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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The third studio album to emerge from Faust's return to active duty saw the departure of bassist Jean Herve Peron, leaving Werner Diermeier and Hans Joachim Irmler as the sole remining members of the original line up. Thankfully there's been no attempt to replicate Peron's unique bass style, and the musicians completing this line up all bring their own contributions to the Faust sound rather than trying to reproduce the sound of their predecessors. Like King Crimson, they have managed to update their sound while retaining their distinctive style.

Like their previous two studio albums, Ravvivando combines primal rock beats with swirling storms of electonica and massively distorted instruments. The acoustic interludes and bizarre little quasi pop songs of their 70s heyday no longer appear, although they are still capable of abrupt shifts and remarkable contrasts. On this album there is also a hint of the post rock/math rock of Tortoise and other Thrill Jockey acts, particularly on the last couple of tracks. Elsewhere, Ulrike Helmholtz adds some blood curdling vocals to an already traumatising soundscape, while the addition of an extra percussionist gives 'Zappi' Diermeier's lumbering industrial powerhouse rhythm an even more powerful punch.

Faust have not mellowed with age and have remained open to new developments in music. Hopefully there is more still to come from these pioneers of experimental rock - not for the faint of heart, but strongly recommended.

Report this review (#39610)
Posted Saturday, July 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rating: B+

In the 1970s, Faust proved themselves one of the most creative (and bizarre) bands of all time, and Ravvivando proves that, twenty-five years later, they've lost nothing, both in terms of musical quality and creativity. They are not repeating their classics with Ravvivando. Instead, they are doing something quite unique in music: playing music inspired by the advances they made with their early CDs. A multitude of bands have been inspired by Faust (for good reason), but of all these bands, it seems that Faust might well be the best. On Ravvivando, they take the techniques and sounds they pioneered in the 1970s and filter them into a different musical palette. The result is a CD that sounds like a Faust CD without sounding like a copy of themselves.

That's just one of Ravvivando's many successes. Also notable is the general awesomeness quotient of the music, and Ravvivando is undeniably awesome. Swirling electronics, krautrock jams, lots of distortion, and a healthy dose of noise rock, color this release, and the result is a fantastic CD that doesn't lend itself well to categorization but does invite much well-deserved praise. If I had to place a genre tag on this release, I would call it noise rock, but it is equally classifiable as industrial and krautrock.

Listening to Ravvivando is roughly equivalent to getting run over by a freight train at top speed, minus all the negative side effects. It carries itself on the back of unceasing intensity. Right from the opening moments "Ein Neuer Tag", it shows a strong sense of groove, building powerful melodies and noise around that, and it only gains in power from there. It never repeats itself, though, as each track explores new areas within the framework of noise rock built around krautrock grooves. "Carousel" even manages to be beautiful, albeit in a twisted, quirky, bizarre, Faustian manner.

As strong as these two opening tracks are, however, they aren't even close to being highlights of the CDs. Instead, the noisier, groovier tracks (such as "Wir Brauchen Dich #6", "Livin' Tokyo", and "T-Electronique") earn that honor. This simple factor, known as consistency, is what makes Ravvivando so good. Over it's twelve tracks, it never once gets boring for a minute, let alone a whole song. Instead, it contains twelve standout tracks with three that especially stand out. In addition, it's a very cohesive release; every song on Ravvivando feels like part of a complete whole.

That complete whole is a fantastic example of so-called "head music." This is music made for the dark, especially if you've a good set of headphones. It's the type of subtle masterpiece that needs to be listened to under the right conditions to reveal its true power, but once it clicks, never lets go. It may not ever prove as influential or groundbreaking as Faust's initial releases, but it's undeniably equally as good, and is perhaps second only to their debut in their discography. This is essential for fans of Faust and of noise rock. It's not quite a comeback CD, since it's the third release of Faust's comeback period, but for a band who was in their undisputed prime thirty-five years ago (twenty-five at the time of Ravvivando's release), Ravvivando is a remarkably fresh and refreshing release, and a masterpiece in its own right.

Report this review (#164111)
Posted Sunday, March 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Two years after the "You Know FaUSt" album the boys are back minus original bass player Jean Herve Peron. Four new members have been added and what better time with this now six piece band than to make some heavy noise. And that is the thing that stands out for me on this record...the heavy, relentless rhythm filled with distortion and electronics. Of course it's not all this way but these guys have become almost industrial sounding on this album at times. Please read Syzygy's review not just on this particular album but on other FAUST records as he explains it all so well.

"Eine Neuer Tag" builds as the organ and drums standout. I like the background noise 2 1/2 minutes in. Late in the song we get this circus-like noise that is quite annoying as it blends into "Carousel # 2" where it gets louder. Yikes ! It's all great the rest of the way though. "Wir Brauchen Dich # 6" has this heavy beat and more. The guitar rips it up after 4 minutes. "Four Plus Seven Means Eleven" has this beat with noise which includes distorted guitar expressions. It turns spacey late to end it. "Take Care" has this deep atmosphere as drums crash the scene. Distant sounding vocals join in. It blends into "Spiel" where we get some crazy percusssion.

"Dr. Hansl" has a beat with vocals and experimental sounds. "Apokalypse" is catchy with guitar and vocals. The guitar lights it up before 2 1/2 minutes. Killer stuff. "D.I.G." is a top three for me. The guitar and sounds pulse. Cool sound. A change 3 minutes in as it calms down then slowly builds again. Nice. "Du Weisst Schon" has all kinds of sounds or noise(haha) depending on your viewpoint. Spoken words before 1 1/2 minutes. "Livin' Tokyo" and the final track round out the rest of my favourite three songs. This one is catchy with distant vocals. Other voices join in briefly then the focus goes back to that great sounding rhythm. "T-Electronique" has an electronic beat to start then another beat joins in. How good is this ! Spacey background synths sound excellent too.

While you pretty well know what your going to get with any given FAUST album, this one is a little different. Pounding percussion, wailing distortion and insane elctronics ? Sounds like the same old FAUST to me. You might just have to fasten your seat-belt this time that's all.

Report this review (#823489)
Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2012 | Review Permalink

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