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Eskaton - 4 Visions CD (album) cover

4 VISIONS

Eskaton

 

Zeuhl

4.25 | 140 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Adding a bonus track to an album containing four tracks and entitled "4 visions" means altering its meaning, so even if I have the CD with the bonus tracks, I'll consider the original tracks only.

The band is more than influenced by Magma but probably helped by the absence of brasses they have taken a little different path that can be considered "The bright side of the Zeuhl".

Not an easy album, as most of the Zeuhl albums, but more approachable than Magma themselves, full of jazz passages on which the soprano voice of Amara Tahir sounds like a scat vocalist more than operistic.

The first track is in line with the Magma standards as it's made of several different and not recurring parts with smooth transitions, obsessive drumming and vocal repetitions. A Magma track I'd say if it wasn't for the jazzy mood and the non-kobaian singing. Eskaton is a greek word which means the end of the Creation, the death of the whole Universe.

"Attente"(Careful) follows opened by winds, but instead of Roger Waters' bass on One of this day what follows is one of the darker parts of the album. The first passages of this song are more in line with the Magma style but the French language lightens the atmosphere. The mixture of French and German of the Kobaian is an element that makes the things darker, and Eskaton don't use it. After the first impact, the music becomes easier and if you don't consider the hard drumming the part at around minute 5 has chords very similar to Camel's Lady Fantasy. At minute 6 we are back into classical Zeuhl, anyway so to be able to say that this is a good track for Magma fans.

"Ecoute" is a very particular track. There are vocal parts with a folk flavor, a country-rock tempo behind a dark vocal melody or better, Konig and Bernardi play drums and bass on a standard rock basis which touches several genres, even metal, while the rest of the band is deeply into Zeuhl and this creates an amazing contamination. Classic Zeuhl moments with unusual signatures are present as well, so I can say that what is really impressive on this track is the very good and hard work of the rhythmic section, not that the other instruments and the vocals are bad, of course.

"Pitie'" has a slow and dreamy intro consisting in a subtle keyboard and electric piano. The first 3 minutes are very evocative, far from the obsessive rhythms of Magma but even when the drums are more present the music remains in a quiet environment. The bass makes an impressive work also on this track that I think is the best of the album, and also the last of the original edition.

It's a very good album but I don't hear the "masterpiece" element, probably because I'm just fallen in love with Universal Totem Orchestra. Some time ago I would have rated this album with the maximum. Today for me it's "only" a 4 stars addition.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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