If you pay attention, you might notice that Le Repli des Ombres is an anagram of the name of the French trio Sombre Reptile. Despite that fact, their music is not really puzzling: world beat-influenced instrumental progressive rock that rests somewhere between the ethnic samples of the Gayan Uttejak Orchestra and the midtempo tunes of Fonya. The group's sound consists of spacy keyboards by Jean-Paul Dedieu, who favors lush chords and elongated melodies, pedal-volume and E-Bowed guitars by Michel Dedieu, who throws in some nice Steve Hillman-like melodic solos, and electronic drums and sampled ethnic percussion from Pim Focken. This could have been a rather bland recipe, but one must acknowledge the high-level musicianship of all three musicians and the powerful songwriting team formed by Jean-Paul and Michel Dedieu. The longer tracks like "Autres Jungles" and "Le Repli des Ombres" tend to be dark, with plenty of densely textured passages serving as backdrops for synth or guitar solos. The title track even shows a slight Present influence in its dual guitar lead melodies and insistent repetitions (which makes it all too bad that the track is marred by some clumsy editing). "Escales" and "Exorex," the only two tracks under five minutes, are much lighter and more exuberant, providing a nice change of pace. This music will most probably grow on you, even if electronic percussion usually turns you off. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by François Couture