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Present (Belgium): High Infidelity

Album Notes

There is a recipe to Present's sound: rock riffs that are slow, complex, and heavy all at once, dark atmospheres (including occasional lyrics), and a technique of climactic build-up through hypnotic repetition (especially in the bass department). Now, what happens when you add cello, saxophone, and trumpet to the group's instrumentation? The exact same thing. One wonders why Roger Trigaux created the expanded lineup of this "small big band." High Infidelity is a good (not stellar) CD and it would have been without the extra musicians. Now with a stable lineup that includes keyboardist Pierre Chevalier, guitarist Réginald Trigaux, bassist Keith Macksoud, and 5uu's drummer Dave Kerman, this time the group also includes cellist Matthieu Safatly, saxophonist Fred Becker, and trumpeter Dominic Ntoumos. The six-part, 28-minute "Souls for Sale" is a typical slow-paced hypnotic Roger Trigaux composition. "Strychnine for Christmas" is more complex and gruesome, while the closer, "Rêve de Fer," features the two guitarists prominently, plus a mad keyboard solo. Nothing here has the strength of "The Little Limping Girl" on the previous album or "Promenade au Fond d'un Canal" from the group's early days. Still, all three pieces are satisfying examples of Present's warped avant-prog, making High Infidelity a good effort. ~ François Couture


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