Saturday, 9 June 2018

Treponem Pal “Other Life / Solitude"1976 single 7” + “Treponem Pal” 1977 Lp French Prog Rock


 Treponem Pal  “Other Life / Solitude"1976  single 7” + “Treponem Pal” 1977  Lp French Prog Rock 
full single
full lp on vk


TREPONEM PAL, a French band, not to be confused with the ‘90s metal band of the same name (also French). TREPONEM PAL was a prog rock band who released only one self-entitled LP in 1977 on the Gratte-Ciel label, and pretty much disappeared. Information on this short lived band is difficult to come by. They did release two singles, with Other Life/Solitude in 1976 on Gérard Tournier, and Just A Fool (with Rightnow Paradise and Mosquito Fly) on Gratte-Ciel. What you have here is pleasant song-based prog rock, with nice use of synths and nice vocal harmonies (in English). Not always easy to compare them with, perhaps a bit of Barclay James Harvest. The music also features some nice keyboard interplay. Worth having for those who enjoy prog on the mellow-end, and don’t always need their prog complex and challenging…..~



A nice album of pleasant song-based progressive rock. This is the kind of prog that doesn’t rock out, so if you’re looking for heavy prog, this isn’t the place to go. This is the original Treponem Pal, a 1970s French band, by which a metal band, also French, took that name and released a string of CDs through the 1990s (and sporadically afterwards). So if you’re looking to review some CDs from the metal band, go to Metal Music Archives. 
I have actually been aware of the 1970s Treponem Pal since 1996 when Aeon Music was selling a copy of the 1977 LP, as well as the 1989 debut from the other band (and the catalog had to describe it as “Completely different from the other entry (which is mainly progressive with pleasant vocal harmonies), this one is pretty much heavy metal” or something like that). Recently I was finally able to acquire the LP and have to say it’s a pretty nice album, an obscurity worth having, but won’t set your world on fire. Sadly this was never reissued, so you have to get the LP. Luckily copies go for fairly cheap. It’s unbelievable this was released on the same label as Etron Fou Leloublan’s Batelages (that is Gratte-Ciel), since Treponem Pal is much more conventional, so obviously you’d want to avoid Treponem Pal like the syphilis bacteria this band was named after if you’re looking for music that’s like Etron Fou Leloublan. I don’t believe prog always has to be complex and challenging, if they go for great melodies I’m all for that too, and Treponem Pal certainly delivers. Nice vocal harmonies, at times sounding a bit like a French answer to Barclay James Harvest, although maybe a bit of Camel sneaks in with the flute playing. “Within You” is a typical song on the album, the lead vocals are a bit raspy, but there’s also some nice synth playing from Pierre Delas (Moog, Elka Rhapsody). He could have easily ended up in a full-on symphonic prog outfit, because his playing is in that symphonic style, although the musical and vocal approach of this album is undeniably crossover prog. “I Need You” is a nice soft rock ballad, you can almost imagine it being a hit. “Mosquito Fly” shows a less serious side of the band, while “Rightnow Paradise” and “Evensong” are the most out-and-out proggy stuff here, and certainly the album’s highlights. The former also features some nice jazzy passages, some Latin influences, and just plain catchy music. It’s obvious the music isn’t the most original out there, but then I don’t go after a band because they’re “not original”, after all I am after the music quality. Overall, a very good album, but the mellow approach isn’t the most mindblowing or intense, and it’s not one of those obscurities that are so mindblowing that you need to share every proghead it. It’s the kind of band who knows who they are and don’t attempt to play beyond their abilities. But it’s still a nice album to have, I’d give it three and a half stars, but not giving that option, four stars it is…..by Progfan97402….~



To let everyone be clear: this is NOT the 1990s metal band of the same name, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it here, you’d be disappointed. It’s very obvious the metal band was totally unaware of the '70s band, but that’s easy to understand, the '70s band is completely obscure, and Treponem Pal is named after a disease, which many metal bands like naming themselves after a disease (Anthrax obviously comes to mind). This Treponem Pal is also French, but a prog rock band from the '70s. Their sole album was released in 1977 on the Gratte-Ciel label. While many other French bands like Mona Lisa, Atoll and Ange chose to sing in their own language, or in the case of Magma, making up their own, this group, like Tai Phong, and even Pulsar (except their debut Pollen), chose to sing in English in hopes of international recognition. What you get here is nice, laid-back prog with nice vocals, spacy synthesizers and some flute. It’s a bit like Barclay James Harvest meets Camel. The English isn’t bad, although you can detect an accent. Sadly this has never been reissued, this is the kind of album perfect for Musea to reissue. Luckily the LP, while out of print for ages and never reissued, is not exactly expensive. Amusingly I remembered back in the 1990s, a prog rock mail order catalog was selling both this album, and the 1989 self-entitled album and thought this same group later became a metal band, totally unaware they were indeed two separate bands (reading the credits might help some times). I realize there’s the occasional case of a prog rock band becoming metal (Faithful Breath comes to mind), but in the case of Treponem Pal, how could a band that got started doing Camel/BJH-like prog go all the way into doing industrial metal in the '90s? Of course not! The '70s band is extremely obscure, in fact you won’t find much info on this band, and instead much more info on the metal band. I don’t think this is something that’ll just blow you completely away, but if you’re looking for more nice prog rock albums off-the-beaten track, you should get this album…… BENJAMIN MILER…..~




Treponem Pal “Treponem Pal” 1977

Line-up / Musicians 
- Laurent De Gasperis / Bass 
- Serge Baumer / Drums 
- Alain Berquez / Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals 
- Gary Picketson / Piano, electric piano, lead vocals 
- Pierre Delas / Keyboards, synthesizer, flute


Songs / Tracks Listing 
1. Ouverture (0:50) 
2. Within You (4:56) 
3. Need You (4:55) 
4. Mosquito Fly (3:40) 
5. Tales of Aria (4:25) 
6. Heartless Heart (5:35) 
7. Rightnow Paradise (8:45) 
8. Just A Fool (3:25) 
9. Evensong (9:30)








Treponem Pal.“Other Life / Solitude"1976 single 7”

Tracklist
A Other Life 3:55 
B Solitude 2:42 

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