Two years after releasing “Shattered image” the greek band La Tulipe Noire releases a third Cd, the second one with Musea if I´m not wrong. Of course the first thing that came to my mind was.. will it be again another carbon copy of early Marillion? (please read the review of “Shattered..” at progVisions reviews section and you´ll know what I´m talking about).
Fortunately in this CD we won´t find “Script for a jesters tear vol. III” so we could say that the band has relatively evolved. Moreover the band gives up the ugly Marillion like logotype as if they want to break the chains. Unfortunately you need to watch the CD cover with a magnifier because the name of the band is written in small characters and seems like the band was named Faded Leaves.. but it doesn´t matter.
The most important thing is that the band keeps on with the same line up except for the guitar player Y.Barkoulas, who left the band, and the special guest Kostas Savvides playing some guitars. The songs are more original and have more personality (well.. that was easy) than the previous ones and Ima´s vocals is better than ever. Obviously La Tulipe Noire maintain some of those keyboards influenced by “Script for a Jester´s Tear” and other tics, but now these greek guys have assimilated the Marillion´s sound and they recreate it with a sort of originality as Arena did in their first album, so we won´t have a deja-vu feeling as happened with the previous CD.
The most part of the tracks are similar in structure, with interesting keyboards and bigger naturalness when fitting vocal melodies in the music. In the same way Ima has improved with English accent. The best songs?... well, I don´t know, all of them are pleasant to listen to but I´d remark “Castle on the sand” (8:27), “Wanderer” (9:05), “Le fond du ciel” (8:13) and the energic “A beggar´s tale” (4:15). Anyhow I´d want to state that the guitars are more decaffeinated than in the previous album and I miss here more guitar presence.
I go on recommending this band to all the fans of early Marillion and Arena although, as I stated, I´ve noticed an evolution that could fructify in an eventual fourth CD because the band has a good instrumental skill. I, as a lover of european culture in general and greek culture in particular, bet for these guys. I hope they won´t defraud me with their following CD.