Nous avons le plaisir de vous partager notre nouveau teaser qui annonce la sortie prochaine de notre clip officiel « Angel Dust Radio Edit » pour la promo du nouvel album « Time of Awakening » ! ENJOY !
PROGRADAR recommends : Weend’ô « A group of talented and consummate musicians fronted by the amazing vocal talent of Laetitia »
Released 17th March 2018
Weend’ô – Time of Awakening
There’s some really good music coming out of France. I’d heard of Weend’ô but it wasn’t until I’d made their acquaintance at last year’s Summer’s End Festival that I really got to see and hear how good they really were.
A group of talented and consummate musicians fronted by the amazing vocal talent of Laetitia, a singer heavily influenced by Anneke Van Giersbergen and one who has completely transcended any such comparisons now. The band’s sound has previously been described as falling somewhere between Pink Floyd’s more ambient moments and the modern riffs of Tool, a fair comparison although I feel they are ploughing their own unique musical furrow nowadays.
Atmospheric rock music with prog-tinged hues and a real under current of the blues to the fluent guitar playing, I find it totally addictive and fronted by Laetitia’s sultry rock voice it takes on a whole life of its own. ‘Time of Awakening’ is a call to humanity to keep faith and hope despite the appalling events currently afflicting the world. Discussed in the wistful and ethereal hymn Elea, nothing can stop the true evolution…
Seven songs, forty-three minutes long, this deeply engaging album will immerse you in Weend’ô’s singular musical world and it is a place you may find exceedingly difficult to leave. This wonderful album is definitely my unexpected find of the year so far for 2018.
Rating – 88/100
Released 30th March 2018
Quel Honneur pour Weend’ô de passer dans un grand magazine anglais !! Ce même magazine avait cité Weend’ô en mars dernier parmi le TOP 5 des meilleurs nouveaux groupes !!!
6000 exemplaires du CD covermount (dont le titre « Angel Dust radio edit » apparait) sont distribués à travers le Royaume Uni et au delà !
Déjà en janvier/février, Angel Dust apparaissait sur 20 000 exemplaires d’un autre CD covermount !
Review by The Progressive Aspect (UK) : « it easily matches up to Nightwish or Lacuna Coil in metallic content »
Weend’ô – Time of Awakening
Music always has the ability to affect emotions, but although those moments are quite far between surprises happen. I first heard Weend’ô (pronounced ‘Window’, it’s Japanese) at the Summer’s End festival in Chepstow last year, and as seems to be the norm, organisers Huw and Stephen had pulled something special out of their bag of tricks. Weend’ô were the opening act for the Saturday afternoon. Arriving about 4 minutes late, hearing the end of their opening number I was immediately enraptured; musical control in all areas, covering multiple stylings and crowned with a voice that is almost as comfortable with the operatic as it is with the bluesified rock elements.
Although I purchased this album at Summer’s End, it was officially released on 2nd February 2018 on the newly formed Sonicbond label (another product of the dynamic duo, Stephen & Huw. You decide which one is Batman, I shall not be drawn). It remains great, and due to the release date available for my end of year selection, even though that is many month’s away!
It is atmospheric, combining music and sounds to a dramatic effect, the album seeking to address the turmoil around the world in 2017 and asking humanity to keep faith and hope, despite the worlds troubles; the band’s belief is that we are entering a new period of evolution and experiencing a new paradigm, even though many of the events have been very personal to the communities affected. High thoughts in a world troubled by religion, and in many cases the reaction being for some to become more spiritual. Angel Dust, the single from the album, addresses this from a personal perspective, and again in Elea but with a broader view. Even if you are unable to grasp the view that All is one – both the visible and invisible worlds – nothing can stop the true evolution…
Time of Awakening, both the title and the ensemble parts that make up the majority, is the opening piece, three pieces with a common thread and, from my point of view, dealing with the nature of change and that which is ‘force majeure’, meaning that we have no control over how and when these changes occur. Through speakers it is wonderful, through headphones it seems to reach another more involving level.
At times metallic, changing to almost folk, operatic, ballad-like, the voice of Laetitia Chaudemanche touches so many points, and those chills and thrills multiply. Although not listed as an influence on their web page, I find her voice reminiscent of Guesch Patti (Patricia Porasse), check out L’Homme Au Tablier Vert (Fleurs Carnivores)from Nomades (1990), though you may disagree. The lyrics provoke thought too, I recommend a hard copy of Time of Awakening album, it would be nice to read the words, but sadly the lyrics are not available here.
For a long piece in three parts, Time of Awakening does not pass slowly, and I am more than happy on the third listen as I write this review. Many an album requires a step back, reflection and consideration before depressing a key, had I done so here, my view would not change.
Max Rami and Térence Nguyen Van look the part of metal players, however appearances are deceptive and their performance are nuanced giving much depth to the music that could easily become lost in power chords and shredding. That is not to deny the contribution of the drumming of Nathanaël Buis, even in the quietest moments the band are one.
Angel Dust rings with emotion, the music opening with a metal riff before dropping to something far more subtle, and much like a towel from the radiator, wraps around you, enveloping you in its warmth. They really mix things up nicely.
The album concludes with the two part prayer Elea. With lyrics written from personal reflection and experiences, they pose questions for us on our own take on life’s journey and the future. It’s been a while since I have given this album a spin – so little time, so much music – but it is as fresh and still with those chill moments that I experienced when I walked into The Drill Hall at Chepstow the first time. I am very selective on my purchases at these events. Limiting my budget so as not feel the need to sell my soul to attain enlightenment, but with Time of Awakening I am very happy to have parted with my hard-earned cash.
The album, at least on the Bandcamp download, ends with the radio edit of Angel Dust, but give yourself a treat, purchase this, it easily matches up to Nightwish or Lacuna Coil in metallic content, and the rest is a joy too. Look out for live performances as well; the music itself is amazing, live it rises further up the celestial pyramid.
01. Time of Awakening, Part 1 (7:05)
02. Time of Awakening, Part 1 (5:04)
03. Time of Awakening, Part 1 (8:06)
04. Angel Dust (8:20)
05. Elea, part 1 (7:07)
06. Elea, part 2 (4:18)
Total Time – 40:00
Laetitia Chaudemanche – Vocals, Keyboards, Lyrics
Térence Nguyen Van – Guitars, arrangements
Maxime Rami – Bass
Nathanaël Buis = Drums, Loops
Record Label: Sonicbond
Country of Origin: France
Date of Release: 2nd February 2018
Weend’ô – Time Of Awakening
Weend’ô are a band hailing from France, whose music is described as a mix of Pink Floyd‘s ambiance and Tool‘s modern riffing. They are described as « exploring the depths of the human psyche: its qualities and faults, its fears and joy, its relationships… The lyrics are written from real experiences and through melodic progressive rock, the audience is invited to a journey from the inside. » Time Of Awakening is their third release, following their debut album You Need to Know Yourself, and their live acoustic album Fairytalacoustic.
Time Of Awakening – Part 1 begins the journey with a minimalistic, yet ensnaring sound with some beautiful vocal work by Laetitia. There are some interesting riffs, some nice leads and licks. From this track alone, it is easy to see the influences from both Pink Floyd and Tool.
Part 2 has a softer, more « light » beginning, with more use of synths and piano to build the scene. A very chilled and relaxed piece, with some lovely keyboard work.
The final part of the trilogy starts with an almost Opeth type acoustic passage before the full band enters with some proggy goodness. Complex riffing intertwines with the drums and bass to keep you waiting expectantly. A powerful slab of riffs and soaring vocals that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the second half, where it is replaced with atmospherics to let you breathe.
The second half of the album kicks off with Angel Dust. Another slower-paced, more laid back and almost bluesy track, with a bit of a feel to it similar to The Sound Of Muzack by Porcupine Tree. This builds up into quite a powerful track that sounds like a good mix between the aforementioned tree and Anathema.
Elea Part 1 helps showcase the skill of the band, with a beautifully written song that flits between relaxed and a bit melancholy, with more staccato riffing and more anthemic choruses.
Finally, we come to the end of the album with Elea Part 2. A short but sweet finale, this is more just a rolling build up with a vocal melody over the top to bring in the end.
A very good album, perfect for fans of classic prog like Pink Floyd and modern prog such as Anathema and Porcupine Tree. The songs are superbly crafted, and every bit of the album keeps you hooked and content.
PROFIL PROG ROCK (Quebec/Canada) – Chronique de « Time of Awakening » (9.5/10) !! « Vraiment un beau coup de coeur »
Voilà donc une belle surprise! Un deuxième album pour ce groupe français qui arrive à maturité et qui passe d’un album auto produit avec un financement de ses fans à un groupe à suivre qui vient de signer avec SONICBOND et qui reçoit l’appui et l’aide d’Alan Reed. Leur sonorité reste dans la gamme des très bons groupes progressifs de France, enrichie par la voix puissante et prenante de LAETITIA qui chante depuis longtemps et qui a fait des études en Angleterre. On est campé définitivement dans le progressif mélodique moderne avec des passages symphoniques, des accents plus acérés métalliques et un bel album dédié au maintien de l’espoir dans l’humanité malgré les ratés mondiaux récents.
Les musiciens se connaissent bien et livrent la marchandise. J’ai adoré les arrangements, les passages de piano, les atmosphères mystérieuses et les rythmes soutenus. La structure musicale m’a fait penser à du Yes période FRAGILE pour sa basse expressive et sa balance clavier-guitare mais on retrouvera des passages ‘floydiens’ à la MEDDLE mais aussi des guitares musclés et un batteur remarquable. La composition et l’aspect symphonique m’a aussi rappelé le groupe cubain ANIMA MUNDI. En plus la voix de Laetitia est superbe et invite des comparaisons flatteuses avec THE GATHERING.
Dans le détail on a droit au début à une suite en trois temps de 20 minutes qui donne le ton et le titre de l’album. ‘Time of Awakening’ est une superbe ode progressive variée et complexe. Les passages instrumentaux sont longs et fascinants que ce soit la guitare juste et mouvante et TERENCE ou les synthés surprenants de LAETITIA ou la fondation irréprochable du tandem basse-batterie. La troisième partie est un opus classique qui vaut l’album à lui seul mais toute la suite est excellente. La première partie contient un solo de synthé époustouflant vers la fin et la deuxième un magnifique passage de piano rappelant les grands maîtres KEITH ou RICK. Pour le morceau qui suit, on a droit à un petit virage métal avec ‘Angel Dust’ moins concordant avec le reste de l’album à mon avis. Il vient en deux versions: l’original et radio et fait plus dans le métallique dans son concept mais quand même plaisant surtout dans sa version longue (la version courte est inutile selon moi et distrayante). Vient ensuite une autre suite en deux parties faisant 10 minutes et demi et qui offre un beau mélange de ‘Worldbeat’ et de ‘psychédélique’ et qui s’intitule ‘Elea’. La première partie contient un très beau solo de guitare en finale et la deuxième partie une belle progression avec des vocalises hommes et femmes et le rythme ‘floydien’ annoncé plus haut.
Vraiment un beau coup de coeur. Un album qui va attirer l’attention des aficionados prog et qui va se comparer aux très bons de la cuvée 2018. Tout est bien intégré, le message est clair, la voix féminine envoûtante et ressentie, la production excellente, la composition sublime. Définitivement du très bon prog moderne qui va plaire aux jeunes et aussi aux dinosaures dont je suis. Les musiciens sont très talentueux. Si vous aimez le prog symphonique et les groupes comme ANIMA MUNDI vous serez comblé. Pas loin d’un album essentiel. On attend déjà la suite. Ils méritent amplement nos encouragements.
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
With only 6 tracks, I knew I was going to be in for a prog-tastic time. Both the title track and “Elea” are divided into multiple parts! ‘A good start,’ I’m thinking to myself as I pressed play and part one of “Time of Awakening” started up.
Once past the ambient intro and the light polyrhythmic drums, the amazing voice of Laetitia Chaudemanche enters. First thought from me? ‘Wow!’ She has an amazing tone with a slight Gaelic influence. The vocal is bright and fluffy, reminding me of Lee Douglas from Anathema. Okay, so this is going to be a light, atmospheric album with subtlety? Not quite. About halfway through “Time of Awakening, Part 1”, I was treated to a nice angular, fuzzy riff from Terence N’Guyen, complemented by some heavy bass and thundering drums. Now we’re cooking! Things continue to build over the remainder of this track, and before you know it, from out of nowhere, a huge sawtooth lead solo comes in. Unexpected, gritty and glorious.
The track then moves seamlessly into part two, morphing into something quite unexpected. Crystal clear piano fills the speakers and really interesting melodies and chords dominate. Something reminiscent of an ECM style jazz/classical influence appears, which is more refreshing than the typical symphonic rock-ballad style that we usually get from so many prog bands of late. The guitar is also subtle and textural, again akin to someone like Alan Holdsworth or Terje Rypdal rather than Petrucci, for example.
After this relaxing interlude, it gets avant garde, providing even more textural changes. Sub bass programming and guitar effects make for something modern and unsettling, but not overbearing. The acoustic guitar makes its first appearance at the start of part three, continuing the low key feeling, but then the song just explodes! Surprise! Tool–style rifforama and dense drums pour forth. To heighten the excitement, we get another unexpected moment. Gone are the light and graceful vocals as Chaudemanche powers over the band with an effect-laden performance, fitting perfectly with the heavy riffs. As if I couldn’t like the song any more, an awesome guitar solo kicks in, leaving lots of space for the bass to come thundering through in support (one of my favourite sounds in rock). The final part of this trilogy ends with some super fast drum fills from Nathanael Buis. Song complete. Drop the mic, leave the stage! Phew!
VOCAL SUPER POWERS
Every band needs a superhero, and in Weend’ô‘s case, it’s Laetitia Chaudemanche. From her biography on their website, she lists Anneke van Giersbergen as one of her primary influences, which is apparent as the album progresses. Don’t let this fool you into thinking that she’s just a clone. Chaudemanche stamps her own personality on this album, adjusting her style and vocal effects to the mood of the music. This adds tons of interest and unique high points on every track. I’ve done a scientific and accurate account* in the graph below to give you an idea of the sheer variety in her vocal performance:
From her super high range, mic effects, staccato phrasing, whispering and different languages, she never ceases to amaze and delight throughout. This gives the band a different feeling from most other groups of this type and raises the bar significantly.
With the 3 part of the title track done, we are now into the only single song on the album; “Angel Dust”. This track gives us a taste of a more staccato vocal style, reminiscent of Bent Knee at times. The whispering is also a nice touch. There is also a ‘single edit’ version of this track, I assume to help people get a taste of Weend’ô’s style without committing to listening to the longer songs.
The album closes out with another multipart opus, “Elea”. Featuring more great riffs, awesome Steve Rothery-style melodic guitar solos, and as my graph points out, a blissful mix of the sweet vocal of Chaudemanche mixed with a dirty male vocal underneath. This is a sound palette that’s new to me and made me immediately sit up and take notice. Part Two winds up the album nicely with reverb soaked crescendos and high voices until the fade.
ENOUGH TO LEAVE YOU WANTING
After 45 minutes, it’s all over, and I immediately wanted to find out more about the band and see if there was an extensive back catalog so I could listen to more and get my fix (there are two previous albums)!
From the clear, punchy recording, great modern riffs and of course, that vocal performance, this is an album that deserves to be recognized as something new and exciting in this genre. I look forward to seeing how Weend’ô develop in the future (plus I’ll keep banging on about them to my mates!).
Notable Tracks: “Time of Awakening (Part 1)”; “Angel Dust”
FFO: Anathema, Bent Knee, Ayreon, Vuur, Enchant, Marillion, Anneke van Giersbergen