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22 Apr 2017

Satan “Satan”recorded in 1973- 2016 France Prog Symphonic

Satan “Satan”recorded  in 1973-  2016 France Prog Symphonic unreleased album

The previously unreleased album of Satan, recorded back in 1973, is an absolute must have for fans of French progressive music. The music is a unique mix of hardrock and progressive rock. Live the band delivered a very intense show, dark and mysterious, inspired by the world of sci-fi and literature, with an elaborate light show and the musicians wearing make-up and strange costumes…….

Monster Melodies present the legendary album Satan, an absolute must-have in terms of French progressive music, recorded in 1973 and never before released. In 1968, in Le Mans (a town in the west of France in Les pays de la Loire), some young students, planning to become teachers, started a band under the name The New Rainbow. Like many young musicians at the time, they enjoyed English blues and were fans of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine and Led Zeppelin. Quickly, they changed their name to Heaven Road and started to become famous west of France, playing live frequently. After playing covers, they wrote their own compositions and delivered a very good show at the same level of any professional band. In Paris, they won three contests in Le Golf Drouot (the mecca of the French rock at the time) and were declared the best non-professional French band of 1972. Playing at the festival, the band started to hang out with big names from the French rock scene, like Variations, Magma, Il Etait Une Fois, Catharsis, Ange and Dynastie Crisis. In 1973, they decided to be a professional band and change their name to Satan. They produced a unique music between hard rock and progressive and delivered intense shows, inspired by the world of sci-fi and literature, with musicians wearing make-up and strange costumes. But despite the fact that they played before the English band Caravan in 1974 and had an appearance in local TV show, the band always suffered from financial difficulties. For this reason, they created the more commercial band Ciel D'été with the intention of playing exclusively in the ballroom circuit. With the financial proceeds from Ciel D'été performances, they went to a studio in Angers twice - the first time to record two commercial tracks for Ciel D'été, and the second time to record tracks for the future album by Satan which had been performing for more than three years at that point. But at the time, they couldn’t find a record company to publish their record. Satan collapsed in the middle of 1976, joining the cohort of musical project killed by the French musical industry - an industry which was preoccupied with making easy money by already successful English and American music and producing very dispensable French music, marketed commercially. Comes as colored vinyl; Includes a poster and inserts; Edition of 1000 (numbered)……….

Recorded in 1975, this album should have been one of the finest artefacts of french progressive rock, yet it remained unreleased for more than forty years. Blame it on risk-averse record companies or on the band’s lack of pugnacity, still that fantastic tape has been gathering dust on a shelf for four decades, whereas it should have been considered as seminal and important as most works by famous french bands of that time (Ange, Mona Lisa, Pulsar, Atoll) which were lucky enough to gain recognition in their heydays and have now acquired an undisputed cult reputation since then.
This album contains five numbers that were composed between 1972 and 1975, ever since the band was initially named Heaven Road and trying to develop its own identity amongst the french musical scene, mostly under the influence of Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, King Crimson, Colosseum, Jethro Tull, etc. By the time they were joined by young, gifted, classically-trained keyboard player Jérôme Lavigne, this formerly rather blues-rock influenced band began to tackle more adventurous stuff, trying to challenge the bands they were listening to, Genesis, Yes, PFM, Gentle Giant or ELP.
Yet Satan had a double-sided sound signature : one one hand you had some fiery musings and atmospheric passages mainly due to a wide use of keyboards (Hammond organ, Eminent, Moog, Fender Rhodes), and on the other hand there was a solid texture of rather heavy guitar and rhythm section. All sung in french language, lyrics were inspired by literature (especially sci-fi) as well as dreamlike (if not nightmarish) realms. But the band was most of all keen on focusing on its will to figure soundscapes just as if they were film score composers.
Unearthed by the french label Monster Melodies Records, Satan’s album displays a quite exciting set of original compositions with intriguing moods, such as “OS” which depicts the nightmare of a factory worker, tormented by machines just as in a bad LSD trip version of Chaplin’s “Modern Times”, “La Nuit des Temps”, based on René Barjavel’s famous novel, and providing impressive pinkfloydish images of ice landscapes, or “Le Voyage”, featuring lavish, bombastic keyboards and tasty quiet / loud sections a la Nursery Cryme, and dealing with the story of a young time traveller in its struggle to escape from apocalypse.
The members of the band had then chosen to autoproduce its album in order to throw off the rules of the record industry, yet despite its obvious qualities, they were unsuccessful in having it released. Thus Satan became one of France’s unjustly forgotten bands from the unlucky days of the musical scene from the bad side of the Channel. Let’s hope this luxurious Monster Melodies Records release will do justice to their honest, faithful and sincere work……Jules Yentoma·……

A1 Le Voyage
A2 O.S.
A3 Le Robot
B1 La Nuit Des Temps
B2 L'aigle 

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