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Marquis de Sade: Chapter II

Marquis de Sade were a band that formed during the heyday of the NWOBHM, but have released very little output aside from a compilation and demo here or there. Not a band I've heard much (or anything) about or by, but hey; the whole ancient NWOBHM band coming back for another round and releasing great material isn't exactly a rarity these days. Satan and Hell basically carved out second careers for themselves after lengthy lulls, so why can't Marquis de Sade? Well, I'll tell you why; because Marquis de Sade are nowhere near as good as either of those bands. And unless their previous limited output is way different than what I'm hearing on Chapter II, they don't sound like they ever really fit into the NWOBHM to begin with.

Marquis de Sade sound a lot more like a slightly crunchier Perfect Strangers era Deep Purple than they do any metal from the early 80's British scene. The organ on Chapter II is ALL up in your face, and it was the first thing I noticed upon starting my first listen. I love organ, so that's not as much a complaint as it unexpected. My main actual complaint is that the band just sounds old and tired most of the time. Yeah, that's undeniably harsh, but most of the songs tend to plod and stomp in that "hey dad's jamming with his old bandmates from high school in the garage... they still got it!" kind of way. It's not offensive, it's not terrible... but there's precious little vigor or energy to be found here. The vocals provided by Chris Gordelier sound alright, but with some undeniably weak vibrato that gives me the urge to wince when it's too prevalent.

The album does pick up a bit towards the middle, with the surprising gallop and synths of "Suspended Animation" bringing a much needed spark to the party, The song lengths start to balloon as well, with "Suspended Animation" clocking in at over 7 minutes, and a few tracks later "Living in the Ice Age" clocks at over 9. The length allows the band to explore their more proggy side, and it does make for a more interesting listen. The flaws still remain, but the Marquis does seem like it's more engaged and energetic on these tracks. Sadly, that's the end of the album though, and it was just starting to get interesting. It's pretty cool that Marquis de Sade decided to reunite and give it another go this long after their initial run and breakup, and there's some cool stuff to be had on Chapter II if you listen to it with that context in mind. These are dudes that spent a lot of time away from the rock life, and it shows. As an 80's Deep Purple worship album it's fine enough, but you'd be much better off just listening to the real deal for that. And as far as the NWOBHM label goes, ignore that entirely.

1. Belvedere
2. Now I Lay Me Down
3. Border Wall
4. Fortress of Solitude
5. Marquis de Sade
6. The Moons Glow
7. Suspended Animation
8. Last Survivor
9. Living In The Ice Age

Added: June 29th 2023
Reviewer: Brandon Miles
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 655
Language: english

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