Progressive Promotions Records has once again graced us with another incredible European progressive jewel. I don't know how they continue to assemble such an amazing stable of new artists on their label. But they sure have a nose for talent.
The band, Elora (named after the daughter of bassist Jean Vincent Fillipini) was established in 2004 as a three-piece group consisting of Damien Dahan (vocals), Jean Vincent Fillipini (bass) and Lionel Giacobbe (guitar). Soon after the band expanded to a six piece with the addition of female vocalist Anastasia Moussalli, Patrice Cannone (keyboards), and eventually settled on drummer Julien Beaumont (replacing original drummer Sebastien Vignard).
“Crash” is the follow-up to their self-produced 2007 four-track EP called "En rêve" (In Dreams).
The band hails from Marseille, France and the lyrics are sung in their native tongue, which some might find off-putting. But it's never really been an issue with me.
Having been raised in a traditional Italian family the majority of music played at family gatherings was from artists like Dean Martin, Louis Prima, Al Martino, Jerry Vale, and Julius La Rosa singing Italian songs like “Mala Femmina”, “Volare”, “O Sole Mio”, and “Funiculi Funicula”. And although I didn't understand a word of it the melodies stuck with me and I found myself singing along in some incoherent gobbledygook neither English or Italian. So this set the stage for what would later come to be my longstanding love affair with international progressive music. And an unnatural tolerance for lyrics beyond my comprehension.
Who knows … listening to Elora's "Crash" might inspire you to learn French and make the people at Rosetta Stone happy.
The Crossover Prog music of Elora is a marriage of Modern Progressive Rock, French theatrical, and melodic metal, with a sound teetering between Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, RPWL, Riverside, Frost, Jadis, Lacuna Coil, Mostly Autumn, Kaipa, Radiohead, and The Gathering, as well as some older French progressive bands like Pulsar, Ange, and Atoll, creating a rich tapestry of sounds balancing melodic ballads with aggressive hard-edged rockers.
The dual vocals compliment the band, expanding the dynamic range of emotions in their music. Whether singing alone or together the symbiotic interplay between Damien Dahan and Anastasia Moussalli works well, setting the mood for each individual tune.
Even though Elora may seem relatively new to the international prog scene (at least to most US prog aficionados), the band has been performing steadily over the years with footage of their concert appearances and videos appearing on YouTube. Do yourself a favor and check them out. Then in no time you'll find yourself adding “Crash” to your collection.
Once again I find myself 'highly recommending' a Progressive Promotions Records CD.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on July 10th, 2013