[Review] Oscil – First Step On My Moon

Oscil is a Progressive Rock band created by French composer and guitarist Vincent Mouge, with the voice of Ingrid Denis on lead vocals and two other musicians, Aubry German on bass and Florent Jeannel on drums. On September 3, 2021 they released their debut album “First Step On My Moon” containing 8 medium-long duration tracks that mix multiple genres, ranging from Rock to Pop and Prog with the support of 3 guest artists. The opener “Harlem Shadows” is the shortest track on the album, featuring a solid rhythm session and massive guitar riffs. The tempo changes enrich the track and the female vocal fits well into the musical context, giving life to a good piece with elaborate passages and others that are more melodic. The second “The Pact” is instead the longest in duration, with an elaborate structure and intertwining guitar and voice that create a melancholy atmosphere. Here too the tempo changes are an added value and the mixture of Prog and Pop with granite guitar riffs are well managed, offering a good solo in the central part. The vocal is warm and intense and interprets well this song with modern features and Indie Rock influences. “A Shropshire Lad” was the single that anticipated the album, where the band offers a softer sound initially and then increases the intensity as the minutes go by. The guitar guides the melodies and becomes harder in the central part, where the track passes through melodic openings and other more Heavy ones. The singing is good, but the Prog component intended as classic sounds of the genre leaves room for a more Rock style with most of the song sung and a few instrumental sections. “You” is a more delicate passage of the disc, which softens the tones creating a dreamy atmosphere where the singing accompanies us almost all of the time. Only in the finale do we find an instrumental passage with a short guitar solo, but this track moves further away from the Prog sounds. Here we come to “Romance” another track of over 7 minutes characterized by a harder guitar riff and a solid rhythm session, definitely Rock. The vocal is also in a Rock style, while in the central instrumental section sax and keyboards alternate in the solo parts, bringing the sound into a more Prog terrain. Definitely the most interesting and elaborate track, with the greatest number of ideas close to Prog Rock. “The Heart Of A Woman” follows in the footsteps of the previous one, which seems to have given a change to the album, even here in fact we are closer to the Progressive genre. The male and female vocals duet well and more space is given to the instrumental parts that mix Heavy and softer traits, always with an intricate strings structure. We arrived at the title track “First Step On My Moon” which, however, in my humble opinion loses its incisiveness after two songs with the greatest impact. It is however well developed, especially in the second part where the guitar offers a solo and more space is given to the instrumental section. Unfortunately the singing is not very incisive and does not give that extra something that a track like this needs, where in the sung parts it loses a bit of power. Closes the album “Enter The Haze” which is similar to the previous one, the tempo changes are there, the alternation of melodic passages and other more Heavy ones but in my opinion there seems to be something missing that would make the leap in quality. Overall the album has some ups and downs, with the tracks “The Heart Of A Woman” and “Romance” having a little more to it than the other tracks. The Prog component is not very marked, while in the first part of the disc I find the affinity with Indie Rock greater. At the end of the disc the initial sound is proposed again becoming more elaborate but I did not however have found those Prog cues that I expected. This is my humble opinion and not an absolute truth, but it wants to be a constructive criticism, remaining my point of view.

Tracklist

01. Harlem Shadows (03:43)
02. The Pact (07:28)
03. A Shropshire Lad (05:08)
04. You (05:41)
05. Romance (07:05)
06. The Heart Of A Woman (06:41)
07. First Step On My Moon (06:59)
08. Enter The Haze (06:03)

Lineup

Ingrid Denis / Vocals
Florent Jeannel / Drums
Aubry German / Bass
Vincent Mouge / Guitars & Keyboards

Bastien Brenot / Saxophone on “Romance
Jean-Philippe Massicot / Piano & Keyboards on “Romance
Ludo Desa / Vocals on “The Heart Of A Woman

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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