Pryzme is a progressive French rock band born from the idea of Dominic Blanchard and David Chollet in 2014. Gabrielle Duplenne and Maxence Marmiyesses completed the lineup in 2019. Their debut album, “Four Inches,” was released in 2021 and consists of eight long-playing tracks. As soon as you dive into the album, you notice the multiple influences ranging from Sting to Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd, Yes, Toto, and Pat Metheny. However, they manage to forge their own sounds, and too much comparison might be pretty fleeting. According to their press release, Pryzme is a journey that takes the audience to lands where prog, rock, jazz, and sometimes metal meet.
If you find yourself loving melodic, progressive guitar-drive music, I am sure you will get hooked after a couple of spins. While I haven’t heard of Pryzme until the other days, the French quartet rocks and shines with glorious and impressive guitar solos galore. The album is an enjoyable guitar-driven prog, easy to listen to, yet with a massive amount of skills. An exception might be the opening track ‘Fusion,‘ as it has a lovely jazz-prog flavor and a somewhat relaxed, funky rhythm, reminding the British ’90s star, Keane.
For progressive geeks, ‘After Wichita‘ is more prog than any other track, a moody track with delightfully atmospheric pallet instrumentation offering a delicate minimalist repetitive pattern throughout the song. It is one of my favorite pieces from the album, as it has an incredible dreamy ambiance that quickly builds in tension, culminating in some impressive guitar solos. Follow-up ‘Nothing to Say’ is another example of instrumental skillfulness.
‘Pretty Princess‘ is, in a word, entertaining, being packed with highly melodic guitar solos and melodies. It opens quietly with a soft guitar and sounds of children playing and having a good laugh before it builds down midway through to a lovely semi-acoustic guitar exploration, in a very much jazz style, before returning to its central theme.
As you descend into the album’s second half, you’ll notice it gradually gets heavier, with more riffs and guitar work. ‘The Ride of Your Life‘ uses a combination of NASA space narration and narrative lyrics, so basically, the concept lies somewhere between space exploration and travel into the hereafter. The title track lasts thirteen minutes, allowing Pryzme to explore and evolve the main riffs. As the song builds up by layers, the guitars become distorted in places, and you might feel caught in momentum.
This is the perfect climax to the album, turning it into a somewhat intimate experience. There is much to enjoy here, from progressive rock to some pop influences, and just enough jazz to keep it interesting.
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