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These are some original reviews written on my albums (English, Dutch, German, Norwegian, French, Spanish, Italian)
2008
Selfishness : Source of War & Violence
From: Progression Magazine

Review by   Nick Tate , Progression , Fall 2008/Winter 2009 , #55  

                 Sound: 3/4                 Composition:   3/4                    Musicianship: 4/4        Performance:  3/4          

Total rating:  13/16

 

There’s a lot to like about this sophomore effort from Quebec’s Robert Beriau. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Beriau handles virtually all aspects of performance here with skill and style -- guitars, keyboards, bass, flute and lead vocals – while a few friends assist on drums and backing vocals.

On the album’s brightest spots, Beriau creates dreamy soundscapes that echo mid-period Pink Floyd without being too derivative. His strongest suit is his smoldering lead guitar work, delivered against a backdrop of lush synthesizer washes. On standout tracks such as the epic “Blind Heart” and jazzy, riff-driven “Last Call for a Change,” Beriau seems most focused and directed, spinning out inventive melodies and weaving high drama into his arrangements. On occasion, Selfishness becomes self-indulgent, however, as when Beriau delivers pretentious whisper-to-scream vocals on the lead track “Agoraphobia,” giving it a horror-film subtext that is more silly than scary. But, on balance, this is a solidly earnest, guitar-driven prog album with far more highs than lows.

From: Sea Of Tranquility Magazine

Review by Jon Neudorf, nov 2008

Evaluation: 4 stars ( * * * * Excellent addition to any prog music collection )

The Canadian independent music scene seems to be on the upswing with many talented artists entering the fold and none more so than multi-instrumentalist Robert Beriau. His second release entitled Selfishness: Source Of War & Violence is a concept album dealing with the disparity between those people who have everything and those who have nothing. You know, it goes something like ten percent of the populace has ninety percent of the money, or something like that. You get the feeling that this is something that Mr. Beriau takes very seriously. Basically, people who have been blessed with good fortunate should lead by example and give something back. This is something which Beriau has decided to do since for every cd sold or downloaded, he will donate two dollars to charities fighting violence against women and helping homeless shelters, both worthwhile caused indeed. While his last album was an all instrumental affair, the new one contains vocals on half of the album's ten tracks. I must say at first I had a problem with his vocals but they have grown on me after a couple of listens. Robert has a very distinct voice that takes some getting used to. At times his singing is similar to Roger Waters not so much in tone but in style. However, I still prefer the instrumental tracks over those with vocals. Sonically speaking this album is full of surprises, and I mean that in a positive way. Beriau provides plenty of textures and soundscapes created by a variety of keyboards, sound effects and some stellar guitar playing. Everything from beautiful acoustic melodies to stabbing electric guitar can be found. I dare say that much of the guitar on this album reminded me of the great David Gilmour. As a matter of fact, Pink Floyd seems to be a major influence. Beriau also cites Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp and Van Der Graaf Generator as musical inspirations. Some of the compositions are of the longish variety, giving plenty of room for the various instruments. While many of the songs contain different arrangements and moods, they are well constructed and some nice melodies can be found. The instrumental "Blind Heart" starts with acoustic guitar over a backdrop of synths. The brooding synth lines combined with some distorted electric guitar reminded me strongly of Floyd and is one of the albums best songs. The instrumental "Selfcontempt Behavior or Social Poverty" begins with some interesting sound effects and pulsating keys conveying an Alan Parson's feel. A slow build-up of piano adds to the drama. Also listen for some exceptional drumming on this one.

There is a lot of music to absorb here and the subtleness may take a while to appreciate, but it will be well worth your while. I found this to be a pleasing listen and should appeal to art-rock fans and fans of those bands/artists I previously listed.

From: ProgArchives.com

Review by Cesar Inca (César Inca Mendoza Loyola) Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator, Nov 2008

Evaluation: 4 stars ( * * * * Excellent addition to any prog music collection )

"Selfishness: Source of War & Violence" is the sophomore effort by Quebecois multi-instrumentalist Robert Bériau. He has shared his profession and expertise in the financial world with his own musical interests, managing a label created by him and creating music. His multitask duties on guitars, keyboards, bass and flute have now the addition of lead vocals for this "Selfishness" album. The vocal thing is not his forte, and it shows, but he decided to assume the role because of the personal nature inherent to the album's overall concept (an observation of how many forms selfishness can adopt and how much hurt these varied forms can cause on people, society and the environment), and that includes the sung tracks. The sound production is also another uneven item of the album, since in many passages it sounds too flat to successfully convey the evocative moments when the synth layers abound or the power working on the harder passages. Anyway, the material is very good in terms of composition and very well developed in terms of arrangements. The artistic result stated in the album's repertoire is quite eclectic, actually, with a notable alternation of hard-edged moments, slow reflective moods and stylish symphonic passages. 'Agoraphobia' kicks off the album with a prog-metallish vibe, where standard industrial rock and Floydian psychedelia meet in fluid fashion. I have the feeling that the track's potential is not fully developed, but it works fine as an opener. 'Terrorism: A Two Actors Play' is more developed, managing to emphasize the symphonic factor that on the previous song was just lying underneath. 'Blind Heart' bears a cosmic lyricism, stating a mixture of "Wish You Were Here"- era Pink Floyd and 70s Hackett: the soaring synth layers and eerie guitar leads build dreamy nuances over the perfectly harmonized acoustic guitars. This magic is so well accomplished that the track's 9+ minute span never gets boring. 'Last Call for a Change' is an instrumental that can mixes symphonic bombast (UK, Yes) and space-rock, with a noticeable jazz-rock cadence provided in no small degree by drummer Elad Fish. This is a very robust piece, indeed. 'The Rats Leave the Sinking Ship' has a first section that states a return to the aura of constrained power that had been traced by the opener early on; its second section is more introverted. 'Selfcontempt Behavior or Social Poverty' reminds me of Clearlight, as if it were under a refurbished treatment: spacey symphonic rock with an extra charge of fusion-oriented sensibility, with a very classicist piano and heavily cosmic synths that jointly elaborate a tight dynamics. The passage featuring pipe organ and soft, dreamy lead guitar might as well remind us of 76-79 Tangerine Dream. 'Time Fracture' is a somber ballad, Hammill-style (it might as well been from "The Silent Corner" or "Over"). The lyrics portraying a man's anger for his daughter's assassination are delivered with more discontent than sadness. Fish's drumming brings a solid jazzy foundation to the rather spacey 'Thoughts Are Not Enough', which once again reiterates the dreamy aspect of Bériau's musical vision. 'Homeless (If Only!)' starts with an ambient mood until the main body reveals another Hammill-esque ballad: its introspective mystery reminds me of the "What Now?" album, a more contemporary Hammill, that is. The closer is 'Hoping On the Next Generation', which completes a powerful amalgam of space-rock, introspective symphonic rock and jazz-rock nuances that have been prevalent throughout the album's framework. Even though I feel that the linkage of motifs doesn't get to be completely cohesive, it bears enough sonic power to close down the album efficiently.

All in all, "Selfishness: Source of War & Violence" is a very interesting input for the current prog rock scene: Robert Bériau shows his enthusiasm and talent equally.

From: Harmonie Magazine

Review in French by Phillippe Arnaud , nov 2008

C’est le second album de ce multi-instrumentiste canadien qui, par ailleurs, est un champion de marathon, conseiller à la direction d’entreprises, et a fondé son propre label. Selfishness … est un concept album sur le décalage grandissant entre riches et pauvres, qu’il s’agisse de pays ou d’individus. Musicalement parlant, Robert a reçu le renfort de deux batteurs (l’un d’eux, Lee Levin, a joué avec Barbara Streisand et Christina Aguilara, mais aucune trace de ces expériences ici  ! ) et d’une mezzo-soprano.

     Il est étonnant qu’il y est encore de par le monde des gens qui font de la musique comme Robert Bériau. On entend par là qu’elle se situe résolument en dehors des modes et courants progressifs actuels, dans une certaines intemporalité. On peut tout au plus la rapprocher de la liberté musicale qui régnait dans les années 70, ce que certaines influences confirment. Au premier rang de celles-ci, on citera Pink Floyd (d’ailleurs les chef a adoré, n’est-ce pas chef ?) : un goût pour la lenteur, les passages planants avec nappes de claviers, et plus encore un jeu de guitare souvent fait de distorsions et de solos longs et tendus (Agoraphobia, Toughts are not enough ainsi que Hoping on the next generation et son travail à la «wah wah»). Dans les passages chantés, qui ne sont pas les plus fréquents, c’est l’ombre de Peter Hammill qui plane, grave (Time Fracture et The rats leave the sinking ship, comment diable se fait-il que Peter n’avait pas trouvé ces titres si vandergraafiens?) et torturée (Terrorism : a two actors play). Fort intelligemment, Robert, n’ayant pas le charisme vocal du Maître, a composé une musique à dominante instrumentale, dans laquelle d’ailleurs l’ombre de Hammill se promène ici et là au piano. Il arrive qu’on pense aussi à Klaus Schulze (Terrorism…), voire aux séquenceurs de Tangerine Dream (Selfcontempt behavior or social poverty. On l’aura compris, c’est intemporel mais marqué seventies. Petit reproche d’ailleurs : le mixage et le son pourraient eux gagner encore, sinon en modernité, du moins en densité. Quoi qu’il en soit, le grand mérite de Selfishness : Source Of War & Violence est de nous balader dans des univers musicaux très divers, avec des structures musicales qui ne se répètent pas. Robert Bériau, loin du zapping et de la frénésie ambiante, prend son temps pour développer ses idées, dans un registre assez souvent méditatif ( Time Fracture et un son dépouillement guitare/voix bienvenu). Ce goût pour une certaine lenteur- ou  mid tempo- va de pair avec une invite à une réflexion sur notre monde. Deux pièces prennent à cet égard une résonance particulière : Time Fracture évoque le traumatisme de l’assassinat (crime passionnel) de la fille d’amis de Robert; Homeless part du suicide d’une jeune fille sans abri, que Robert croisait tous les jours, souriante et enjouée. Logique avec lui-même, il s’est engagé à versé deux dollars par album acheté ou téléchargé à des associations contre la violence faites aux femmes, et associations pour le SDF.

     Robert Beriau prend la musique au sérieux, c’est pour lui un message, une connexion intime avec l’auditeur. Ce n’est pas un album «divertissement» ou de grand spectacle … c’est une musique d’auteur. A titre d’exemple (et sans jeu ce mots), il semble apprécier les sonorités graves, ce qui est peu courant dans le progressif actuel. Ecouter son album est un peu converser avec lui, et avec soi-même. C’est une ambition rare, il faut le souligner. Selfishness…est profondément dépaysant musicalement et en même temps nous ramène à notre humanité.

From: La Caja de Música

Robert Beriau: teclados, piano, guitarras, bajo, flauta, percusiones, flauta, voz Colaboradores - Catherine Denis Gagnon (coros en 9), Elad Fish (batería en 4, 6, 8 y 10), Lee Levin (batería en 1)

"Selfishness: Source of War & Violence" es el segundo disco del quebequense Robert Beriau, músico aficionado que tiene suficiente empuje como para dar rienda suelta a su melomanía asociada al rock progresivo y el art-rock grabando discos desde una función de multiinstrumetista - guitarras, teclados, bajo y flauta son las responsabilidades que asume. Su técnica vocal no es demasiado eficiente, lo cual sumado a las limitaciones de su registro hace que las partes cantadas sean las menos atractivas del disco. La producción de sonido también es un poco irregular, siendo así que las capas de teclado muchas veces suenan planas y distantes, no logrando por tanto concretar su potencial función de llenar espacios solventemente. Los solos de guitarra, por otro lado, se benefician de esta atmósfera pues pueden evocar climas e imágenes hipnóticas cada vez que emergen. 'Agoraphobia' da inicio al disco de una forma inaudita, con una vibración metalera-industrial donde se intercalan el prog-metal ácido con la psicodelia floydiana: me da la impresión de que la canción no desarrolla todo su potencial de fuerza sonora en la sección más aguerrida, pero sí hay un aura más convincente en la sección lenta. 'Terrorism: A Two Actors Play' desarrolla más fehacientemente el aspecto psicodélico, con una instrumentación centrada en un manejo cósmico de los riffs de guitarra y las múltiples capas de sintetizadores. 'Blind Heart' porta un lirismo cósmico que nos recuerda a una cruza entre el Pink Floyd de "Wish You Were Here" y Steve Hackett: el atractivo envolvente de los adornos de teclado, flotantes solos de guitarra y bien armadas armonías de guitarras acústicas permite a este instrumental de más de 9 ½ minutos de duración evitar hacerse anodino. 'Last Call for a Change', otro instrumental, establece una cruza de sinfonismo fastuoso (a lo UK con Yes) y space-rock de matices melancólicos: la cadencia particular aportada por el baterista Elad Fish le da una frescura semi-jazzeada al asunto. Se trata de la primera muestra de genuina robustez sonora en el disco. 'The Rats Leave the Sinking Ship' establece inicialmente un retorno al ambiente de polenta contenida del primer tema, seguido de una segunda mitad más introvertida. 'Selfcontempt Behavior or Social Poverty' suena casi como una versión remozada del estilo peculiarmente progresivo de Clearlight: sinfonismo espacial de sensibilidad fusionesca en el que el piano de tonos clasicistas y los sintetizadores cósmicos elaboran conjuntamente un esquema dinámico y llamativo. El pasaje marcado por el órgano de fuelles y una amablemente lisérgica guitarra eléctrica nos puede recordar fácilmente al Tangerine Dream 76-79. 'Time Fracture' es una balada sombría, muy a lo Hammill, en realidad - podría muy bien haber pertenecido a un disco como "The Silent Corner" u "Over". La letra pretende reflejar la impotencia furiosa de un señor ante el asesinato de su hija, y la música ciertamente pone más énfasis en sentimientos como el desconcierto y la rabia que en la tristeza. 'Thoughts Are Not Enough' es un instrumental muy a lo space-rock, centrado abiertamente en las pulsaciones marcadas por el bajo y administrando los aportes hechos por el piano y el sintetizador; Fish se encarga de darle un matiz sofisticado con sus sabios redobles de resabio jazzero, mientras que la guitarra solista emerge para añadir una polenta bien constreñida. 'Homeless (If Only!)' comienza con una clara línea ambiental cósmica hasta aterrizar en el motivo central, una balada también hammilliana con base de piano. Ahora la cosa parece como más contemporánea, similar a los aires etéreos que fueron algo dominantes en el disco "What, Now?". La última pieza es el instrumental 'Hoping On the Next Generation', el cual completa el círculo de amalgamas de space-rock, sinfonismo intimista y matices jazz-rock que han sido prioritarios en este repertorio. Personalmente me parece que la sucesión de motivos no está del todo bien hilada, pero la arquitectura de esta pieza tiene el suficiente empuje pretencioso como para conformar un final efectista para este disco.

En suma, "Selfishness: Source of War & Violence" es un disco interesante dentro del desarrollo actual del movimiento progresivo. Robert Beriau, con su peculiar visión ecléctica del rock progresivo, contribuye con un peculiar grano de arena estilizadamente empapado de llovizna sinfónica y atmósferas cósmicas.

César Mendoza
From: Dutch Progressive Rock

By Dave Sissons,
Dutch Progressive Rock Pages, April 2009

 

Putting many lesser mortals to shame, Canadian Robert Beriau is an accomplished multi–instrumentalist; he’s proficient on piano, keyboards, synths, guitars, bass, percussion, flute and vocals. He also wrote all the music and lyrics. The album is entirely self-produced, recorded, mixed and engineered, and he also did the (none-too shabby) artwork. It’s quite an achievement for one man! He manages to avoid the biggest pitfall of home recording, by drafting in real drummers for half of the tracks – ensuring that overuse of drum programming fails to mar the album. Catherine Gagnon adds backing vocals to one track. Although utilising relatively simple instrumental lines, adept overdubbing and layering produces a surprisingly full sound, which could easily be mistaken for a full band. The bass work and piano are impressive, creating very firm musical foundations to support the main melodies. The tone of the album is sombre and serious (as a glance at the track titles will affirm), and by track two, it’s obvious that Beriau draws heavily on his admiration of Peter Hammill and VDGG. Whilst not merely a slavish imitator, the resemblance of Beriau’s vocal delivery to that of Hammill’s is little short of uncanny. The Rats Leave The Sinking Ship and Time Fracture in particular, could be outtakes from Chameleon In The Shadow Of The Night or The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage and, as such, are better than most of Hammill’s recent output. Hammill fans will surely lap this up. Beriau splits the album 50/50 between vocal numbers and instrumentals and the Hammill influence is much less obvious on the instrumentals. On the lengthy Blind Heart, Beriau skilfully blends acoustic guitars with electronic keyboards and synths to create a moody piece, which reminds me of Tangerine Dream’s Stratosfear album, topping it off with a guitar solo that Edgar Froese would be proud of. As Stratosfear is still one of my favourite albums after all these years, that is high praise indeed. The album mixes mellow passages with raucous sections, staying mostly in the melodic camp with just a touch of discordance here and there. The rich sound is mainly focussed around guitars and keys but some nice flute is added for a symphonic touch. I particularly like the balance between acoustic and electric guitars, and though the album is not without a modern edge (especially in the lyrics department), I get a nice warm nostalgic glow when listening to it. Robert’s heart is obviously in the right place, because, in addition to the socially aware lyrics proffered, he has pledged to make a $2 donation to charity for each album purchased. The album’s generally downbeat vibe may not be to everybody’s taste, (and the vocals are perhaps an acquired taste too) but if you fancy some expertly produced prog rock, which matches the high drama of Peter Hammill with the atmospherics of Tangerine Dream and a touch of the gothic, than this comes heartily recommended.

 Conclusion: 7.5 out of 10 !

From: Terra Incognita Magazine

Par Michel Bilodeau Terra Incognita Magazine - Volume 4, Automne 2008

Il y a quelques années, ce multi instrumentiste nous avait présenté son premier album «Falling Back To Where I Began». À cette époque Robert Bériau citait notamment Van der Graaf Generator comme source d'inspiration. Une référence qui n'était pas facilement décelable à l'écoute de « Falling ...», un disque instrumental et introspectif qu'il avait réalisé seul en misant surtout sur les clavier, ce qui conférait une certaine linéarité au disque. Une approche que Bériau a cependant mis de côté pour son second CD. Certes, il agit toujours en tant qu'«homme orchestre» (piano, claviers, guitares, basse, percussions et flûte), mais cette fois la palette des couleurs utilisées est plus large. La guitare électrique, notamment, est plus présente et puis Bériau c'est mis au chant. Un plus pour ce disque ! Une voix parfois lugubre («Agoraphobia») qui, par moments, rappelle fortement celle de Peter Hammill («Terrorism : A Two Actors Play», «The Rats Leave The Sinking Ship», « Homeless...If Only! »). Les références à Hammill ne se limitent pas qu'à la voix. Certains éléments musicaux évoquent irrésistiblement Van Der Graaf Generator. C'est le cas notamment de la structure et des claviers de «Last Call For A Change». En voilà une qui devrait bien ferrer les admirateurs de VDGG ! Robert Bériau peut être fier de ce second essai. Il a évité la plupart des écueils inhérents au disque de ce style ( c'est-à-dire réalisé presque seul) et son écriture a gagné en maturité...À surveiller !
From: Blogspot.com

By Branimir Lockner, Serbia

Rating : 9/10

Robert Beriau is unusual person on Canadian independent music scene. He is a business consultant, and also owner of private company since 1996. He is also a well-known national racer, he did a 100 races and more than 40 marathons . He was Canadian Master 2 champion in 2007, and he is still active in racing. He is also musican and composer for last 25 years, and also had an experience as a part time FM radio station collaborator. "Selfishness:.... " is his second solo effort, and certainly very recomandable product on newer progressive circuit.This is a seriously released and recorded album, and sort of conceptual work, where basic idea "speaks" about disparities between rich and poor world. Musically, Robert with his collaborators and assistens has offered a sort of ambitious progressive approach nearer to performing conceptuality of Pink Floyd works, from its second part of carrear, and in some aspects comparabile with earliest Van Der Graaf Generator legacies. A many interesting and unususal soundscapes floating through unexpecting arrangments creations, and complete materials from album posses a similiar releasing atmosphere. All other technical aspects satisfies too, and Mr. Beriau surely has introduced himself as important composer and author on nowadays progressive world.

From: Babyblaue Prog Reviews

by Thomas Kohlruß

Durchschnittswertung:  11/15

Der kanadische Einzelgänger Robert Bériau liefert 2008 sein zweites Soloalbum ab. „Selfishness: Source of War & Violence“ ist nicht weniger als Analyse und Anklage vieler Ungerechtigkeiten in unserer Welt. Der aktive Unternehmensberater Bériau leidet mit seinem musikalischen Alter Ego offensichtlich schwer an den Unzulänglichkeiten unseres Daseins und unserer Umwelt. Wie der Albumtitel schon sagt, die Wurzel allen Übels ist der Egoismus und vielleicht ist da sogar etwas dran. Unter diesen Vorzeichen ist kein fröhliches Album zu erwarten. Und so quälen sich denn auch düstere, melancholische, teils verbittert wirkende Klangskulpturen aus den Boxen. Bériau mischt Gitarrenklänge, die teils gar aggressiv herausstechen, mit Flächen und wirbeligen Keyboard-Läufen. Hart angeschlagenes Piano wird mit Sequenzerrhythmik überlagert und gelegentlich scheinen Streicher (wohl eher künstlich erzeugt) und Flötentöne (die spielt Bériau selbst) den Klangkosmos zu bereichern. Wie schon auf seinem ersten Album spielt Bériau so gut wie alle Instrumente selbst. Dies führt gelegentlich zu einem etwas sterilen Sound, weil natürlich Keyboard-Klänge vorherrschen. Ab und zu gibt es auch programmierte Drums, auch wenn ein 'echter' Drummer auf einigen Tracks in Erscheinung tritt. Allerdings spielt auch der einigermaßen statisch und ist ziemlich in den Hintergrund gemischt, so dass das nicht gerade eine dynamische Performance ist. Aber zu grundsätzlich getragenen Musik passt selbst das irgendwie gut. Bériau versteht es eine düstere, beklemmente Atmosphäre aufzubauen, der man sich kaum entziehen kann. Düster und faszinierend ist die Musik, die hier irgendwo zwischen sanftem ArtPop, verspieltem RetroProg und moderner Elektronik, erklingt. Wie dickflüssiges Öl hüllen Bériaus Kompositionen den Hörer ein. Düstere Choräle umspannen einen mit schwarzem Samt, bis alles Licht aus der Welt verschwunden scheint. Und wenn Bériau dann noch singt, ist die Illusion eines etwas anderen Hammill perfekt. Bériau nähert sich hier seinem Vorbild gesangstechnisch soweit an, wie es seine Stimme nur zulässt. So erinnert dieses Album stark an Hammills Soloalben der späten 70er Jahre oder auch, wenn Orgelklänge die Keyboards dominieren, an Van der Graaf Generator. Manchmal mag man auch an Vangelis erinnert werden. Trotz aller gelegentlichen sterilen Klänge und trotz aller Introvertiertheit liefert Robert Bériau mit seinem zweiten Solowerk ein beklemmendes, aber auch faszinierendes Album ab, welches seine Qualitäten nur zögerlich und nach und nach preis gibt. Wer düsteren ArtRock im Stile eines Peter Hammill oder Matthew Parmenter mit ein paar elektronischen Einsprengseln mag, der sollte hier auf jeden Fall mal ein Ohr riskieren. P.S.: Ein gutes Werk kann man mit dem Erwerb des Albums auch noch tun. Für jedes verkaufte Album und für jeden kostenpflichtigen Download spendet Robert Bériau 2$ für eine wohltätige Organisation im Kampf gegen Gewalt gegen Frauen.

From: Progressive Newsletter Magazine (in deutch)

« See their website or the printed magazine issue #65 from May 2009 »

From: Merlin Prog - Norway

Quebec`s multiinstrumentalist Robert Beriau med en sekstifem minutter og atten sekunder lang skive her, hvor den symfoniske fanen vaier friskt. Talentfulle Beriau er åpenbart inspirert av de mer eklektiske progbandene fra USA. Denne retningspåvirkningen sørger for tidvis feiende flotte, men også ganske røffe musikalske tablåer med heftige gitarer rimelig sentralt. Synthene tilfører nødvendige musikalske rammebetingelser, og Beriau sitt fokus er å lage fantasifulle, aggressive og friske melodier hvor ofte en spenstig dramaturgi smis inn i den musikalske veven. Beriau er for øvrig til daglig å finne bak brettene i det svært dyktige progbandet Qwaarn. ”Source Of War And Violence” er ei skive som er temmelig forskjellig fra debuten, hvor det var betydelig mer laid-back musikk og uten vokal. En vokal som for eksempel på låten Agoraphobia” er nesten over i growle og/eller forvridd vokal, og det låter ganske flott så lenge det ikke overdrives. Tematikken på skiva er egenkjærlighet, og hvilke former disse kan opptre i. Som en logisk slutning er det fokus på hvor mye pine og problemer slik atferd kan ha på personer, samfunn og miljø. En svært viktig tematikk dette her, og et godt eksempel på at musikk utmerket vel kan ha en samfunnsengasjert og reflekterende påvirkning. For å bevise at det er samsvar mellom liv og lære, gir Robert Beriau to dollar av vært solgte eksemplar til veldedighet. Komposisjoner og arrangementer er i øverste divisjon, mens vokal og produksjon definitivt er lengre ned i seriesystemet. En tidvis flat produksjon gjør sitt til at noe av glansen svinner på ellers svært gode låter, og for eksempel så blir stemningsfulle øyeblikk noe forringet. Vokalen er heller medioker, men ikke dårlig. Årsaken til at Beriau selv velger å synge er at han føler en slik nærhet til konseptet. Disse ankepunktene trekker ned, men det er ellers så mye bra musikk på skiva at vi til dels formidles av dennes fortrefflighet. En såpass ambisiøs heavy prog med et vist utfall mot jazz som denne skiva gestalter, låter både fornøyelig og forfriskende. Albumet starter med en nærmest symfonisk progmetall stemning, og alterneres flott med tidlige Pink Floyd vibber og industrial som flyter samstrøms. “Terrorism: A Two Actors Play” tar opp tråden fra ”Agoraphobia”, og betoner det symfoniske elementene. Mye nifse gitarer får vi på ”Blind Hearth”, hvor også oppfinnsomme lag på lag av synther og perfekte harmoniserte akustiske gitarer understøtter, og skaper en ytterst nyansert og storslått lydbilde. På tross av påtalte mangler er dette albumet så sterkt og med så mye raffinement at det bør befinne seg i enhver seriøs musikalsk samling.

From: Press Release / Communiqué de Presse

A CANADIAN ARTIST GIVES HIS MUSIC TO CHARITIES TO PREVENT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

QUEBEC, Canada - Artist/producer Robert Beriau has released, both on CD and digitally, his new album, "Selfishness: Source of War & Violence". Robert wrote two dedicated songs and will make a 2$ donation to charities to prevent violence against women and to homeless shelter organizations for every album downloaded or bought on CD. "This is only a water drip contribution, but the least we can do could be a wave to others". Note also that Robert assumes overall recording, producing and marketing costs of his CD. The CD is available in stores in many countries, while the digital download release being made available since august 30, via www.robertberiau.com. This album features a collaboration with drummer Lee Levin, who played with major international artists (Christina Aguilara, Ricky Martin, Barbra Streisand, Micheal Bolton, Enrique Iglesias, etc...), canadian mezzo-soprano coloratura Catherine Denis-Gagnon and also Elad Fish from Los Angeles. "They all are incredible musicians" said Robert. "I had a real pleasure creating this album. The lyrics and the music represent my reflection upon increasing poverty and violence around the world and our inaction over it", said Robert. "There is two sides ("A" and "B") on this CD, and I am not refering to the "vinyl age" of music, but rather on the fact that there is always two sides or points of view upon any problem or gesture we pose". "For this second solo album, I really took my time (3 years) for writing music, so these songs make you feel different after listening...as myself after writing them" !
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UN ARTISTE CANADIEN DONNE SA MUSIQUE POUR AIDER À PRÉVENIR LA VIOLENCE ENVERS LES FEMMES

QUEBEC, Canada - Artiste et producteur canadien, Robert Bériau lance son deuxième album solo « Selfishness : Source of War & Violence ». Deux chansons ont été composées pour aider des causes qui lui tiennent à coeur et Robert fera un don de 2$ à des organismes qui oeuvrent à la prévention de la violence faite aux femmes, ainsi qu'à l'accueil de gens sans abris. « Ce n'est qu'une goutte d'eau dans l'océan, mais chaque petit geste que l'on pose peut créer une vague pour quelqu'un d'autre ! » Notons que Robert assume tous les coûts d'enregistrement, de production et de mise en marché de son album. Le CD est disponible en magasins depuis octobre 2008 alors que la version digitale est disponible depuis le 30 août, via www.robertberiau.com. Cet album est une collaboration avec le percussionniste Lee Levin, qui a joué avec plusieurs artistes internationaux (Christina Aguilara, Ricky Martin, Barbra Streisand, Micheal Bolton, Enrique Iglesias, etc...), la mezzo-soprano coloratura canadienne Catherine Denis-Gagnon et également Elad Fish de Los Angeles. « Ils sont tous d'incroyables musiciens » mentionne Robert. « Les textes et la musique représentent ma réflexion sur la pauvreté, la montée de la violence à travers le monde et notre inaction à trouver des solutions . Il y a deux « côtés » sur le CD ( A et B) et ce n'est pas en référence à l'époque des disques en vinyle, mais plutôt pour rappeler qu'il y a toujours deux facettes à chaque problème ou geste que nous posons » mentionne Robert. « Pour cet album, j'ai vraiment voulu prendre mon temps ( 3 ans) pour écrire une musique particulière qui nous rend différent après l'avoir écouté ».
From: More to be added soon

More to come

2005
Falling Back To Where I Began
From : http://www.progressiveworld.net

" Falling Back To Where I Began is an instrumental prog album (but the presence of nice melody lines replaces vocals very well), very spacey and mystical, that makes reference to the major events in everybody’s lives. This is really a concept album as all 8 pieces go together with the same music, sound line and "mood." Two pieces request an outstanding mention and each will be remembered as "a classic": the superb early entry of the introductory track, "Anyone’s Life: A Humble Story In Mankind," is a powerful, melodic piece, with magnificent "counterpoints" (to the many melodic lines) done by mellotron, "staccato" piano, electric guitar, phased saxophones and synthesizers. The crescendo at the end of the song is brilliant and charged with emotion; it introduces the 2nd song …where sentiments left after the suicide of a close person is the subject! "The Cycle Of Love: Part 1 to 4," is a 25 minute masterpiece, as they sounded in the early seventies, where slowly building patterns, surrounded by sound-effects, create a unique, textural and theatrical music. Unique guitar sounds, mellotron and delayed bass, pushed by powerful drums, create magical moments in well placed situations. Listening to this piece is like riding a water wave, with its slow dark peaceful movements, and screaming saxes and melodic piano ("The Cycle of Love Part 2: Teen Pain") growing slowly to high and percussive crests ("Part 4: Home: An Empty Nest"). Plus a heavy distorted guitar on a dark jazzy rhythm, leads to the piece finally ending with an acoustic grand piano and bass (where the bass is leading the melody!), supported by alto voices.

I really appreciate the homogeneity of this album and the perfection of the overall arrangement within songs. Everything flows in harmony for more than 1 hour of intelligent music! "

Rating: Worth a nice 4.75 / 5

From: http://www.progarchives.com

by Iván Melgar-Morey

" Yesterday ROBERT BERIAU was added to Prog Symphonic genre, not without a bit of controversy, and it may be explained with the fact that he plays a new form of the sub-genre that blends elements of diverse sources, but I believe that the main problem is the Ambient element which is commonly identified with New Age and causes a reaction against the inclusion. But in this case we have no doubt, despite the different elements present in ROBERT BERIAU'S music, the essence and structure is Symphonic, mainly in "Falling Back to Where I began", his 2005 debut and in my opinion, the reason why the band was added to this precise sub-genre. The album is opened by "Anyone's Life : Humble Story in Mankind", an excellent instrumental that demonstrates why this artist should be here, the long introduction mainly with Synths and piano presents us a soft track, very melodic that could be too light for the people who believe we are still in the 70's. But after a couple of minutes the changes start, not radical, but clear and well elaborate, reminding me a bit of MIKE OLDFIELD but much more melodic and extremely dramatic, and this is not all, a last and more radical change presents us a faster and elaborate conclusion where the drums mark a strong difference. Not the strongest track, but very goof to warm up the audience for the next tracks. "Suicide... by those Left Behind" starts mysterious and full of expectations with the dark and haunting keyboards preparing the listener for a first climax, which after an in crescendo guitar and keyboard passage reaches, but not in a frantic section, instead in the form of an obscure piano melody that reminds a bit of KARDA ESTRA. The dense atmosphere can almost be cut with a knife and the nostalgia touches the soul of the listener, even the electric guitar plays a slow and distorted melody. A very sad and dramatic track that raises the level of the album. "Darkness" marks a radical change, starts faster but again extremely melodic, the piano section is extremely beautiful and again very nostalgic and leads to a section that reminds of RENAISSANCE with the piano played in John Tout's style, but when the rest of the instruments join, we have a strong passage with reminiscences of the debut album by ALAN PARSONS PROJECT. The track ends soft with Jazz touches to enhance the eclecticism of the musician. "Looking Back" begins harder than usual with a powerful keyboard intro and leads to a lighter passage which again reminds me a bit of ALAN PARSONS PROJECT in "I Robot", then starts to change constantly from hard to soft but sadly leading nowhere except to another almost Neo Classical piano which continues untoil the end of the track without surprises. "Night Running at -30 C: The Warm Up" And "Night Running at -30 C : The Crusing Zone" are two Jazzy tracks that seem like prepared only to heat the pavement for the 25 minutes multi part epic. Not bad, neither too innovative nor original; nice but not great. Now it's time for the main song of the album, "The Cycle of Love", which is divided in 4 parts, even when it's mainly a soft track that combines Symphonic with Neo Classical and a bit of Ambient, is a very good chance for ROBERT BERIAU to prove his ability with longer tracks, and he passes the test, being that he manages to keep the interest of the listener for almost half an hour. The album is closed with "Fell", a very short epilog perfect to finish the album a bit harder with an interesting Moog section, but too short to talk about a track that would define the album. This is a good album for those Symphonic fans that like the combination of Prog with Neo Classical in the vein of KARDA ESTRA, but if you expect a frantic album, better get ROBERT'S second release "Selfishness: Source of War & Violence", which despite being less Symphonic, is much more aggressive and vibrant. But I like the delicate blend of Neo Classical and Symphonic plus the obvious skills that the multi instrumentalist ROBERT BERIAU presents us in his debut, to be honest, the proper rating would be 3.5 stars, but there's not that possibility in our system, so will go with 3 stars, being that this is his debut as soloist, and I'm sure there will be chances for higher ratings in next releases. "

From: http://www.manticornio.com

" Primera realización solista de Robert BÉRIAU, empresario que ha sabido darse el tiempo para regalar a las personas uno de los presentes más enriquecedores que se pueden obsequiar: música.

Robert pertenece a ese grupo de “músicos todólogos” aunque con una ventaja competitiva. Él es capaz de interpretar varios instrumentos diferentes (piano, teclados, sintetizador, guitarras eléctrica y acústica, bajo eléctrico y percusiones) para armar su música y no abusa de las posibilidades técnicas que ofrecen las computadoras para fingir sonidos. Los que otorga este músico son sinceros y se expresan con calidez, fusionando ritmos como el jazz con música formal y rock progresivo. Por tratar de ubicar la música que se presenta en "Falling Back to Where I Began", puedo mencionar que suena mucho a progresivo electrónico, sin embargo con sus propias particularidades. Los ambientes espaciales que generan los teclados originan esa atmósfera característica y estable sobre la cual se desarrollan expresiones diferentes, como la melancolía de un piano, la pesadumbre de un bajo y la ingravidez de una guitarra… las emociones son sobre todo melancólicas, graves, pausadas, expresadas con modales clásicos, eventuales notas rápidas en la guitarra eléctrica y tonos jazz. Incluso cuando el humor sube de intención y los sonidos se asemejan a motivos experimentales ('Darkness'), la persistente densidad de los compases lentos se apoderan del momento, apenas desplazado por crecendos momentáneos y un sutil saxofón que refleja la influencia declarada por BÉRIAU en VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR. También se reconocen, aunque de una forma más sutil, referencias en la música del mundo y en los monstruos electrónicos como VANGELIS y TANGERINE DREAM, así como los místicos PINK FLOYD y CAMEL ('The cycle of love').

El tema que se sale del vaso es 'Night running at -30C: the cruising zone', pieza rítmica y movida en relación al tempo lerdo que caracteriza a un álbum misteriosamente emocional. Un álbum para ser escuchado y hasta para hacer nacer motivos fantasiosos. "

From: KinesisCD

“ This CD is the work of French Canadian Robert Beriau on piano, sythns, acoustic and electri guitars, bass, and drums/percussions. It is an instrumental work somewhere similar to the first Clearlight album, with spaceyand classical influenced, with biting electric guitar leads, generally ponderous and serious sounding. 63 minutes.”

From: iO Magazine Neitherlands

« See their website or the printed magazine issue#66 may/june 2006 »

From: Koid9Fanzine

“Parallèlement à sa contribution au groupe Qwaarn, le multi-instrumentiste canadien Robert Bériau publie son premier album solo. Entièrement instrumental et intitulé "Falling back to where I began" il vous propose un voyage spacial et mystique dans des contrées progressives teintées de jazz et de classique. Essentiellement à base de synthétiseurs, de piano et de guitares, des touches de saxophone sont également là pour vous rappeller l'influence avouée de Van Der Graaf Generator.

Vous pouvez le commander et en écouter des extraits sur son site

From: http://www.progressivewaves.com

« - Essai concluant si on en juge par la cote qui lui est attribuée: 7 /10

Le titre de l'album annonce la couleur. "Retour aux origines" - La source progressive de Robert Beriau, c'est Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd, Peter Hammill, Peter Gabriel... Que de grands noms réunis sur un seul et même album! Il ne s'en cache pas et d'ailleurs, pourquoi devrait-il le faire avec un album aussi homogène et réussi?

'Anyone's Life' privilégie l'utilisation de claviers et piano dans une intro particulièrement réussie. Le morceau coule doucement au rythme d'une mélodie guidée par le piano. Arrive alors la guitare caractéristique de Tubular Bells que tout le monde connaît.

Dans le même style mais en plus long, 'Suicide... By Those Left Behind' est elle aussi une grande réussite avec une guitare bien plus présente et des mélodies au piano toujours aussi subtilement dispersées dans le morceau. On y retrouve un superbe solo de guitare ni trop acide ni trop grave... Impeccable.

'Night Running At -30°C 1 et 2' sont un cran en-dessous. Cela relève d'un côté Jazzy mal interprèté où je ne perçois aucune connection logique entre les différents rythmes. Le piano qui avait brillé auparavant se révèle inefficace sur ces 2 titres. Fort heureusement, 'The Cycle Of Love' rattrape le coup. Là où le jazz progressif avait échoué dans les précédents morceaux, Robert Beriau réussit enfin le mélange des deux styles sans faiblir. Le piano est toujours aussi extraordinaire et donne même un son plus groovy aux différentes mélodies. Sans doute un des meilleurs morceaux de par sa longueur.

Loin d'être déçu par cet album, Robert Beriau me laisse sans voix devant cette brusque rafale de talent. Ceux qui ont aimé Pink Floyd, Oldfield & Cie retrouveront un peu de leur jeunesse (ou celle de leurs parents) dans un seul et même album. »

From: Baby Blaue-Seiten

“Bei Alben, bei denen einer alleine alles macht... bin ich immer etwas skeptisch. Sowas gibt es ja vor allem in letzter Zeit häufig, weil's die Technik zunehmend leichter möglich macht. Gerade Keyboarder machen das ja gerne und dann entstehen seltsame Keyboard-Orgien, die eigentlich niemand wirklich hören will... soviel zur pessimistischen Ausgangsposition, denn "Falling Back To Where I Began" ist genau so ein "Ein-Personen-Album". Robert Beriau kommt aus Kanada und hält hier die Fäden in der Hand.

Interessant ist aber sicherlich schon mal die Person Robert Beriau an sich: Der Mann verdient sein Geld als Unternehmensberater und hat es dabei schon bis zu einer eigenen Firma gebracht. Daneben ist er aber auch schon seit mittlerweile 25 Jahren als, wie er das selbst beschreibt, parttime professional musician tätig. Das ist eine Kombination, die wie ich finde, eher exotisch wirkt. Beriau war in verschiedenen Bands tätig und hat nebenbei immer wieder eigenes Material komponiert. Die Quintessenz aus 25 Jahren Musik hat er nun mit "Falling Back To Where I Began" veröffentlicht.

Beriau spielt Piano, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Gitarren (akustisch wie elektrisch), Bass und "Percussion". Hier gleich einer dieser typischen Schwachpunkte solcher Einzelwerke: Die "Percussion" ist natürlich programmiert. Damit muss man mit dieser Schwäche leben, auch wenn Beriau das durchaus ansprechend gelöst hat. Er verzichtet auf ständige monotone Drumcomputer-Begleitung und setzt Pauken, Trommeln etc. nur als Stilmittel an geeigneten Stellen ein, wenn z.B. die Musik zu symphonischem Bombast abhebt. So wendet er den Nachteil fast schon in einen Pluspunkt.

Überhaupt ist die Musik von Beriau sehr ruhig, getragen, melancholisch, nachdenklich. Es herrschen gediegene ruhige Klänge vor, die zumeist von Piano und Gitarre getragen werden. Und doch schafft es Beriau auch viele symphonische Momente zu kreieren. Die Synthesizer und Keyboards stehen selten im Vordergrund und steuern meist nur Flächen, Teppiche und Intros zur Soundanreicherung bei. Dies gibt insgesamt einen eher erdigen Gesamteindruck und Beriau ist weit entfernt von einem großen aufgeblasenen Plastikorchester.

Neben der Tatsache, dass er gut Klavier spielt und damit durchaus einen Song tragen kann, setzt er auch die Gitarre geschickt ein und plaziert einige herzzereißende Soli, die stilistisch in etwa zwischen Oldfield und Gilmour liegen. Wie überhaupt einiges an diesem Album an die frühen Oldfield-Werke erinnert. Richtig rockig wird's allerdings nie, auch wenn sich Beriau mal kurze, etwas aggressivere Ausflüge erlaubt. Kleine Gimmicks, wie z.B. ein unterschwelliges Zitat der Keyboard-Linien von "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" sorgen dafür, das das Prog-Feeling nicht zu kurz kommt.

Mein Eindruck ist, die Leistung Beriaus liegt vor allem in der Komposition. Die Songs tragen sich einfach und der Hörer wird gefesselt, auch wenn die musikalische Umsetzung vielleicht nicht immer so spektakulär ist. Beriau webt sozusagen ruhige Epen, die sich ganz langsam entwickeln, aber dann eine gewissen Sogwirkung entfalten. Geschickt gibt er seinem Album auch ein gewisses Konzeptfeeling, in dem einzelne Melodien immer wieder auftauchen. Höhepunkt des Ganzen ist dann sicherlich der Songzyklus "The Cycle Of Love", in dem Beriaus Konzept vollends aufgeht.

Ein interessanter Versuch ruhigen, symphonischen Prog-Rocks, in den der Genre-Affine in jedem Fall mal reinhören sollte.”

Art Work by Robert Beriau - ©2006-2008 Robert Beriau - Beriau International Records