4/3 de Trio - Faiblesse - 1999
This is an album recorded in 1997 by the French quartet of multi-instrumentalists 4/3 de Trio. The ban line-up is Sebastien Grammond (electric guitar, mellotron, hammond organ, synthesizers, djembe), Didier Pegeron (drums, classic guitar, kettle drums, bongos, triangle), Romain Gayral (bass), and Guillaume Fenoy (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, voice and lyrics in French). The truth is that when reading in the booklet the instrumentation of this album, I expected something great.
The music of these boys is very difficult to define. They are a dragon of two heads, an interesting progressive head (influenced by the mighty King Crimson of "Red", "Starless", or "Larks", and by Anekdoten and Anglagard) interspersed with hard-prog and blues, close to Atomic Rooster, Ten Years After or Deep Purple that particularly I love. The second dragons head, fortunately present in a smaller measure in this album shows influences from the most disgusting heavy metal I have listened in years (and those who know me, know about my love for good metal). No, do not think that this is prog metal as Dream Theater or anything similar, it is just sad heavy-prog.
The album has 13 songs, of between 1:30 and 9:26 minutes of length. In general they are interesting pieces although hardly original, characterised by a sound mixture of progressive and hard, with interesting lyrics, full of social content. Nevertheless, the second head appears from time to time, providing fragments of dirty heavy music or truly infamous, macho and disgusting lyrics such as "I love your legs, your bendy knees, I love your butt, your holy crease, I love your stomach, I adore your back and your tits" or "I want you to undress, delicious Aphrodite ". That said, this monster of two heads doesn't end up being that delicious mixture of influences common in many groups of the Black Widow label.
After a beautiful intro, the song that gives its title to the album is really interesting, although not very original. It is a soft piece that begins in an acoustic way, but then shifts into a very interesting storm of hard riffs, although the singer never gets his voice heard on this storm of notes. The third song, "Queen Wilson" begins very aggressively, with devastating guitars (maybe too much) to change to a marvellous mixture of epic mellotrons and burning guitar riffs. "Marie J" begins like a shameless copy of the best pieces of my loved AC/DC, to become a riff party in a Santana, Grand Funk or Led Zeppelin style. Then, the piece ends with a soft vocal and instrumental fragment, more progressive.
The fifth track "Vicious heart" marks a shift to less interesting pieces. It begins smoothly, like a romantic ballad, to accelerate gradually into a shitty trendy metal song (even with some excellent keyboards). The singer tries to copy the genius Paul Rodgers, but sings so out of tune that he just reminds me of the worst moments of the glam-heavy in the 80s. "In depit", with lyrics of a very interesting social content, is seventies-prog in the nineties, on the style so loved by my friend Alfonso Algora. However, once more the vocals do not suit with the rest of the composition and destroy its value, taking the music in occasions to a chaos of which they do not know how to escape. A parenthesis in this dangerous path is a brief acoustic, slow piece "Spare yourself the pain" in which the singer shows much more control of his voice.
"The taste of you" is a different case. The music, after a good instrumental outburst, creates an interesting atmosphere, moving into a crazy attractive blues-jam of guitars and abundant rhythm changes. The music is excellent, but the lyrics... Oh my God, they are the worst thing I have read since the times of Motley Crue or Poison, I believe that one can write of sex without being obscene. The same thing happens with "Ma devise", another example of excellent music (70s prog to the core) with a stupid sexist text.
"Loe" is a fascinating instrumental piece (even more after the last few tracks), based on acoustic guitar with attractive and modern sketches of flamenco guitar. An excellent percussion work. "Acore" follows suit, being another good instrumental brief piece, with more aggressive guitars (as Satriani or Vai). "Ile" is the shortest piece of the album, one and half minutes of acoustic guitar and a soft voice. Really beautiful. Finally, "Dying for religion" finishes the CD with broken Crimson atmospheres alternated with soft fragments and excessive guitar riffs. A good example of the content of the album.
On the whole, a group that offers us very interesting things, but that loses some oif its strength when listening to it more attentively. That said, the best songs would make an excellent mini-album, therefore the three stars I give them. If they purify their music a little and the singer controls his heavy tics somewhat, they could become an excellent group with their mixture of Crimsonian hard-progressive.