French guitarist Yvan Guillevic is one of these guitar players who always will surprise you. The first time I’ve heard about him, it was because of the Groovythingz band. Groovythingz musical recipe was a fusion between electronica & blues… The kind of fusion of genres that I dig! I’ve heard about him again a few years later with a new band called Empty Spaces, a tribute band to the Pink Floyd! And now Yvan is back with PYG, standing for Projet Yvan Guillevic (Yvan Guillevic Project). This new band is the occasion for him to explore another musical territory through the album End of the World… Somewhere between progressive rock, and hard rock!
When I first read the PYG press kit, I thought that I was about to listen to those things that actually scared me during the 1980s! In other words, I would say that this is not supposed to be my favorite kind of music! But as I am a curious guy, I’ve put the CD on the stereo, and I’ve been quite suprised. First lesson: I really shouldn’t judge an album by its press kit! I reckon the references to the 1980s style, and sound are present but it also sounds in a very modern way! Too late, I got hooked by this album because it was not going to make my hair grow perm-style nor tighten my trousers!!
Singers Morgan Marlet & Ney Kilah sing in English on all the tracks. Ney Kilah vocal solo on Siren Song slightly reminded me of a famous vocal track from Pink Floyd… There are some influences that you can’t erase that easily. Both voices perfectly fit in this rich music. But rich still means well balanced. The guitars are omnipresent but not overwhelming. The keyboards draw some very nice ambiant layers but not too much nor cheesy (that was my biggest fear). The rhythm section do a perfect job.
End of the World amost has to be listened as a whole story told over 11 tracks… Yeah! A concept album in 2011 is still possible! It is possible because they have built a fresh album based on so many influences such as Steve Vai & Jeff Beck (the guitar on Siren Song) or Supertramp (keyboard on New Hope), and many others (as Iron Maiden for example or Led Zeppelin). It was tricky to avoid just repeating their influences but they made it well!