[Review] Grandval – eau | feu

Grandval is a band that mixes Art Rock, Progressive and French Rock, born from an idea of Henri Vaugrand, with the collaboration of several artists. The third full-length “eau | feu” was released on February 25, 2022 via Vallis Lupi Records and contains 7 medium to long playing tracks. A refined blend of different genres and styles, telling the world between cataclysms and hope with a poetic touch. The album opens with “Ferimur” an introductory track with a warm and expressive vocal and keyboard textures, with a solid rhythm session. With a marked influence of the Chanson Francaise, mixed at times more Rock and prog “Les jours innocents” presents a good mixture between guitar and keyboard. The vocal is intense and alternates well with the instrumental sections where both the guitar and the keyboards offer solo cues. “Il neige encore” was previously proposed as a single and is characterized by an electronic and modern drumming, then leaving room for more classic Rock sounds. This piece is also influenced by the Chanson Francaise, with the traditional cantato that interpreat the songs with passion and a melancholy touch. In the finale there is room for an instrumental section with a good intertwining between electric guitar and keyboard. The longest track of the album “Heinrich (un monde bien étrange)” which reaches almost 10 minutes in duration, has more Progressive traits, both in structure and in development. Symphonic sections with keyboards in evidence and a French cantato mix, leaving space for long instrumental sections where the intensity increases. Here the band shows a more elaborate facet and rich in tempo changes of their sound, managing to propose a prog with personal traits. “Érables et chênes” is another long 8-minute piece, softer than the previous one, but always with refined sounds and elaborate plots. Here too the influences of Prog music are present and the track is enriched by tempo changes and instrumental sections that enhance the technique on the guitar and keyboards. The vocal dampens the tones and creates softer insetrti in the sung parts. A choral intro opens “Aqua et igni” which turns into a more Rocky track, creating a sound that alternates more melodic openings and a darker sound. After a first part sung and softer, in the second part mainly instrumental, the intensity increases and the guitar and keyboard follow one another in the solos. The track concludes with a choral vocal and dreamy melodies. Closes the album “Fin de partie” which opens with the acoustic guitar, and after a first part of 2 minutes sung and with softer strokes, the intensity increases and becomes more elaborate. Between tempo changes and accelerations, the track inserts harder parts in some passages, and then ends in crescendo in the second part. an intense album, which manages to mix various genres and styles, passing from Chanson Francaise to Prog, passing through classic rock and Art Rock. Vocal and instrumental parts alternate pleasantly, enhancing both the compositional and executive techniques of the artists, with warm and expressive vocal parts. A listening recommended for lovers of Art Rock sounds mainly, with forays into different genres and styles that certainly offer a greater number of sound solutions to the band.

Tracklist

1. Ferimur (01:40)
2. Les jours innocents (05:18)
3. Il neige encore (05:34)
4. Heinrich (un monde bien étrange) (09:55)
5. Érables et chênes (08:31)
6. Aqua et igni (07:42)
7. Fin de partie (06:35)

Lineup

Olivier Bonneau / Keyboards, Bass Pedals, Electric Guitar, Vocal Harmonies
Henri Vaugrand / Vocals, Bass, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, E-Bow, Keyboards, Programming and Sampling, Vocal Harmonies

With:

Jean-Baptiste Itier / Drums
Jean Pierre Louveton / Acoustic and Electric Guitars (2, 4, 6), Vocal Harmonies (6)
Élodie Saugues / Vocal Harmonies (3, 5)

Grandval |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Vallis Lupi Records |Bandcamp|Facebook Page|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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