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Vox Nostra - Vox Nostra CD (album) cover


Vox Nostra

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars This is the third album by this French band / project, led by multi-instrumentist Pierre Minvielle. Zeuhl afficionados may have crossed his name in the 80's as he was briefly playing on Eider Stellaire's second album. And so did too guitarist Jean-Claude Delachat (both on II and III), present here on Vox Nostra. The Zeuhl connection will not stop here, as the present album could stylistically be ranked alongside Offering or Ad Vitam; there is an important choral work (soprano, tenor, alto & baritone voices are used), singing in Latin, sustained by jazz or modern classical harmonies - Debussy among other, with those typical minor seventh chords! But then of course there is on top all the rhythmic work: those obsessive ostinato patterns characterizing the Zeuhl genre, very syncopated or broken lines that especially give an extra breathe to the harmonized vocals, changes of tempi with accelerations bringing further tension, piano clusters reinforcing the darkness and urgency of the music, synthesizer textures sustaining the tension via extended chord progressions, etc... Guitarist Delachat brings extra power with a fuzzy electric guitar playing, working as a counterpoint to the vocal declamations but he also shows a lyrical side when playing some melodic lines under them, nearly like some kind of mini soloing. Besides his vocal duties, Minvielle is also playing keyboards, bass and drums, as well as composing all the music. But don't be afraid, this doesn't sound at all like those many one-man projects missing an organic character! There is here coherence, integration and competence at play and the tunes are really compelling. My last point will go to the excellent Rhodes parts, which work perfectly in combination with the vocals: pushing, intriguing, a lot of key attack raising the rhythmic force to a higher level! If you just let go and receive all playing as a whole, you'll be reaching an ecstatic state of mind, at times exhultation and the shadow of Christian Vander the singer (not the drummer) will probably pass by your ears many many times ... thumbs up, Pierre!
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Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 | Review Permalink

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