Reviewed by Nuno on 14 May 2002
Sombre Reptile is an ingenious vehicle cruising the world of ethnic music with groovy and infectious rhythms and using the aggregation of progressive elements to complete the jigsaw puzzle of its musicality.
This vehicle’s crew consist in three musical drivers: Jean-Paul Dedier (keyboards), Michael Dedier (guitars) and Pim Foken (percussion). They are joined by ex-Minimum Vital’s drummer Charly Berna on Mandoline Noire.
Though the music sinks deeply in ethnic roots, it is played in an electric way that closes it to the progressive and world/fusion approaches.
As the name of the album clearly suggests, In Strum Mental is a seven piece instrumental work, mainly based on the interactivity of the keyboards and guitars, always set upon the (sometimes repetitive) drum effects.
This is one of those albums that may not get that much credit at first listen, but further exploring will unfold little particularities that enrich its original concept, filling many of the gaps that one may point out after only a superficial listen.
The music is really a multi-layered tapestry of sounds, well constructed and put together, even if with some minor flaws (such as the absence of strong and/or catchy melodies).
Naja is my choice for best track, mainly for its crafted and appealing percussion work and guitar soloing, though the voice coder used here is just not to my likes.
Sombre Reptile have to be recognized for their originality and the expressiveness they put out in each and every song. Though this is an album that, probably, will only be truly appreciated by those who enjoy odd variations in ethnic/world music, with a distinctive electric Avant-garde / Prog sound.
This is completely out of ordinary prog, and serves as a nice change of scenery. I must recognize its credits, despite the fact that its leafs do not make my favorite cup-of-tea.