The great German philosopher, poet and composer Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) once wrote 'without music, life would be a mistake'. Well, that's about the same philosophy of the two founders of Weend'˘ (pronounced: window), a rather new French progressive rock group. The two founders are Terence Nguyen (guitars, loops) and Laetitia Chaudemanche (lead vocals, keyboards). Completed by an additional guitarist, a bass player and a drummer the band recorded in October 2010 their debut album called You Need To Know Yourself which was released a year later.
When I listened to the music on the internet for the first time, I was overwhelmed and I decided to review this album in order to give them more publicity, since they certainly deserve that. The music they wrote for this second album has many different approaches. Sometimes the influences of Pink Floyd shine clearly through; at other times the more gothic orientated bands like Lacuna Coil, Evanescence, Nightwish or Within Temptation seem to be an inspiration. However, a band like Tool also crossed my mind due to the strong guitar riffs. The kind of music made by bands as Muse, Opeth or Porcupine Tree can either be heard on this fine release. The music even reminded me of Twelfth Night, a band that the musicians of Weend'˘ might never heard of. The way they use the guitar to create strong rhythms was done the same as this British band did on their albums.
However, there's one similarity in the music you surely can't miss and that's the Dutch band The Gathering and their former singer Anneke van Giersbergen, mainly due to the excellent vocals of Laetitia Chaudemanche. Her way of singing reminds me of Tori Amos. Just listen to The Soulmate and you'll catch my drift! The album contains eight strong compositions of which Dark Element, ExpÚrience and Betrayal got a radio edit. These songs all have a strong groove. Indeed, strong enough to make them suitable for airplay on radio stations. I doubt if these tracks will bring them more success since this type of music isn't very popular in France.
People who buy the album will notice that Weend'˘ are an excellent live unit, because they added a DVD to their debut containing a fine performance of a live concert at Rocksane de Bergerac. Ten pieces of music can be enjoyed. The DVD also contains a beautiful clip of ExpÚrience. Moreover, you can watch the group backstage during the preparation for their Rocksane show. Watching this additional disc means that you will be entertained for two and a half hours. Not bad at all for a band that has just begun!
I guess many people will be impressed by the band's first effort. For Weend'˘'s music I had to give my thumbs more than once. I can only compliment these musicians for making such a beautiful album that will be enjoyed by people who like the music recorded by all the aforementioned bands!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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