RED SAND – Cinema du Vieux Cartier [deluxe edition] (2013)
“Cinéma du Vieux Cartier” is the sixth album for Quebec’s RED SAND, a Canadian neo-prog act who are most often compared to Fish-era Marillion. I remember Red Sand’s 2nd CD being a really well crafted piece of work certainly inspired by early Marillion yet with their own personality. But the band slightly changed the musical approach in subsequent recordings and I lost interest.
With “Cinema du Vieux Cartier”, Red Sand are back to their old form with great melodies and a true neo-prog spirit.
The head of the band is composer and guitarist Simon Caron who drives the music via his Rothery-like playing which indeed recalls first Marillion. The good news is the return of the constant keyboard washes and solos that abound in every song at charge of Pennsylia Caron (Simon’s daughter), a really well trained academic musician full of good taste.
Despite its French title, “Cinema du Vieux Cartier” lyrics are in English sung by Steff Dorval delivering emotive and sometimes dramatic performances. This is some kind of a conceptual album where the band critically deals with the world of cinema through elaborated compositions plenty of progressive dynamics, from sensitive to bombastic passages.
We have three short tracks (clocking around four and half minutes) interspersed with two very long pieces, but both are divided in several parts all of them truly enjoyable. The longest, “The Queen”, showcases all this talented band has to offer; breaks and changing moods, varied vocals from intense to subtly, an elastic rhythm section, great guitar work and above all some very fine keyboard arrangements.
This digipak deluxe edition includes a bonus mini-CD entitled ‘Au Vieux Cinema’ (100 copies only limited edition).
It features a French version of title track – which sounds quite different and really interesting, and the non-album track “Superhero”, perhaps the more catchy neo-prog tune of all. A shame it isn’t included into the regular CD as this is an excellent composition that deserves to be enjoyed by all progressive fans.
So I strongly recommend to you to get this ‘deluxe edition’ if you can find it… seems it’s sold out but you can try at Red Sand’s website or eBay.
“Cinema du Vieux Cartier” is a very good neo-prog album (recalling early Marillion, Camel, Arena, some Pendragon and Poland’s Collage) from Red Sand, a band that may not offer anything original in terms of style, but they do deliver first-rate music in this genre that oozes charm, refinement and professionalism.
1. Au Vieux Cinéma (5:26)
2. Fallen Star (12:54)
3. Fairytale (4:00)
4. The Queen (22:28)
5. The End (4:14)
Bonus mini-CD ‘Au Vieux Cinema‘ limited to 100 copies;
1. Cinema du Vieux Cartier [French version] (5:30)
2. Superhero (7:19)
Simon Caron – guitars, keyboards
Pennsylia Caron – piano, keyboards
Mathieu Gosselin – bass
Danny Robertson – drums
Steff Dorval – vocals
BUY IT !