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Present - Triskaidekaphobie / Le Poison Qui Rend Fou CD (album) cover





4.41 | 42 ratings

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4 stars I was never a big fan of Univers Zero. I saw them at Nearfest in 2004, and while I enjoyed their performance, I decided to just get their first album, which I have never really gotten into all that much (also, at Nearfest I heard several songs from various albums of theirs). Why am I talking about Univers Zero in a Present review you may well ask? Well, the most obvious answer is that Roger Trigaux, the founder of this band, was originally in Univers Zero. And the founder of that band, Daniel Denis, plays drums on the two albums that make up the CD that is the object of this review. It is also safe to say that the two bands have more than a few similarities in the music they play (dark, gloomy, avante garde).

Fast forward a year to Nearfest 2005, where I saw Present perform live. The whole time I kept thinking, this music doesn't sound like something I would like, it is almost painful...........but I can't stop listening to it! Much to my surprise, I loved their performance. So I immediately purchased this compliation of their first two albums on one CD.

What can I say? I love this album. It is dark, gloomy, technically sophisticated music that bears some resemblance to Univers Zero, and even Magma (though it is all instumental), yet has an appeal to me that those two bands do not. It is definelty in the RIO/avante prog genre, which is a genre I always appreciate but don't always enjoy. This band (and a few others, like Miriador) is a notable exception. I'm finding it hard to explain exactly why. Perhaps because it is so guitar driven, and I am a guitarist. Perhaps because it has a more "hard prog" approach than some of the others. Maybe it is somewhat more accessable (though I find that VERY unlikely.......this is some intense and obscure music, not to mention the heavily minor key and dissonant nature of it). In any case, it appeals to me greatly, and there is not a song here I don't enjoy. I hesitate to give it 5 stars, but I would really like to. Let's say 4.99999 stars, and it only misses 5 because I think it is not something that many here on this site will enjoy. So if you like the bands I mentioned, and you like dissonant, dark, minor key guitar driven hard prog, give it a try. If you don't, well, you might want to listen anyway, because you might be surprised by this album.

| 4/5 |


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