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Dün - Eros CD (album) cover

EROS

Dün

 

Zeuhl

4.24 | 346 ratings

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SaltyJon
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Dun's sole album, Eros, is a masterpiece. Any prog fan who likes adventurous instrumental music owes it to him/herself to check the album out.

The first track, "L'Epice", is a good indication of things to come on the album. The drums start in like quietly rumbling thunder, then after a few seconds the rest of the ensemble joins in with some fairly dissonant sounding chords. The music starts to become a little complex at this point. There's a lot of dissonance going on throughout, and as has been mentioned, the drum and bass work on the album are simply incredible. About 5 minutes in, we get to a jarring section with lots of odd rhythmic action, which is joined before long by flute and guitar here and there. This continues on for a while, then the band breaks down with a slight tempo change. The song continues on with complexity and dissonant chords here and there until the end. A VERY solid opener. 9.5/10

Next up is my personal favorite track, "Arrakis". The song starts off simply with keyboards playing, and flute joins in before long. The song stays quiet for a while, with occasional percussions joining in at around the one minute mark and guitar before two. Bass joins in at two and a half, with a nice warm fretless sound. The calm stays around for a while longer, with subdued playing by the band on the whole, with the bass starting to jump around a bit. Then, after four minutes, we're thrown into the chaos of the battle for the planet Arrakis. While the album as a whole doesn't come off as a concept album to me, this song in particular brings to mind scenes from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series, going from calm and controlled to chaotic, back to a different sense of control. The last bit of the song is almost entirely percussion, and some odd shouted vocal bits near the very end. 10+/10

"Bitonio" builds up, first the xylophone, then guitar, then keyboards, then bass and drums take over the scene. We're given some jarring sequences at this point in the song, then things calm down a bit as we're brought to a section which is closer to melodic than we've been so far in the song. At almost two minutes in, quiet piano, xylophone, and flute bring us a bit of calm in the eye of this storm of an album. It doesn't last for long, though, as the bass and percussions are back at it again. At 2:30 or so the bass goes funky. The keyboards get spacey in the background for a while. Nearing the four minute mark, the music begins to build quiet tension through some dissonant bits. Nearing five minutes, the bass brings us into a new theme in the piece. There's a lot of contrasting loud and soft bits in this section of the song. At six minutes it changes again and we have some very brief caveman lyrics. The instrumental bits bring the beginning of the song back to mind, then speed up with some more caveman grunts, then back to the beginning for the end. 9/10

"Eros" is the closer of the original album. The beginning of the song sounds like the atmospheric music in some horror movies, with quiet, child-like percussion over an ambient backing. Drums join in around the minute mark, and the complexity continues. The band gives us another break from the insanity in this song, but close to three minutes in it starts to break through again, though it manages to stay mild for a bit. As is the norm in Zeuhl, the track builds up through repetition over the next minute or two, with some odd vocal/flute combination nearing five minutes. After the five minute mark we're back into the thick of things. The music has grown wild by now, though the basic beat keeps up the repetition with some avant garde sounding flute and keyboards breaking in. Near 6:30 things change up, bringing in spacey keyboards again over more funky bass and drums, with the xylophone keeping up the basic melody of the section. Things stay spacey for a while, then break down into a different section after eight minutes. In another of the rare moments of the album with vocals, we hear the members of the band chanting Eros for a short time. The song continues on its hectic path to the end, bringing the complex masterpiece that was the original album to its finish. 10/10

The next three tracks are all alternate versions of previous songs, namely Bitonio, Arrakis, then Eros. They all provide an interesting different view of the original song, and include the group's saxophone player, who didn't stay with them for the recording of the final product. The last track, "Acoustic Fremen", is a piece for guitar, flute, and again the saxophone player. It's very different than the rest of the album, as it's not so much in your face incredible complexity and isn't changing as constantly as the rest of the album does. It provides an interesting look at the band's other repressed side, and according to the booklet was used as a break during concerts so that some of the musicians and the crowd could regain their bearings. The sound quality of these four songs isn't as good as the first four, but it's to be expected as they're more demos than the finished product.

As I said at the beginning of my review, this is a masterpiece, especially if you enjoy a band with an incredible bassist and very, very strong percussion. It served as my introduction to the zeuhl genre as a whole, and I think it's a good starting point for anyone. You get the complexity and unusual nature of the music, but hardly any of the vocals, certainly not those of Magma and company. So if you've been toying with the idea of checking out Zeuhl but the operatic vocals make you turn away, you won't be upset by this album. It's a shame that the band didn't make any more music, but at least that which they did give us is of the highest quality. Very highly recommended, I don't think my review can do it much justice. Any prog collection would benefit by adding this album. The music will completely blow you away.

SaltyJon | 5/5 |

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