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Heldon -  Heldon IV: Agneta Nilsson CD (album) cover

HELDON IV: AGNETA NILSSON

Heldon

 

Progressive Electronic

3.80 | 37 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
4 stars This album starts to take a different direction to the groups first three albums. Leader Richard Pinhas is not doing as much Fripp-inspired guitar playing as on other albums, but drumming and percussion is now more important than before. There is also more of a 'rock' feel to some of the songs. By incorporating more of a rock sound, Heldon doesn't try to streamline their sound but the complete opposite: it makes the music more aggressive and sinister sounding. The line-up is never consistent and other than Pinhas, the only really noteworthy name is keyboardist Patrick Gauthier, who was a member of Magma at the time.

There are five tracks on the album, with four of them being titled "Perspective." Part I opens the album and is the most atmospheric and spacey song here. Steady electronic hi-hat and snare throughout. Strangely melodic in it's own way. It doesn't change much over the course of 10 minutes but is a great piece of minimalist electronic music anyway. "Perspective II" is mostly synth on arpeggiator mode with some cymbals and bell sounds. A sequencer pattern appears after a minute which gets louder and more dominant later on.

"Perspective III" starts with aggressive sounding sequencers and spacey arpeggiators. Then some noisy guitar joins in. Slowly it gets louder and more intense as it goes along. The guitar playing in the middle is more 'solo' oriented. Like part I this doesn't change much throughout. Both songs being very hypnotic. "Bassong" features no synths and no Pinhas! Just chorused guitars and some bass (or is it bass parts played on guitar?). Michel Ettori wrote this song and plays the guitars.

The first four tracks don't sound terribly different to earlier Heldon, but it's the last side-long track on the album that points the way to future albums. "Perspective IV" is itself divided into three parts. The first part is called just "Perspective IV" and opens with overdubbed guitars with at least one guitar keeping a steady picking style. Some synth squiggles enter. Eventually sequencers along with cymbals and bells are reprised from part II. The next part is called "Virgin Sweedish Blues" which is also a name of a song on the last album, It's Always Rock'n'Roll. This is a guitar riff backed by drums and bass. Heldon jams out and Pinhas solos away. Some synth soloing as well. The last part of the epic is called "Psylocybine." After the band fades away we get more sequencer patterns along with noises on cymbals and gong. Drums come in later and the sequencers get faster.

Agneta Nilsson is the middle ground between the earlier keyboard dominated albums and the later guitar-and-drums heavy albums. Sometimes this sounds like a more sinister Tangerine Dream mixed with a more jammy King Crimson. I would rate this a 3.5 but will bump it up to 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |

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