that I wonder? Thankfully, it is covered up by the intricate and and at times complex musical arrangements that ventures forth.


The Songs
Hauteville don't muck around from the get-go, their brand of highly addictively prog gets the pulses racing as early as track one. 'Monster (The Race)' chops and changes through a five minute entree. Wow. The band blast a few metallic riffs on 'From Adam To Atom', just to prove they aren't as soft as some people might perceive them! And then they nearly go and upset the applecart with 'Perfectablism' (is there such a word? lol). The obtuse mix of styles (including lounge club jazz) could've proved even too much for this wimpy rocker. The earlier Dalbello comparison is apt I guess, particularly if you fancy pulling off one of her songs, as with 'Immaculate Eyes' (off her 1987 album 'She'), and it sounds awesome to boot! 'Like Anybody Hellse' (love the clever title) is full of bouncy Saga like keyboard parts, but the song throws up a smorgasbord of ideas which you'll come back to for seconds or thirds. Very captivating track! With a song-title like 'The Perfect Lens' you'd be thinking you were listening to a Rush album. The song structure is quite AOR in places, the pulsing bass lines and melodic power chords all give it that impression. The title track 'Relief Data Incomplete' is overamped mostly. Vocals and guitars are quite gruff, and the tempo is mid-paced mostly, for me probably the least liked song here, though the guitar solos and ambient keyboard layers saves it.. just. A brief blues guitar intro makes way for a near-dance oriented construct on 'Jaywalker'. This has one has a bit of everything. The Iona like choruses are a delight. 'Reflection' is a confusing ramble initially, but finds harmony and structure as we meander deeper.. mesmerizing. 'There Be Dragons' finishes off in a blaze of glory - an instrumental piece which brings events to a spellbinding close.


In Summary
An entertaining and original band, just what I like to see in this creative-phobic era that we are living in now. 'Relief Data Incomplete' comes with a ton of melody, a variance of styles, and enough interest to wade your way through the CD uninterrupted. I used the word spellbinding previously.. highly appropriate in this case. Again, Lion Music have come up trumps! I can't wait for the next one from this utterly compelling band.. In the meantime, I'm kinda stuck on Hauteville, and guess I will for a while to come.


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