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Lazuli: Tant Que L’Herbe Est Grasse

Another modern prog tour de force from les frères Léonetti.

One of France’s most interesting progressive bands, Lazuli have been adding to their credentials over the past few years. They gave notable turns at RoSFEST, Night Of The Prog and Summer’s End, and 2011’s 4603 Battements was a powerful mélange of prog-leaning rock, electronica and thoughtful French lyrics. Led by brothers Dominique and Claude Léonetti, they continue in this vein with Tant Que L’Herbe Est Grasse (literally, ‘While The Grass Is Fat’).

Again, their anthemic tunes come in irresistible, armour-plated arrangements. The opening chug of Déraille sets the rocky, literate tone.

Vocalist Dominique’s trademark crystal-clear, dramatic vocals are to the fore on the emotive Une Pente Qu’On Dévale and Prisonnière D’Une Cellule Mâle. Their versatility is clear in the clever orchestral stabs and Vangelis/Blade Runner flavour of Tistes Moitiés, and the Eastern flavour of L’Essence Des Odyssées.

Claude’s léode (a one-off, guitar-like instrument) adds inimitable colour to the lilting J’ai Trouvé Ta Faille, which features a guest vocal from Fish, no less. That’s a good artistic fit and a ringing, righteous endorsement too: Lazuli are simply grand.