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Honeyelk - En Quete D'un Monde Meilleur CD (album) cover




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4 stars This is a obsucure and very rare zeuhl album by this french group, And it is infact very good, if you are into Magma and such you will love this album. The first song is insanely good, and the rest of the album is just as good. It can sometimes remind me of 1001 degrees centigrade (the horns) The only thing that drags this album down is some of the vocals are a little weak at times, but overall a excelent album worth tracking down.
Report this review (#95338)
Posted Saturday, October 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars This has been on my "want list" for a long time.Thankfully I was able to get a copy of this recording a couple of weeks ago, and believe me it didn't disappoint. This band is from France and released this album back in 1979. The core of the band is the Blanc brothers who play bass and drums as well as sing. I was surprised at how young the band looked in the pictures in the liner notes, especially to be playing such complex music. A tribute to their talents no doubt. They were known as HONEY DREAM doing covers of KING CRIMSON, GENESIS and YES before they changed their name and started moving in a new direction composing their own songs. They decided to sing in their own made up language(sound familiar) because Gerard had no desire to go back to singing in French which he felt lacked sufficient feeling, and he ignored English as well "wishing to be utterly original". The liner notes describe their sound as mixing "The energy and power of MAGMA, the technical virtuosity of ZAO and the harmonic richness of GENESIS, not to mention the European classical overtones and the power of the likes of VDGG.The music rested on a base of eternally-evolving rhythmic meters, with innumerable changes, accelerations and breaks in tempo. Passages of furious activity would alternate with other, quieter, more ethreal ones".

I should mention that the vocals at times remind me of Peter Gabriel making this a very interesting listen to say the least. I like the story in the liner notes about the band playing for 90 minutes to a packed house of a thousand enthusiastic people, and then giving five encores !

"Duel A La Vie" and the next track were the only two songs on the original album making it just under 26 minutes. Four bonus tracks have been included which add just over 15 minutes worth of more music. The first track kicks in fairly quickly and when it settles we get those Gabriel-like vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. He can be quite passionate as well. Such an incredible sound here. A dead calm after 3 1/2 minuters before it kicks back in with drums leading the way. Piano and sax after 5 minutes. A Zeuhl-like vocal melody follows and then it calms right down again. Vocals are back 7 minutes in as it gets melancholic. Vocal melodies with prominant drums follow. A change 10 minutes in as the soundscape from earlier in the song returns with vocals. Nice. "Terres De Sagesse" is spacey to start with synths as sax, drums and guitar come in before a minute. Piano then bass follows as the tempo picks up. Fantastic sound 2 minutes in. The drumming is so crisp.Vocals after 3 minutes. The melody stops 4 1/2 minutes in. Love the sound a minute later, there is a lot of tension. Sax leads the way 7 minutes in then vocals return. A change before 9 minutes. Amazing sound a minute later with drums and horns. It then settles with piano, vocals and sax after 11 minutes. What a ride !

"Osmose (live)" features piano and some atmosphere. Vocals before a minute. Spoken words 4 minutes right to the end as the crowd cheers. "Rencontre D'un Soir (Impro)" is the only track with violin on it. It opens with piano and guitar as vocals come in. Vocals become passionate as the music gets louder. Violin 1 1/2 minutes in as it settles some. Very cool sound here. Vocal melodies before 3 1/2 minutes. Then the vocals return with drums, violin and piano standing out. This is like a piece of heaven. "Message En Breaks" is a short well done drum solo."Qu'une Meme Lumiere Guide Nos Pas" is another short song with reserved vocals that grow louder with a mellow background of strings and electric piano.

This surpassed my expectations by quite a large margin. Highly recommended to fans of ZAO and WEIDORJE.

Report this review (#213001)
Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars A bit of a let down, this album.

I really like their first release, the Stoys EP. So I moved onto this album with high hopes.

Honeyelk does a pretty jazzy version of zeuhl and they can be compared to Magma. The difference is that where Magma is intense, Honeyelk is very laidback. I would label their music as lounge-zeuhl. The tempo is very pedestrian throughout.

The album opens with their best song by a large margin. Stoyz (Duel ŕ Vie) is a superb piece of zeuhl by all standards. The album tails off a bit after that in a pedestrian lounge-zeuhl fashion with a large chunk of jazz. The bonus tracks does not add anything of value to this album.

This album is a let down in my estimation and I prefer the EP. But it is still a pretty good album, saved up to a three stars award by the inclusion of Stoyz (Duel ŕ Vie). But I feel let down, though.

3 stars (barely)

Report this review (#484169)
Posted Sunday, July 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I had big expectations for this album, I thought this would turn out to be another lost jewel, something that would turn out to be another Weidorje, Paga or Shub Niggurath in quality I mean, but as it turns out this wasn't as exciting as I hoped. So first of all let me introduce them, Honeyelk are a 5 piece band from France who have released one EP in 1979. This EP had 26 minutes of music and included two songs. In 1995 those two songs were remixed and released by Musea while adding 4 more live bonus tracks, and by this made it a worth while purchase. Honeyelk are playing in a typical french style which is a mix between Zehul, Jazz and Avant-garde. They are mostly influenced by Magma and VDGG, even the singing isn't in french, it's made up, maybe they know Kobaian or is it Honeyelkish? anyway this is one part that I do like about them, it gives the music a lot of character. The lead vocalist sounds exactly like Peter Gabriel in his sleep, mumbling and singing all kinds of weird stuff, like a weird languaged dream, personally I find the vocals to be one of their best qualities. The sound is also rich and enjoyable since there are more than just the usual instruments involved, they added Sax, Clarinet and Piano. Although it's far from being laid back, it is not heavy at all, no distorted guitars whatsoever.

Unfortunately this album puzzles me. While I do enjoy every part of it, when it ends I don't feel like this was so exceptional or groundbreaking, if I had to put my finger on it I'd say it's lack of cohesive songwriting and lack of really killer interplay. On the other hand it is never bad, not even for a second. As it seems to me the band could use a little more practice to tie up their loose ends, this is most evident in the drums department. It's either this style of music wasn't suitable for drummer Christian Blanc or maybe he didn't have so many takes when recording to get it fully right, which also means more practice together. Don't get me wrong it's not like that all the time, I'm sure some people wouldn't mind that at all, but I hear some awkward and hesitant drumming from time to time, especially when he is trying to be fast. The rest of the band is good, especially the bass player which plays some delicious hooks every now and then, and delievers a punchy deep bass sound like is popular in this genre. The main problem here is that the music does not stay on the same level all the time. It ranges from very good to mediocare but also doesn't reach any recommendable heights.

The remix version of the two main pieces sounds better and more balanced than its original version on the EP, not only the sound quality is much better but some parts were dropped and other enhanced,making this an interesting reissue. "Stoyz (Duel ŕ Vie)" the opener is divided into three parts and it's the best track on the album. It starts very promising with an excellent rhythm, great drive from bass and drums, I wish they could have maintained it. The first part is very good with passionate vocals and a memorable sax and clarinet lead. The second part which explores a different idea, is where they don't exactly shine, the awkward drumming is more evident here and it's overall mediocare but again very good vocals. The third part unites the piece and repeats the melodies from previous parts, overall I'm satisfied. "Do Zé Vé Loy (Terres De Sagesse)" again have a great begining with some punchy slaps from bass and drums. A cool and fast bass line leads the way as the song keeps evolving, going through several ideas. The song changes half way and leads to a RIO tinged Zehulic interlude but returns to normal and doesn't bring anything new to the table. The third part is completely different, and as nice as it is it doesn't feel like a sequential continuation. I thought my CD progressed to the next track but this is still the same song. The bonus tracks doesn't save the album and are fairly different from the main pieces. They are heavy on the vocals and are much more laid back, a lot of Fender Rhodes and good atmosphere, sounds like Cos than anything else really. Again still good all the way.

Overall this is a good album and although it's not hanging in the big boys league, I still can recommend it to any of you Zehul fans, it is an album worth having to complete your collection, and I believe most of you will warmly embrace it. This is one of the best 3 stars album out there, 3.5 actually but very close to be rounded up to 4.

Report this review (#1012798)
Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | Review Permalink

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