Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! Review (Gavin Stok)

[Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! Cover]

by Gavin Stok November 15 1996

The following is a short review I submitted to a local magazine in hope of being published.

Enigma's third album, Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi!, is much less original than the previous two albums, MCMXC a.D. (1990), and The Cross of Changes (1993). Translated in English as "The King is Dead, Long Live The King!", the album is mostly comprised of vocal tracks, and uses a number of familiar samples and styles, such as Gregorian chants and heavy breathing. This album shows that Enigma no longer has the leading edge it used to - MCMXC a.D. offered Sadeness with its original combination of Gregorian chants, French lyrics, and panflutes; and The Cross of Changes offered Return to Innocence with its mesmerising Eastern chant and original rhythms. But Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! offers no new ideas, instead providing the same formula as always - an introduction, a conclusion, one hit single, and other tracks comprising varying sound effects and interludes.

Lack of originality aside, many listens of the album finally expose some incredibly attractive tunes - the first single, Beyond the Invisible, expertly combines chants with epic chord progressions and powerful singing, while Morphing Thru Time has an infectious beat and sense of space about it. And the conclusion track impressively involves the use of the introductory track played backwards.

Enigma 3 may not be as revolutionary as the previous two albums but the music is no less appealing. (7.5/10)

  • Look at another Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! review