Audio: lossless (ape, cue, log, scans)
from Progweed :
The third album from Ange is, in my eyes, their definitive hour. Simply put, Au Dela du Delire completely kicks my ass every time I listen to it. The album picks up on the basic feel of Le Cimitiere des Arlequins and ups the anty all around. Au Dela du Delire sees a leap forward on the compositional end, as the band displays less of a willingness to go out on any kind of tangent, or leave any idea underdeveloped. Without a doubt, everything here is more focused and complex, while the main themes and melodies are even more memorable. Mellotron and violin are major points of emphasis as well, with Francis DeCamps lending an orchestral flair that is more infused with the compositions, rather than providing background swells as he did on the previous effort. The production, as on Cimetiere... is rather muddy, but is only a minor drawback, perhaps even adding to the rough-around-the-edges mystique of the album.
This album is chock full of moments of unbelievable, breathtaking intensity. "Longues Nuits d'Isaac" is an utter barn burner, beginning with a earth shattering electric guitar riff from Jean Michel Brezovar and proceeding beneath Christian DeCamps primal roar. "Ballade Pour Une Orgie" is a pleasant, melodic piece with great dueling acoustic guitar melodies. In an album full of highlights, perhaps the finest moment comes at the solo break of "Exode", where Brezovar unleashes a savage guitar lead that gradually builds over the throbbing rhythmic backdrop, as it hits its peak, the mellotrons come soaring in with majestic orchestral swells, as Brezovar's guitar screams beneath. A climax of pure progressive splendor. "Fils de Lumeire" is another extraordinary piece, short but to the point, with an infectious main theme, making its mark with Christian DeCamps' dramatic vocal delivery. And who can forget about the enormous title track? The album closes out with a nine minute piece of pure mellotron worship, gorgeously intense.
Au Dela du Delire is a progressive rock classic. Comparisons to Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator are pretty much moot. Ange are undoubtedly the most influential French symphonic group, and like Genesis, King Crimson or Yes, have gone down as innovators of a particular style by which the pretenders are measured. Other bands sound like Ange, but Ange are an entity unto themselves. Au Dela du Delire is their opus, don't miss it. - Greg Northrup [September 2001]