In 2009 we reviewed the debut album of Qantum. Les Temps Oubliés (see review) is without any doubt one of the best progressive rock albums ever made in France. At the time I wrote in my review; “Anybody who enjoys neo progressive rock music and does not mind that the lead vocals are done in the French language can enjoy this first album from Qantum a lot. This should be discovered”. In 2016 the band finally managed to come up with a follow up album. Titled Le Passage. Unfortunately I received this masterpiece much too late therefore a review can be enjoyed now. A review which has to be put online because what the band presents on this release is really outstanding!
The members Jean-Marc Tesorio (vocals), Franck Foussard (keyboards), Thierry Locatelli (guitars), Bruno Vente (bass) and Rémi Séveno (drums) really achieved something special together. All of the seven compositions are musical highlights. No weak songs at all. That's just how I like it and many other progheads too. Tesorio sings with a lot of passion in his native French language. Many times recalling Christian Décamps from Ange. Foussard and Locatelli treat the listener to amazing musical parts performed on the keyboards and guitars. The emotional melodic guitar solos are very tastefully done. The synthesizer solos are a joy to hear together with the bombastic parts performed on the Mellotron. What those to individual musicians do on their instruments is the wet dream for every lover of progressive rock. Also the rhythm section know how to play strong up tempo beats or to lay down some slower parts.
I will not go down in details how every track sounds. But I have to mention the fine Eastern melodies combined with true progressive rock parts on the instrumental Labyrinthe. Or the second instrumental Milena Lacrimae on which the band sounds as if David Gilmour of Pink Floyd has joined them for the amazing guitar parts! Also the wordless vocals are in a way related to the same band.
To say who the band can be compared with isn't really difficult. I see it most of all a combination of the earlier mentioned Ange and the British act IQ. Maybe I'll have to mention Pink Floyd as well, because occasionally parts reminded me of this band!
As mentioned earlier everything is in order on Le Passage. Therefore what I stated on the intro, calling this second album a true masterpiece, is completely true. They deserve, even many years later after its release, the highest rating possible. The five stars are certainly in place for an album which should be in the collection of everyone who enjoys neo progressive rock music and does not mind that the lead vocals are in the French language. Get it while you can before it is too late!
***** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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