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Koenjihyakkei - Angherr Shisspa CD (album) cover

ANGHERR SHISSPA

Koenjihyakkei

 

Zeuhl

3.94 | 114 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Consider an artistic masterpiece- the ceiling of the Sistine chapel perhaps. Now imagine a kindergartner with markers and crayons in her hands got on a scaffold and began marking on the ceiling. Avant-garde enthusiasts might consider that some manner of artistic improvement, or perhaps something academic, commendable, or even ironic; others will likely shake their heads and comment on what a shame it is. Such is nature of this album. While the music itself is incredible, even masterful in many places, the frenetic, operatic, and cringe-inducing female lead vocal completely ruins it. The most commendable aspect of this album lies in the rhythm section. Both the drumming and the bass are superb, and the tone of the latter genuinely appeals to me. However, as I mentioned, there's the matter of the vocals- one of the shrillest and most off-putting things I've ever heard. Her doubling nearly every melody is not only superfluous, but it's distracting and downright annoying. It's like being in the car with someone who sings gibberish at loud levels to a pleasant song on the radio because he doesn't know the words. I think I need some acetaminophen.

"Tziidall Raszhisst" Peculiar and frantic melodies run through the course of this first piece, extrapolated further with a tight rhythm section and emphatic piano chords. However, I would be a liar if I said this first piece was not memorable to me, or if I claimed it lacked clear melody, direction, and charm. The woman's voice easing up through the piano makes me wince- it's like preparing for a very painful shot from a physician. In that masochistic way, it's rather appealing.

"Rattims Friezz" I quite like the reed-and-percussion-led jazzy introduction. Long sustained vocal notes make it harder to enjoy though, almost as much as the bizarre synthesizer. The rambling male vocals are just as irritating. This is unfortunate, because the music is extremely good. The conclusion to the piece is far more peaceful and enjoyable though (the vocals at the very end notwithstanding).

"Grahbem Jorgazz" A barrage of vocals, piano and grandiose silliness, almost like a horrid version of the famous section from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," begins the third work. This time the music is not good- it's loud, insufferable, all over the place, and discordant to a fault. The terrible vocals only exacerbate this.

"Fettim Paillu" Light piano and vocals bring in a change of pace. It does get faster and louder unexpectedly, and as expected, it's in the most ear-wilting way possible. The shrieking vocals paired with the cacophonic music only make me want to run screaming from the room. When it becomes quiet and jazzy, I'm happy to come back in, but it will only be but a minute.

"Qivem Vrastorr" With a slightly Medieval European series of melodies, this one contrasts high-pitched tones (the female vocal and woodwinds) with the lower ones (male vocals with bass and percussion), eventually blending them. The whole work is a mélange of aggravation- might as well stand in a preschool room when the children all find out that recess is cancelled forever.

"Mibingvahre" With chanting and percussion, this track begins more akin to some wild tribal ritual. While the rhythm section solos, the vocalists scream and shout in some discordant orgy that undermines what the other musicians are doing. This is one of the worst "things" I've ever heard.

"Angherr Shisspa" The title track is full of nonsense. Push a band and an opera singer down a flight of stairs and it may very well sound like this. After some clamorous shrieking, the piece becomes, without much of a transition (perhaps a good thing in this case) something far more accessible and actually a bit pleasant. After that, it's time for another trip down the stairs.

"Wammilica Iffirom" The last track features a hellish chorus of vocals. The keyboard work is interesting but lacks the context of the rest of the sound to back it up in any coherent manner. The bassist stands out a bit more, which is a welcome consolation, but still those damned voices haunt the hell out of the composition. Angst-ridden male vocals underlie some of the worst operatic screeching this album has to offer, like the queen of the harpies herself has come to entertain mere man.

Epignosis | 2/5 |

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