2019 was a busy year for me, and unfortunately I never got around to reviewing these physical submissions to Progarchy. Things have slowed a bit, so here you go – three solid albums of very different sounds.
Fédéric L’Épée, The Empty Room, 2019
Tracks: Badong (07:00), Inévitable traversée (04:23), Descending the Slow River (06:28), Amour et dissolution (03:32), Delta (08:22), Hymne aux Ancêtres 1 (03:15), Treasured Wounds (06:47), Mist (04:50), Parle-moi encore (06:40), Souvenirs de Traversée (05:44), Hymne aux Ancêtres 2. (02:04), Wegschippernd (01:03)
This album was a bit of a pleasant surprise for me. I had no idea what to expect. It is an instrumental album, but it isn’t like your typical instrumental prog album. It is quite unlike anything I’ve heard before. It is very cinematic. The music tells its own story in a remarkably compelling way. Monsieur L’Épée is obviously a master of his craft.
A French composer and guitarist living in Berlin, Fédéric L’Épée has been in the band Shylock, Philharmonie, and Yang. His musical influences are diverse, which becomes pretty obvious once you start listening to The Empty Room.
This album manages to be peaceful without being boring. I’d say this is one of the most interesting instrumental albums I’ve heard in a long time. The interplay of the guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards is simply stunning. The guitar tone is clean and pleasant. The solo on “Inévitable traversée” is quite nice. “Descending the Slow River” is a bit of a slower piece that may drag a little bit, but, like the other songs, it tells a story through the music. You get a sense of a slowly flowing river through the way the instruments are played.