Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa

by Bill Golembeski Rating:9 Release Date:2019-09-13
Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa
Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa

My friend, Kilda Defnut, often says, “Big riffs probably propel the universe.” And this album has big riffs to burn, so our universe is safe for a while.

Now, (the great) Kurt Vonnegut’s character, Malachi Constant, explained the meaning of life as he stated, “I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.”

Of course, he’s right. And that sort of negates anything Nostradamus predicted in his Les Propheties. That is, with one exception: If some scholar could decipher a cryptic quatrain that suggested there will, in distant time, always be yet another psych-hard-rocking trio with Eastern accents, there would be at least a little proof in a fortune teller’s pudding.

And that’s what this record proves: There will always be another psych-hard rocking trio with Eastern accents. This record plays with the idea of that prophecy. “Majourn” is nine minutes plus of great guitar psych that dabbles in the daily bazaar rock ‘n’ roll commerce. The vocals are deep in the smoke. But the guitar, bass, and drums bend the universe across desert sands that whisper with a Persian radio vibe. This music is post-rock, mystical music, heavy psych, and even prog rock—all in the same vibration. This tune lingers in the heavy cosmos, with as stated, great big riffs to burn.

The meager six minutes “Farewell” floats on an acoustic and very psychedelic cloud. The light melodic guitars juxtapose the very heavy chords. The song breathes and spins with folky patience for a bit until a searing dipper just pours more heavy molten lead into the audio cauldron.

Just an idea: While this album is filled psych-hard rock, it is sacrilege not to mention the absolute sublime guitar work by Francois Roze, which echoes the powerful stuff Andy Powell played in Wishbone Ash, circa Argus. That’s high praise.

Acoustic guitars and the sound of thunder lay the carpet for the beautiful “The Coldest Night.” This gets cosmic in the heavy folky way that Led Zeppelin sometimes mined, and is dramatic stuff, with an ever-melodic lead guitar dark orbit that cruises past Pluto into the solar system unknown. And the engine room of Jason Recoing on bass and percussionist Antoine Ebel provide a Zep “Kashmir” heartbeat to the music.

More acoustic wisdom emanates from “Dying Light,” which, once again, enters into a melodic thump that is worthy of early Uriah Heep. This music punches at the known rock ‘n’ roll universe.

Now, because Al Stewart’s big ode to Nostradamus on his Past, Present & Future album is such a favorite tune, let’s give some credit to Monsieur Michael de, (after all, this is French rock ‘n’ roll!) and suggest that he could, just like any good record buyer, predict the classic sound of this record, simply  by reading the tea leaves—the cool cosmic cover, the band’s name referencing an ancient French word for pilgrim, the vibe of the song titles, and three nine-minute plus tunes!  

The album is the real deal. It orbits back again from about 1972 and is without any metal vocals or technical fatigue. This is beautiful human music.

Years ago, the band Transglobal Underground cut a song, “Disco Delta” with the lyrics, “Egyptian pharaohs fell to Earth…and play the blues.” Well, that could be a quick synopsis of the final epic (and title track) “Al-Marhuqa.” This is a wondrous journey of a song that inches into rock drama and then erupts with more (almost) heavy folky guitar that throbs like a really good pulsar. It (almost, again!) touches the wavelength of Robin Trower’s “Bridge of Sighs,” which is also the highest praise.

Well, to bring Nostradamus back into the trilogy of things, Yearly Horoscope Org cites history’s favorite clairvoyant’s 16th Century French prophetic translated certainty that “The impact of an asteroid will decimate humanity in 2019.” Uh-oh! That’s a scary thought!  But, my friend, Kilda Defut, did say, “Big riffs probably propel the universe.” So, this record, with its warm psych sonics, tough Crab Nebula rock grind, a few moments of a faun’s afternoon ala Claude Debussy, and yeah, big riffs galore, will, as Kris Kristofferson sang, “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”

Comments (0)

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Rush - 2112
  • 09/03/2019
  • By Steve Ricciutti
Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Wishbone Ash - Argus
  • 08/29/2019
  • By Bill Golembeski
Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Elva - Winter Sun
  • 04/16/2019
  • By Bill Golembeski
Pelegrin - Al-Marhuqa - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
Liquid Bear - Unwind
  • 11/21/2018
  • By Bill Golembeski