Seven Reizh

Strinkadenn Ys

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Seven Reizh is an interesting French group headed by composer Claude Mignon and writer Gerard Le Dortz. They seem to draw their influences from the major progressive and folk-rock acts from the 30 years preceding them. From Genesis, the guitar and bass styles of Steve Hackett and Michael Rutherford frequently surface. Mike Oldfield's anthemic method of playing and knack for introducing colorful and unconventional instruments surely must have made a lasting impression on Mignon as well. The gentle musical passages from Illusion are referenced, and vocalist Bleunwenn resembles both Annie Haslam and Karen Matheson. In fact, Seven Reizh elicits comparisons to both Renaissance and Capercaillie, lead vocalists notwithstanding. The Celtic rock elements bring to mind French guitarist Dan Ar Bras' large-ensemble productions from the mid- to late '90s. Crisply produced to accentuate a variety of acoustic instruments like bombarde, flute, and pipes, Strinkadenn is very much a progressive rock album, with the Celtic touches adding variation to the dynamics and melody alike. While influences from the past abound in this piece of work, this album is an original, fully capable of standing its ground amid the throngs of prog revival acts who are very adept at re-creating the sound of their mentors but lack their own defining qualities.