Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
The soundtrack of morbidity
x_bruce | Oak Park, ILLINOIS United States | 09/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My mother used to hear my band's rehearsal tapes as I plaed them. Her comment was frequently, "that music is so morbid!" which was somewhat true. At the time we did King Crimson influenced songs that were a bit more heavier (in the day).If my mother had heard Heresie I'm pretty confident she would have freaked out. This is one seriously depressing album with a no compromise approach that is astonishing some 25 years after it was recorded.The opening song, "Faulx" is uncompromising and foreboding. Just as well as it foreshadows track two, "Jack The Ripper" which is unrelenting in it's malevolence and ending in the album's closer "Vous le Saurez en Temps Voulu" which keeps the intensity going and brings on shades of darkness seldom heard and impossible to describe with words.The admirable thing about Univers Zero's Heresie is it's cohesive and unrelenting musical vison. It's dark and scary music that doesn't resort to cliches to take you on it's dark voyage.I must confess that although I admire Heresie it is not an album I can listen to all the time. It is simply too intense. yet if asked to name one of my favorite discs it would make the list because much like a guilty pleasure UZ have crafted the most bleak works in all of music, this includes classical along with so called gothic bands which typically DO use the cliches.The playing is stellar, UZ still plays chamber classical with elements of rock. The cohesive ensemble playing is impressive for an album made at a time where solos were almost manditory in rock based music. You won't find that here but you will find some incredible sounds that get under your skin. The result is an album by a band that is probably the most uncompromising and dark collection of works that you will ever hear.Even if like me you don't play Heresie as frequently as other albums it is the one you will come to every now and then, listen, be astonished by the technique and the spirit in which the songs are written.An amazing album."
Darkness that drowns you.
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 02/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although they were one of the original "Rock-In-Opposition" bands, the Belgian group Univers Zero was more of a chamber ensemble than anything else. Scarce are rock elements in their music, as the instrumentation and compositional quality derive mainly by European neo-classical/modernist composers Igor Stravinsky and Bela Bartok. UZ is not prog-rock (which is more influenced by jazz-fusion, Baroque fugue, and Romanticist symphonies), nor are they post-rock (which has classical inspirations in Branca and minimalism); UZ draws inspiration from the modernists. What UZ does with those influences is carry them through far darker modes of expression. _Heresie_ is one of the darkest, most frightening albums ever created (only Shub Niggurath's _Les Morts Vont Vites_ might be darker), violently dissonant and rhythmic, rife with austere melodies and drones.
And _something_ else. I don't know what it is. But while words can give a sense of what the album sounds like, one cannot convey the pervasive, all-consuming nightmare world of this album. Darker than the bleakest black metal, darker than the darkest Swans, darker than Ligeti's _Lux Aeterna_... you name it! When I first heard this album I was very new to avant-garde music and I found it difficult for my mind to embrace this horrific thing. Even now it scares me a lot, but the musicality is mesmerizing. Daniel Denis was probably RIO's best composer at his peak (tho' the Stormy Six bunch was hot too), and _Heresie_ is his highest caliber of work along with _Ceux du Dehors_. He is also a brilliant percussionist, his playing somewhere embroiled between the role of a classical percussionist and a rock drummer. He is one of the few original drummers I have heard. The rest of the group is amazing, and this is definitely the best form of UZ that I have heard: Michel Berckmans (oboe, bassoon), Patrick Hanappier (violin, viola), Guy Segers (bass, voice), and Roger Trigaux (guitar, piano, organ, harmonium).
The album features three long pieces: the 25-minute "La Faulx", the beginning of which is a 9-minute drone which languidly develops atonal harmonies, then it changes gears to a rhythmically imaginative and severely aggressive chamber cacophony. The only glimmers of light are some of the elegiac, sorrowful melodies which appear briefly at times. "Jack the Ripper", my favorite here, flattens me with its climactic jerky, syncopated ending. "Vous le saurez en temps voulu" is the most macabre, as it eventually culminates into a creepy, odd-metered waltz that makes me think of dancing skeletons.
This is a bonafide classic album of pure darkness. I recommend this primarily to lovers of dark, dissonant classical music, and secondly to anyone else who is interested -- although it is difficult if coming from a rock background (like me was when i first heard it). This album and _Ceux du Dehors_ are essential!! Ignore _all_ negative reviews - they just don't get it. So sad, i know.
The darkest,gloomiest album ever made?
Mathias Jonsson | Enköping, Sweden | 01/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The second album of this band is probably the most dark, gloomy album ever made! This one is more improvised than "I313" and much darker. If you like diabolic and gothic moods you probably love this one. The first track features The call of the Aethyrs from the Enochian Magic system. The music is dissonant and very dark, with this group's typcal emphasis on the sound of harmonium, bassoon, oboe and violin, toghether with drums and bassguitar. There is also some electric guitar parts but they are more subtle. The compositions are weaker and a bit more uneven than the masterpiece "1313", still if you like modern classical music, R.I.O prog and atmospheric music you definitely need this!"