ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Grandval - 2022 - “Eau | Feu"

(45:19; Vallis Lupi)


Grandval are back with their third album, with Henri Vaugrand (lead & backing vocals, bass, acoustic & electric guitars, EBow, programming, sampling) keeping it very similar to last time in that Olivier Bonneau (keyboards, bass pedals, electric guitars, backing vocals) is still a member, and they have again brought in Jean-Baptiste Itier (drums) and Jean Pierre Louveton (acoustic & electric guitars, backing vocals), both of course from Nemo, plus the addition of a further guest in Elodie Saugues (backing vocals). Again we have a relaxed album, which is often based around a melodic bassline and layered keyboards. The guitars are mostly there to provide nuances and inflections, and Floyd are yet again an obvious influence. As with the last album, the presence of Itier is huge, providing a real cut through both with drums and cymbals that one just does not get with programmed percussion. This clarity prevents the sound from being too cloying, although I must admit I would have enjoyed hearing JPL opening up more, but this is not a Nemo album, but Grandval. Although this is still a crossover prog release there are some very solid neo influences as well, particularly in the keyboards which often have a quite dated Eighties sound and approach. “Heinrich (Un monde bien etrange)” is the longest track at nearly ten minutes, and there are some strong instrumental passages in here, including one where the keyboards and guitars lock together well. The album tends to be pleasant as opposed to essential, and while I enjoyed it while it was playing there is not much here to entice me back to play it again, as it often drifts by as opposed to throwing in hooks. This is the third in what Henri sees as a trilogy of elements, and there were attempts to form a full band to play concerts prior to this recording, which was prevented by Covid, so it is quite possible the next release will see a change in direction, but we will wait and see.

Progtector: March 2023

Related Links:

Grandval Vallis Lupi


ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages