2 The Evening Before Easter (5:50)
3 Living In Eternity (3:58)
4 The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green (7:22)
5 Hosanna of the Damned (7:50)
6 Dream Phantom of the Common Man (6:37)
7 The Strange Idol of Baphomet (6:31)
8 Hoël Dhat the Alchemist (7:10)
9 The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe (9:36)
EASTGATE: CD051 (65:43)
What did we have to expect after an album as solid as The Island of the Fay? Well, I would answer; an album as “The Angel of the West Window”. I’m saying this without sarcasm. The Island of the Fay took everybody by surprise with a powerful work where nice sequences to lively and random movements shape melancholic melodies which floated in heavy and somber atmospheres. That’s quite “The Angel of the West Window”'s pattern, except that this last opus of Tangerine Dream gets out of breath with a slight lack of originality. As whatever the quantity sometimes crushes the quality, which is often Edgar's problem.
A very robust track, "The Mysterious Gift to Mankind" begins with a sparkling sequential shimmering. Sequences alternate and slide with a surprising feverishness, drawing a curious nightmarish approach, while pulsations and another sequential line appear to create a fascinating static rhythm floating above an intro which progresses with a clear dramatic tension. This amalgamate of sequences and pulsations, coupled in this increasing tempo, converges on a heavy but motionless rhythm where plaintive guitar solos bite a musical structure torn by the harmony of its keyboard keys and riffs of synth. Edgar's guitar is wild and poignant. It tears rhythms and atmospheres of long plaintive solos while "The Mysterious Gift to Mankind" evolves through various rhythmic approaches, embracing at passage the tearful sweetnesses of violin hugs and orchestral arrangements which have an effect of pendulum on a rhythm which grows rich of good electronic percussions. Percussions which second heavy sequences and a rhythm became more limpid, with the appearance of synth layers which sweep the cadence of a romantic heaviness, while Edgar's guitar continues to bite its fragility. Yes, this "The Mysterious Gift to Mankind" is a very good track. Curt and flitted metallic chords harpoon deaf pulsations which pound on a slippery synth wave and propel "The Evening Before Easter" towards a nervous rhythmic structure. A track without percussions nor guitars, "The Evening Before Easter" reminded Exit with its metallic tone and synth pads which counterweight to stamping sequences on an undulate rhythmic structure, fed by feverish sequences and swept by brief synth pads to fluty winds and discreet choirs. "Living room In Eternity" is a soft electronic ballad imprinted of a certain moroseness which follows the spheres of influence of a synth filled of violin veils of which discreet percussion beatings hide delicate sequences which bring us back at the time of Legend. A chorus held in an ascending sequential oscillation opens "The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green". The rhythm is muffled and coated by synth layers. It beats on the rhythm of a bass which is escaping to forge another rhythmic structure imprinted of dark ambiances. A slow tempo, a bit heavy, and imbibed by a synth as melodious as captivating, "The Silver Boots of Bartlett Green" permutes constantly around brief melodies and superb arrangements, of which a very poignant passage a little after the 4th minute. It’s a good moment, and a very nice track, rich in musicality with sequences which are following up in a stunning fluidity under breaths and sighs of an absent synth.
"Hosanna of the Damned" is a kind of ballad. An electronic ballad sits again on a nice cadenced structure with sequences which pound and wriggle in a heterogeneous rhythmic fauna where sober percussions as well as muffled and felted pulsations are stowing in a synth to chords as nervous and jerky which run on a good harmonious structure."Dream Phantom of the Common Man" is another good track. It starts with slamming percussions and heavy vibrating pulsations which are wrapped by a synth with angelic choirs. It’s a track with nice harmonies of which the structure sounds a lot like "Hosanna of the Damned" but with better sequencings. Sequences which dance among good percussions on a linear movement to jerky undulations and flew over by intermittent layers of a discreet metallic guitar. But as much good as it is, it also shows the falling of “The Angel of the West Window” a musical world which is short of breath with "The Strange Idol of Baphomet" and its amalgamate guitar notes and sequences which wriggle nervously in the shade of a plaintive synth. Delicate piano notes add a stalk of gloom to a structure which shows a more beautiful musicality its 2nd part with a more nervous sequential movement and fine orchestral arrangements. After a slow intro, imprinted by a mellotron mist, "Hoël Dhat the Alchemist" emerges and offers a slightly oscillatory rhythm where keyboard keys prevail in a harmony without sparks and discreet sequences. Indeed, the rhythmic movement takes some momentums, but they are gobbled up by ethereal choirs which forge all the same a nice musicality. "The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe" stops the musical fall of TAofWW. It’s a great track, without precise rhythm, which hangs on a melody with an imperceptible dimension and which starts with a strange and enchanting sequential movement. Sequences and pulsations thrum frantically, like eternal rhythmic loops. They wriggle on an enchanting movement, fed by subtle impulsions of a discreet bass line, which follows a slow undulatory curve garnished with bells to heterogeneous ring. The movement progresses with more vivacity whereas a light dramatic effect forms around spectral synth layers which crisscross undulatory serpentine of tinkled chords. The melodious momentum stops abruptly, plunging "The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe" in a passage where violent percussions and knocks of bass jump with a sudden convulsion to undertake a dislocated dance, wrapped by a warm synth. The rhythm beating of an arrhythmic excess "The Invisible Seal of the Holy Tribe" recovers a different melodious approach where harmonies are crushed by a jerky movement, but keeps just as much the enchanting magnetism with a great final where everything matches, as if there had been no sequenced or rhythmic storm. But the whole track is superbly anchored in our ears which are dying of urge to re-hear it, except that there is this superb final with its melody and sequences which continue to charm, and charm, and charm, and so on...Quite a great track!
“The Angel of the West Window” is not certainly as solid as The Island of the Fay, but it remains a splendid album where Edgar's melodies and sequential structures are subjected to the multiplicity test. According to me, it’s unthinkable and utopian to hope hearing stroke of genius after stroke of genius when creating mass music. The art is not some kind of an assembly plant. But by means of brave journeymen who agree to follow his strange evolution, Edgar Froese always manages to surprise and to amaze. In 2011, the old man pleasantly amazed me and I’m sure he did the same on you. And if sometimes I’m hard on him, I’m also capable of the opposite. So my hat to you Edgar, you have still made a success of another nice piece of music.
Sylvain Lupari (2011)
Cet article est disponible en Français sur le site de Guts of Darkness, dont je suis chroniqueur sous le nom de Phaedream: http://www.gutsofdarkness.com/god/objet.php?objet=14629