A Great Inhuman Adventure is Present's last live performance from their 1998 tour of the US, recorded at the Orion Sound Studios in Baltimore, MD. Many have stated how Present really hit their stride in a live format more than on their studio recordings, and after hearing this blistering set I'll second that notion. Instead of engulfing themselves into their dark and dreary world of expressionistic madness, Present live are a totally different beast, mixing elements of avant-garde prog rock, jazz, classical, and hard rock into their bubbling cauldron of flowing musical adventure.
The Present "legend" is built around the intricate guitar work of father and son team Roger and Reginald Trigaux, as well as keyboard player Pierre Chevalier, and the three make for an impressive trio of soloists for the crack rhythm team of drummer Dave Kerman and bassist Jean-Pierre Mendes to anchor under (Keith Macksoud plays the bass on "Promenade au Fond un Canal"). There's plenty of rampaging King Crimson- meets -Univers Zero stuff going on here, from the complex intricacies of "Delusions" to the cranking guitar workouts of "Le Poison Qui Rend Fou". While much of the music can seem repetitive at times, that really is the style of this band, as they weave intricate patterns with the two guitars and keyboard over and over with dizzying flair, then stomp into a heavy barrage of riffs and caustic rhythms that will surely send shivers up your spine. At no point is there ever an ounce of senseless noodling here, just plain old serious intensity and reckless abandon, with no speck of commercialisn in sight.
A Great Inhuman Adventure is live, dark prog rock served up on a silver platter, from a band that are as close to legendary status as there is in the business today. Those who have tickets to NEARFest 2005 and have not had a chance to catch this band live yet need to give this a listen so they know what kind of musical bliss AND madness they are in store for.
1) Delusions (14:46)
2) Alone (10:58)
3) Le Poison Qui Rend Fou (10:16)
4) Laundry Blues (13:01)
5) Promenade au Fond un Canal (23:33)