Hecenia Reviews

From: "Richard Stockwell" <>
A New Discovery for those into lots of keyboards, classical and instrumental music. A French band known as HECENIA. Their latest release "La Couleur Du Feu" released back in 1994 features Keyboards, Bass, Drums and Concert Harp. Lots of excellent keyboard playing in an energetic style and also in a sumptuous classical music vein. The keyboards also have that large choir sound added in places which is similar to the Par Lindh style. There is some beautiful Concert harp playing especially on the 10'50" track Dialogue H2 O. I recommend this album highly for those into classical music.

From: "Richard Stockwell" <>
HECENIA LA COULEUR DU FEU (48:22) MUSEA 1994 (A Musical Concept By Thierry Brandet); Thierry Brandet Claviers (Keyboards); Pascal Tremblay Basse (Bass); Claude Chauveau Batterie (Drums); Delphine Douillard Harpe (Harp):
1/ Capricorne 2:10
This is a classical piece that sounds familiar and whether Thierry Brandet has borrowed from an established classical work I'm not sure as I don't know classical work by majors, minor's etc, but a beautiful piece of work played solo on piano it certainly is and at 2:10 it is over all too soon. However it highlights the musicianship of this under rated French keyboard player.
2/ L'Empreinte D'Uranus 6:56
This track opens with what sounds like a rocked out fast Bach on church like sounding keyboards and accompanied only by wild drumming until the bass enters to slow the piece down. Keyboards and bass work off each other until the drums start the keyboards on their rocking way again. There is another slowed down tempo where the keyboards play some pastoral moments. Some parts of this track remind of the great Genesis complex instrumental parts.
3/ La Roue Du Temps 1:50
This track opens with new age washes of synth which conjure up images of Hawks soaring with the jet stream, wings out to their fullest spans. The synth is accompanied by classical guitar. The length of this track is just right as an interlude.
4/ Dialogue H2 O 10:50
On this track Thierry Brandet is back to playing the Bach sounding church organ accompanied by drumming that flies around the kit and bass that keeps the whole thing linked together. Once again hints of the Genesis keyboard sound (Selling England era) surface now and again. Then after three minutes the whole thing ends as if the track is finishing. A solo harp enters the picture to be joined by synth washes playing in the background. The notes that the harp plays are the same as those on the first track. Mr Brandet has me in his clutches. He knew that first track would grab the listener and now he reintroduces that gorgeous theme. Again the track stops as if to finish, only for heavy Bach sounding church organ to enter the theme but this time accompanied by the whole band on drums, bass, harp and synth washes playing in the background.
5/ La Course Des Nuages 1:46
Another short track that is of a classical pastoral nature but played on synthesizer.
6/ Les Jardins "Ethernels" 24:40
Again the theme of the opening track is used on the CD show stopper. The theme is played in different structures and textures on the synth and accompanied by the harp. After about three minutes bass and drums enter the picture. (I know I've heard this music but can not place it. It's like some awakening from a childhood's long lost memory that only gets re awakened once the scene or sound is heard). The theme moves into a fusion like state where the bass becomes the main instrument with leading the way forward and everyone else plays off the bass playing. While this release is strongly in the classical mold, the pastoral sounds that Genesis made famous just occasionally show through. Approx half way through this last track the music stops and a church bell peels away, not loud but enough to create a new theme as the church organ again enters the scene to be accompanied by orchestral like synth. Again "the" theme pops up. (Vaughan Williams, that's who this music reminds me of. Vaughan Williams being one of England's foremost classical pastoral composers in the middle part of this century. Of course growing up in England in the 50's I guess my parents would have had the music playing on the radio or those great thick 78 records). The last track climaxes with the church organ getting louder as it builds it's way to the end accompanied by the bass and drums creating some excellent prog fusion.
I'd like to know if Thierry Brandet is known at all in his native France as he is one of the handful of modern composers whose time, like all great composers, seems to not be recognised until a lot later. If you like your progressive music that leans further to the classical side then this French band are highly recommended. Hecenia also have an earlier release available called "Legendes" which is also on the Musea Label.

From: Mark Fonda <>
I second the strong recommendation for this album... very classical with superb musicianship, especially the keyboards. A couple of places break out into an all-out cathedral organ fugue... simply fabulous! We seem to be getting a new crop of 'neo-classical' prog... After Crying, Par Lindh, Quidam, Townscream, Hecenia, Teru's Symphonia and Jos?Luis Fernandez Ledesma Q.

From: "Mark Fonda" <>
> By the way... Do you know HECENIA , a French Band of progressive Music ??
Yes, classically-oriented prog with great keyboards, acoustic guitar, bass, drums and harp. No vocals. 'La Couleur Du Feu' (1994) and 'Legendes' are equally impressive. Legendes was recorded in 1989, remixed in 1991, and is minus the harp and with some sparse male vocals... more rock-oriented. Both highly recommended.

From: Denis Torres <>
I was asking about HECENIA because I never saw the name mentioned on this e-prog list.. I can't wait ( and i hope) that HECENIA, will release a new CD, I really enjoyed both cds.

The band Hecenia is unfortunately disbanded and the keyboard man is now a yoga teacher.

From: Denis Torres <>
How unfortunate to hear that such a good talent (HECENIA) is kind of wasted... Anyway... there are those 2 wonderful albums left to us...

From: "Surjorimba Suroto" <>
upnsm0ke wrote: >That's a great disc, Rob! You didn't like it?
I'll second this: you didn't like it? Perhaps you have other reasons? i understand if it's a matter of taste. I myself find that this album is amazing! The use of harp in this album is very delightful. Very diffirent from their first album