Review: Narr - Oxymore dans la Chrysalide des Rêves (2009)


narr_oxymoreartist: Narr
release: Oxy­more dans la Chrysal­ide des Rêves
format: CD
year of release: 2009
label: Musea
dur­a­tion: 51:06

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Narr is a French band led by Clé­ment Werner that plays an eerie and dark kind of pro­gress­ive rock. This isn’t our usual fare at Even­ing of Light, surely, but life isn’t any fun without think­ing out­side the box once in a while. So, when I heard the samples of this release I thought it soun­ded quite nice and decided to opt for the promo any­way. A good choice, for Oxy­more fans la Chrysal­ide des Rêves is an excel­lent debut album. First self-released as a promo CDr, the album was released by Musea Records in Feb­ru­ary 2009.

Like I said, the genre can broadly be defined as progrock, but with a unique sound. The rhythm sec­tion, espe­cially the bass, are the most prom­in­ent instru­ments, and a gui­tar or synth only pops up here and there to embel­lish the basic lines. The vocals are handled in dif­fer­ent ways, from simple clean vocals to more choir-like arrange­ments. In addi­tion, there is a large role for the flute, which is handled mas­ter­fully by Laurent Lefe­b­vre, and it lends a dreamy and mys­tical touch to the music.

As a whole, the album flows more or less in the same mood, even though there are enough changes in tempo and col­our to keep it inter­est­ing. The indi­vidual tracks basic­ally have the same instru­ment sound through­out, though. This makes Oxy­more… a styl­istic whole, also accen­ted by the obscure myth­ical cover art­work by Dutch painter Jer­oen van Valken­burg.

Per­haps a bit more vari­ety in the play­ing style or instru­mentarium couldn’t have hurt, but I con­sider this to be a very fine debut album. Ori­ginal style, great atmo­sphere, clear pro­duc­tion. Noth­ing to object, quite simply. If you enjoy ori­ginal and pro­gress­ive rock music with a dreamy and strange atmo­sphere, Narr is a good bet. I’m look­ing for­ward to hear­ing more from these men!

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Zepter Des Nar­ren (6:01)
2. Ronces Et Icon­o­clasme (9:01)
3. La Lyre Cornue Pleure (3:35)
4. La Dune Bleue (7:28)
5. Au Bal Des Larves (7:35)
6. Ceph­alée Nep­tuni­enne (Odravyel) (6:41)
7. Murènes Du Léthé (6:28)
8. Ruis­selle (4:17)