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Vangelis - Heaven And Hell CD (album) cover




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3.83 | 216 ratings

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2 stars 2.4 stars

A mixed bag, having great, decent, and bad parts throughout the disc.

This is an ambitious album divided into two songs. The first song Heaven despite the energetic introduction, is generally ambient, mellow, and relaxing. The second one, which is called Hell is darker and a bit more avant-garde. the music is driven mostly by an orchestra and synthesizers. The synthesizers are not really what you would expect from Vangelis sometimes: it can sound aggressive and sadly dated.

Heaven starts promisingly with chorals clashing with pompous synthesizer motifs. After five minutes, the music turns looser, more classical-sounding, and in my opinion somewhat directionless and boring. After eight minutes of random classical noodling, the music finally has a bit of direction and has a melody similar to his later work Chariots of Fire. Pleasant and used in the popular Astronomy series Cosmos but nothing breathtaking. What's breathtaking is the last movement of the composition with synthesizer and orchestral arrangement backing the vocalist who is none other than Jon Anderson! Absolutely gorgeous stuff, if only the middle of the song was more substantial.

Hell begins with a mysterious and creepy ambient music with open arrangements. After three minutes, the movement Needles and Bones starts with no transition whatsoever. Tt sounds dated, repetitive, and awful in every possible way. After that atrocious section is done, the best movement of Hell begins and it is very sinister avant-garde music. The percussion and moogs sound evil, and the synthesizers sometimes sound like a moaning soul. sandwiching this macabre avant-garde is a soaring Gregorian chant melody. The 4th section appears out of nowhere and again sounds dated, unnecessary, and just plain bad. The song ends with peaceful ambient movement.

Since each movement in each song are not separated into individual tracks, you cannot skip these hideous sections in Hell nor the directionless 2nd movement of Heaven. This causes each spin to be a frustrating listen as the album is so inconsistent in terms of quality.

Zitro | 2/5 |


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