The Last Word (Le Dernier Mot)

by Philharmonie

supported by
Dee Ethier
Dee Ethier thumbnail
Dee Ethier Instrumental prog rock, this time with a full band, drums, bass, and all. It's very well-done. Somewhat reminiscent of 80s King Crimson, but perhaps even better, certainly a bit more reserved and tasteful.
Dr. Beaf
Dr. Beaf thumbnail
Dr. Beaf Another wounded victim to EB, reinforced by Roy M. The sample track certainly gives indication to how good the album is with the addition of fine drum work throughout. There's some stunning guitar phrases flowing over unique chord progressions full of syncopation and climaxing crescendos to the marvellous changes in quieter passages - dynamics of fusion everywhere, think Yes' Wakeman & Howe. The mixdown of this album is terrific, with emphasis on the bass. Favorite track: Métamorphose (Metamorphosis).
Roy Meerkamper
Roy Meerkamper thumbnail
Roy Meerkamper Three guitarists, experimental instrumental rock. Complex, great interplay between them, not background music. Only one track is available for previewing, but the whole album is a good as the one cut. EB got me again.
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about

After 10 years of work, Philharmonie disbanded 10/97. They had written & rehearsed all the material for a new release, & once we heard the rough demos, we suggested that they record The Last Word. The music features the amazing, instantly recognizable string interplay that all their albums feature, with the performances generally slanted towards the heavier sound of their previous album, Rage. A great record that gives their many fans a chance to say a final farewell to a band with "a very fresh & different twist on the borderline King Crimson/Rock In Opposition genre" - Audion

"Le Dernier Mot (The Last Word) was the fifth and final release by the French instrumental prog outfit Philharmonie. The group had disbanded in October 1997, but some things had been left unsaid and original members Frédéric L'Épée (guitars) and Bernard Ros (who left his Chapman stick to play the Warr guitar on this album) teamed up with drummer Volodia Brice to record one last album between March and August 1998.
Although rockier, Le Dernier Mot arches back to the wonderful Nord and is everything Rage wasn't: complex, full of emotion, inventive. The opener "Rondo Argentin" is a sad dance reminiscent of "Vers le Nord." Brice's drums are totally unobtrusive and fit perfectly the mood. "Métamorphose" is a very efficient hard-progging number. Both pieces were performed live before October 1997 but were never recorded. "Sans réponse" and "Bruine" are guitar solos that were also part of the live show. "Le Dernier Mot" is the only piece collectively written by this incarnation of the band (although all other tracks have been "revisited", so to speak), a surprising piece opening on a hard-rock theme which boils down to acoustic guitars only to finish harder. "Campanile" is a guitar duet dating from Philharmonie's very early days, a never-recorded live favorite.
If every band's swan song was as good as this, the history of rock music would be a lot more interesting." – AllMusic

credits

released May 15, 1999

Frédéric L'Épée - new standard tuned guitar, traditionally tuned guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, bass, loops
Bernard Ros - Warr guitar loops, guitar
Volodia Brice - drums

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