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Univers Zero - Heresie CD (album) cover

HERESIE

Univers Zero

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.14 | 181 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This is what I call "chick magnet" music. Something you play on a first date. One of the best bands to come out of Belgium, Univers Zero are probably the most popular 'chamber prog' group. Similar to Art Zoyd but less experimental and more sinister. This is the band's second album and has a reputation for being dark and scary. I wouldn't say scary but I understand why people would label it such. A lot of the music here sounds like horror movie music. But the music in horror movies is generally not scary; what it does is create tension and suspense for the scariest scenes in the movie. The music of UZ is similar. They build a lot of tension and suspense in their music. Nowhere is that more apparent than on Heresie.

The instruments are mostly acoustic(bassoon, violin, harmonium ,drums, etc.). But the bass is always electric and there is a little bit of organ and guitar too. Almost no vocals. Because these guys are avant-prog they get a reputation as being atonal and unmelodic. Which couldn't be farther from the truth. There are plenty of melodies here. Just not happy melodies you would find in symphonic prog. Apart from some of the violin playing, there isn't much that could be called atonal. The music here is a cross between 20th century classical music and Zeuhl.

"La Faulx" is the 25-minute monster of the album. This piece sounds like Magma at their weirdest, Crimson at their darkest, and Henry Cow at their most dramatic...all at once. It begins with a drone made by organ or harmonium(or both). Then there is some talking. These guys from French-speaking Belgium here sound like they come from Dutch-speaking Belgium. Almost Kobian-esque vocals. Later we get percussion and some great, dark melodies for the rest of the 'song'. "Jack The Ripper" is a prog classic. If there was ever a 'K- Tel Presents The Best Of Rock-In-Opposition" album, you better believe this song would be on it. Possibly the best UZ song. "Vous le Saurez en Temps Voulu" is the least dark/sinister song here. A great song to end the album.

This was the last album with guitarist/keyboardist Roger Trigaux before he left to form Present. Drummer/composer Daniel Denis would lead the band from here on. Not the best place to start with UZ; check out 1313 or Ceux Du Dehors first. Heresie was remixed/remastered in 2010 with a bonus track. I haven't heard this latest version yet. But for the three songs on the album this gets 4 stars. Not too many groups were making music this adventurous in 1979.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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