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Univers Zero Ceux Du Dehors album cover
4.04 | 213 ratings | 16 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Dense (12:26)
2. La Corne du Bois des Pendus (8:42)
3. Bonjour Chez Vous (3:52)
4. Combat (12:53)
5. La Musique d'Erich Zann (3:29)
6. La Tete du Corbeau (3:11)
7. Triomphe des Mouches (5:36)

Total Time: 50:09

Line-up / Musicians

- Andy Kirk / piano, harmonium, organ, Saint-Jacques Church organ (2), Mellotron (1,4), vocals (2,7), glockenspiel & Yamaha CP70 (6)
- Patrick Hanappier / viola, violin, vocals (2)
- Michel Berckmans / bassoon, oboe, English horn (1), vocals (2)
- Guy Segers / bass, clarinet (7), vocals (2,7)
- Daniel Denis / drums, percussion, vocals (2,7), cymbals (6), harmonium & violin (7)

- Ilona Chale / vocals (4)
- Jean-Luc Aimé / violin (3)
- Thierry Zaboitzeff / cello (6)
- Jean Debefve / hurdy-gurdy (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Annie De Bruecker with Eric Faes (photo)

LP EF ‎- EF 1331 (1981, Belgium)
LP Atem ‎- 7009 (1981, France)

CD Cuneiform Records ‎- Rune 39 (1992, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy UNIVERS ZERO Ceux Du Dehors Music

UNIVERS ZERO Ceux Du Dehors ratings distribution

(213 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (17%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

UNIVERS ZERO Ceux Du Dehors reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of the rare bands who rely on classical arrangements to build a solid, complex, intellectual classical progressive music. Pure classical instruments. We are far from ANY progressive albums so far!! The most look alike album is maybe Frank ZAPPA's Orchestral favorites!!

Ireally enjoy this album!!

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!

Third album from this stunning but sombre group and one of the highest rated from fans and often cited as THE UZ album. I can only agree partly with this, as from UZ's early acoustic phase, CDD is their best, but after this album, will come a more electric phase (only slightly, though) and the Next album Uzed stands as my fave. Gone is Roger Trigaux (one of the two composers) to form his own group Present, but this was no acrimonious departure as Daniel Denis will be the drummer in that band also. Andy Kirk replaces him on keyboards. A few guest musicians come and help also.

Although UZ has dropped the color black as their only one, the least we can say is that their artwork is not anymore joyous than before. A close-up photo of The Witchstone and its dungeon next to it set up the gloomy and doomy ambiances. The 12-min+ Dense is a fiery "introduction" with Mellotrons layers underlined a strong harmonium, woodwinds and violin under the heavy duty Segers/Denis rhythm section. The middle section is rather quieter, but not any less worrisome, but Berckmans oboe draws wonders. Following this monster track is the no-less impressive (but very oppressive;-) La Corne, which is downright macabre with a few out of this world vocals and its church organ. We are definitely more in the classical music than in the rock spectrum with this track. Closing the first side is an almost danceable and considerably lighter Bonjour Chez Vous. Gothic is the word to describe this oeuvre.

The second side opens on the almost 13-min Kirk-penned Combat, with its war-like march beats, its calm before the battle, its battlesounds and full blown grandeur. Followed by a rather bizarre improv based on a HP Lovecraft novel, the rather flat Corbeau and a glorious first version of Triomphe Des Mouches, a track that will make the link with the following album (and you'll find an extended live version of it in the Crawling Winds compilation), the album tends to lose a bit focus

To this writer, this album is maybe going a bit too far (or over the top, if you wish), a bit like Yes with Tales or Tull with Passion Play (in a completely different tone, of course) and if it is a fan-favourite, definitely not mine.

Review by Moatilliatta
4 stars From the second I played this album, it blew me away. It was bizarre and it was awesome. Such complexity and audacity, and using only acoustic instruments!? This band/album quickly became one of my biggest avant-prog pleasures. I'm not usually into such music, so the fact that I appreciate this has to mean something. So much is going on here that it's hard to comprehend for some time, and even after listening to it numerous times, these pieces still throw you off when you're trying to play air instruments or merely trying to test your memory of these pieces. What we have here is a more rock-oriented approach to chamber-orchestra music. Though the use of acoustic instruments really makes it sound less like rock and more like a really bombastic classical group. The group mixes up the full- fledged parts with some sonic experiments which only rarely get boring or nerve-wrecking. The highlights here are the two 12-minute topping powerhouses: the album opening "Dense" and "Combat," which does have this uncanny subtle emination of a combat scene throughout; the ending of it has one of few memorable melodies. It's not for everyone, though, and the longer tracks are the only truly amazing & compelling tracks. Fans of the avant-garde must hear this, everyone else must at least hear "Dense" and "Combat."
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is the third UNIVERS ZERO record and my least favourite of those. While the first three records all contain the same elements that leave the listener with no doubt to who he / she is listening to, they are all different as well in their own ways. Roger Trigaux has left to form his own band (PRESENT), and they didn't bother to replace him with another guitarist. And they have added mellotron to a couple of tracks, as well as called upon Thierry Zaboitzeff from ART ZOYD to play cello on one song. With "Heresie" there was one long, dark and sinister section where you could hardly breathe, while on this album it's like they take the listener into that place more often, but that place isn't as dark or evil, and they only leave you there for short periods of time before bringing you up for air.

"Dense" is an appropriate title if there ever was one. This song really contrasts the uptempo sections (with so much going on, and tempos that change quickly and often) to the dense, dark passages that happen twice, one before 4 minutes (with mournful violin) that lasts for several minutes, and the other to end the song. This song has mellotron and a myriad other instruments to enjoy. Great tune. "La Corne Du Bois Des Pendus" is mostly slower paced with drums and vocal melodies catching my attention. The song comes to life 2 1/2 minutes in. The sound becomes haunting and intense 5 minutes in. "Bonjour Chez Vous" is a mostly uptempo track with piano, drums and violin standing out.

"Combat" rivals the first song and the last song as my favourites. This one has mellotron on it but it's the change of moods and climates that is most impressive. "La Musique D'Erich Zann" is a collective improv inspired by an H.P.Lovecraft short story. It sort of slowly plods along until the dramatic ending. "La Tete Du Corbeau" is a funeral march in memory of D.Neukens. This one has the mournful cello from the ART ZOYD member. "Triomphe Des Mouches" is the last track and it features slowly played piano as other spooky sounds are heard. Percussion 2 minutes in along with harmonium, piano and drums to follow. I really like the passage 3 minutes in and the vocal sounds are cool.

I really think if you bought just one of their first three records, and it doesn't matter which one, you'd be getting a classic Chamber- Rock record of the highest quality. And as amazing as this music is it's not for everybody. If you get one of their albums do yourself a favour and listen to it at least ten times before forming an opinion.

Review by el böthy
3 stars You know, we´ve got to give it to the RIO bands. In times where prog was not popular, this band decided to give a big up you to the music industry, which had already become much more industry than music, and expand the boundaries of what could and could´t be done in music... well, couldn´t for most musicians. Not to say that this bands where the only responsable for keeping prog alive, let´s not forget bands like King Crimson and Rush, both of which where probably at their proggiest and had quite the sold-out theaters (and arenas in Rush´s case), but not cause of that is the role the RIO movements played any smaller. I for one, take my hat off... if I had one that is...I need to get a hat...

Now, on to the music! From the evil, haunting and slightly monotonous Heresie 2 years had passed and change had been big. Not only did Univers Zero change completly, presenting a much more divers product, while still mantaining a big appretiation for the dark side of music but they had also lost a member. Roger Trigaux went on to form Present, a similar band in nature to UZ, but, apparently not as good. This left Denis´s band without a guitarist... and so would they continue... without a guitarist. The album opens with must not only be UZ best song of the album, but also one of their best 5 or so: Dense, a name so closely linkable to UZ it could pretty much become a anthem for them. The song itself is very divers, going from frantic rhythm patterns, to sinister passages to complex interplays. Stravinsky is a primarly influence at all times, but so are also other XX century composers, like, even, Stockhausen. A very rich and excellently composed piece of music. The rest of the album could also be discrived this way, although not as exciting. Well, Combat comes quite near to Dense´s altitudes. A nice surprise is Art Zoyd´s monster bassplayer Thierry Zaboitzeff (well maybe not so surrpising, this two bands are frieds and Denis even played in several Art Zoyd´s albums) playing cello in La Tete du Corbeau, although the end result is nothing astonishing to be honest. People tend to compare Art Zoyd to UZ, saying even that they sound a bit too much like UZ... I for one have to disagree. Not only has Art Zoyd a sound of their own, I find them much more interesting, divers and ultimatly better than UZ. Not to say UZ is worst, it´s just my personal opinion, but I honestly can´t see the, sometimes ridiculous, comparison.

All in all quite the good album, but, apart from Dense and Combat, the music is still a bit too... I don´t know how to discrive it... it seems to me like they are trying to sound like the darkest thing ever just for the sake of it sometimes. But it´s still a very good album, and, if a fan of RIO, you can´t skip this one!

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to take two forward and Ceux Du Dehors is a perfect example of this notion.

Univers Zero took a major hit with the departure of Roger Trigaux who left the band in order to concentrate on his own vision which resulted in a new RIO/Avant-garde band called Present. Having said that I honestly can't imagine how the band could even intend to push further in the direction that was set by Heresie. The decision was therefore made to go back to the familiar territory set by their brilliant debut album and to try push forward from there.

Once again we get the powerhouse of Daniel Denis and Michel Berckmans showing how much they have evolved their individual styles since the debut album. I remember that at one point, last summer, I was so inspired by Michel Berckmans' bassoon that I seriously began considering taking up the instrument myself but after realizing just how expensive even the cheapest version of the instrument would cost made me quickly forget the whole idea!

Ceux Du Dehors, which is roughly translated to "Those outside", is also noteworthy for the first appearance of Andy Kirk who might not seem all that remarkable just yet but his contribution will definitely become an important part of Univers Zero's sound and direction over the next couple of years.

The album's shorter compositions do a great job of gluing the pieces together but it's those two 10+ minutes performances that are the definite highlights of this release. The opening composition titled Dense has one of the most recognized intro sections which might explain why Ruins chose to cover it in their Progressive Rock Medley on the album Pallaschtom. The whole composition is complete brain candy for thought and senses which will make you want to return to this album time and time again.

After two shorter composition comes the second highlight in the form of Combat. The music here might not be as dense as on the opening track but what it lacks in quality Combat definitely makes up in the overall mood and style. I get the feeling that the band is trying to convey a story of a battle where the middle section of the piece is one of the most chilling moments Univers Zero has ever put on a record.

The concluding section of the album give us two 3+ minute compositions which serve as a brief reminder of the music on Heresie, but due to their short lengths the tracks don't have time to build up the momentum which is obligatory to make this type of material work. The closing piece titled Triomphe Des Mouches is the only section of this album where the band is trying to push their music even further. Although I applaud them for doing it, the direction here doesn't feel completely developed and the performance just gives us a brief taste of something the band never quite delivered on with the release of the next album.

Ceux Du Dehors is one of the band's essential recordings and although I have my doubts regarding originality and innovation this is still Univers Zero we're talking about here! Besides, what it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in quality. Considering that most transitional albums are difficult Univers Zero managed to create the best possible recording they could here. If anything, I would always pick it over The Yes Album, Caress Of Steel and Rubber Soul...combined!

***** star songs: Dense (12:26) Combat (12:53)

**** star songs: La Corne Du Bois Des Pendus (8:42) Bonjour Chez Vous (3:52) La Musique d'Erich Zann (3:29) La Tete Du Corbeau (3:12) Triomphe Des Mouches (5:36)

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars (Neo) classical music played by classically trained musicians (mostly acoustic) with big amount of rock technique, energy and rawness. How much I like this band?

I believe, that point of view on Univers Zero strongly depends on your musical preferences in general. And if I really like free-jazz based avant prog ( almost all Zorn projects for example), or early avant with blues/psyche roots (as Cpt. Beefheart or FZ), I often have some problems with avant garde, based on classical music.

I like to listen time to time real classic avant, but it's usually more interesting, than pleasant procedure. Similar feeling I have with classic-based RIO bands. It's too often sounds for me as chamber guys searching the way to make their music more accessible and attractive. What is not a bad idea at all, but just not a very avantgardish.

Speaking about THIS UZ album, I think it is more energetic, raw and alive, than next one (often described as masterpiece). Still too much pure classic in places, but some moments are really dark, raw, with excellent Zaboitzeff strings. From both albums, I will prefer this one. Because of presented real rock soul, not almost refined chamber orchestra, as on next release.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars On their third album, Univers Zero went for a slightly more accessible approach. The music is still very intricate and heavily influenced by modern classical music, but the more prominent integration of rocking rhythms and melodious qualities makes this into a more open and brighter album.

Dense introduces the new UZ sound. The drums, pulsating bass and rhythmic piano take the lead on this dramatic composition. It has something of a Zeuhl flavor to it, but the horns and violins provide a melodic angle that makes it lighter in tone then Magma.

La Corne Du Bois is more experimental, especially the dissonant harmonies and the creepy organ in the second half provide for a dark and chilling atmosphere. Don't play this on your i-pod when walking dark alleys in Brussels after midnight. Also La Musique d'Erch Zahn takes a similar approach.

Bonjour Chez Vous is a typical UZ take on Stravisky. It's quite playful, but in a twisted sort of way. Combat starts with a threatening Kobaian battle that takes turns with quieter classic chamber rock parts. La Tête Du Corbeau provides a short melancholic interplay before the Magma-inspired disturbing insanity of Triomphe Des Mouches ends the album on a high note.

Ceux Du Dehors is a diverse and inspired UZ album that shows a mature band finding their own voice after two excellent Stravinsky tribute albums. A recommended starting point for UZ.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

My Dearest Beloved Sophie,

Please pray for me, my darling. As I write you these lines, not knowing if you'll ever see them, I am in a state of such fear and bewilderment I can barely express to you, and it is only the thought of your love that keeps me from giving up.

For some time I have found myself on the floor of a room the size of which is unknown to me as it is in complete darkness. By whom and for what reason I cannot fathom nor do I remember being brought here, the only objects within reach this small notepad and pen with which I write. For several hours there was silence. It was a deep quiet, almost alive with emptiness. And then, sounds. Music. But like no music I have known. At first I couldn't even identify the instruments, such a flurry of discordant sounds that it was-- and then an oboe, a piano, and strings, percussion, and more strata of winds.

But it is an uneasy music, my dear. An ill-tempered, unstable, often disquieting thing unable to settle on any one motif or phrase, always drawn toward the most unlikely of places. And black. Black as the ink with which I write and blacker. Oh dear Sophie, this is not good song, but a shadow of reapers, a shadow that stretches on for what seems like hours if not days. Finally a rest and more familiar tones from a squeezebox, pipes, a bassdrum, and the voices of men. Men of God, but those who've turned to the beast. These were the voices of demons, my dearest. More sickening pipes and squeezeboxes of some sort, and an orchestra: bells, bassoons, violins, an organ.

Something playful now but no less ominous in tone as it too grows dark. Lord, where is this taking my soul and why have you forsaken me? The next work is hypnotic in its gruesome intent-- rhythms that jerk about most uncomfortably; military marches of a Dark Cabal; men gone over the edge; murder, chaos, and the death of love. Then a rare moment of calm with a solitary viola, weeping into the night for what has been lost, taken over by an oboe and followed by terrible things, smashing keys, screaming animals. Oh dear, dear. Will this torment ever end? I might be able to endure it If I knew it would soon all be over. But such is not my fortune.

A most wrong melody now plays over a march, ending with more unsettled energies. Distant rumbles punctured by sharp blurtings as if something is coming. I don't want to know what it is but I have little choice. Carefully it approaches, lumbering toward me getting larger with noises I cannot know; a crescendo that hurts my soul, and mistuned keyboards play in some deserted salon joined by a din of rotting flesh.

And then it stopped. And it remain stopped, and I can only hope this letter finds its way to you, my most treasured and beloved. Maybe someday we will be together again.

My deepest fidelity and affections,


Review by Dobermensch
3 stars If I was new to Univers Zero and picked this up from a shelf in a music shop I'd be squinting my eyes like a Japanese sniper for five minutes trying to decipher what on earth it says on the cover. Fancy fonts are good, but they can backfire - you have to be able to read it... Hey, wait a minute, mine's got a different sleeve from this, what's going on?

As you'd expect, after 'Heresie', this is pretty dark fare, sounding similar to the soundtrack of a Peter Cushing Hammer film as he fills beakers with poisons. The wide and varied array of instruments at hand do help enormously. Like previous releases, it's all a bit on the tuneless side, but Univers Zero are all about atmosphere of which there's plenty and I'm not about to try and topple such a lovingly crafted house of cards.

Despite it's many shortcomings, I can't find it in myself to slate 'Ceux Du Dehors'. It might not get anywhere, but at least it tries, despite the over the top theatrics. There's a fine balance between sounding sinister and sounding cheesy. Thankfully Univers Zero remain on the side of 'cool' - but it's touch and go at certain points.

The best comparison would be: King Crimson play Gothic, Chamber music. You'll do well to leave the light on if listening to this in bed - just in case shadows start flitting across the walls.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars I discovered Univers Zero somewhat late, when "Heatwave" was released, so to me the departure of Roger Trigeaux on this album was not any issue to me.

The music, like any Univers Zero album, is closer to avant garde chamber music than rock, although there are enough rock elements hidden in the pieces to merit their inclusion. And it is spectacular music. These pieces remind me somewhat of Birdsongs Of The Mesozoic, with some Danny Elfman thrown in (yes, I know UZ precedes both of these artists, that's just what the music seems like to me).

While the frenetic pace of the opening track, Dense appeals to me greatly, I find the Combat (the other twelve minute piece), is the one I return to most on this album.

For chamber-style avant prog, there is no equal to UZ.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The first post-Roger Trigaux album from Univers Zero leads off with a track entitled Dense, and that's a great description of the difference between this and Heresie - steering away from long, slow sections, the band launch themselves into a fury of complex playing which takes their chamber rock approach to amazing extremes. Triomphe Des Mouches is, strictly speaking, a single tacked onto the end of CD issues from the album, but it fits this neurotic, hyperactive approach so well that it works great as a climax to the piece; the thunderous pendulum rhythms at the conclusion bringing the album to a close in apocalyptic style.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The exploration of blending classical chamber forms with rock instrumentation and elements continues. This, Uzed's third album release, is, in my opinion, so far, the band's most diverse and accessible album.

1. "Dense" (12:26) definitely constructed to be danceable, the pacing and spacing conjure up a whole stage of pitter-patting and flitting ballet dancers. Full rock complement of drums and bass does nothing to hurt this music. In fact, it would be impossible to establish the baseline insistently frenetic pace without them. And, most surprising, is the overall Moulin Rouge feel to the music: none of the dark, somber sound and mood here. Even the slow accordion-driven section in the fifth minute retains some element of human positivity (like "rest"). The cor anglais work in the sixth minute is my favorite: I can see the solo ballerina dancing her ever-increasing expenditure of radiating energy as the instrument proceeds, with other dancers slowly rejoining on stage as the horn gives way to the rest of the returning band members. At 8:45 there is a sudden build and cut, leaving a dark, quiet, passage of ambivalent tension. This carries on for two minutes before horns and strings rejoin with a repetition of upward-climbing spirals of chords and melody notes--all occurring over the still-insistent pulsing bass lines. (22.75/25)

2. "La Corne du Bois des Pendus" (8:42) opens with an ancient feeling with hurdy gurdy/harmonium and woodwinds before monastic like wordless choir vocals join in. Reset and harmonium and reeds take another round. Round and round these two motifs go until around 3:30 strings get a pop--in the absence of the rhythm tracks. Reeds join in and then back off for solo choir "ahhs" before recorded crowd noises fill the foundational space for harmonium and strings to play some very discordant, disturbing music. At the six-minute mark church organ sweeps everything else away for a solo shot. It is then joined by oboe and viola and then bass as the music builds and peaks at the very end of the eighth minute--and stays there for the rest of the song! I am such a sucker for replications of "ancient" pre-classical musics that I find myself totally immersed in this beautiful, nostalgic song. It's like taking a walking journey through the 15th century section of Rennes or the like. (19/20)

3. "Bonjour Chez Vous" (3:52) listening to this from the year 2023 I can honestly say how little the band has changed in 30 years as this song could very easily have come off of the band's 2010 masterpiece, Clivages. (I know they went through their phase of experimenting with electronic instruments with 2042's Implosion but you know what I mean.) Here they are more upbeat than is typical of the band. The use of classically-established chamber music forms and motifs feels like a direct link to the music of 21st Century genius, Olga Podgaiskaja (Rational Diet, Five-Storey Ensemble). (8.75/10)

4. "Combat" (12:53) militaristic drums are paired up with electric bass over which reeds and strings create their unbridled chromatic chord progressions. At the one-minute mark there is suddenly a stoppage, a quiet before the impending storm, which is slowly filled by a slow-build return of the militaristic elements and accompanying idiosyncratic groups and individuals. Fascinating! In the fourth minute one can feel the coagulating esprit de corps. Amazing! (23.5/25)

5. "La Musique d'Erich Zann" (3:29) like a soundtrack to a particularly frightening scene in a F.W. Murnau film. Strings alone--and principally one violin. Very effective. (9/10)

6. "La Tete du Corbeau" (3:11) now hear is the macabre sound that I'd come to expect from Uzed! Coming from a low end ascending scale, repeated over and over, measure after measure, contrasted with another group of instruments playing minor descending melodies. Almost like a mathematical study! (9/10)

7. "Triomphe des Mouches" (5:36) tension from a sustained harmonium chord is toyed with by treated piano notes and before "Jaws"-like riff enters at the very end of the second minute. Harmonium, piano, and violins create a syncopated rhythmic fabric of music over the top of the pulsing bass instruments' notes. Interesting if different. Exaggerated breathing/groaning voices join in before a percussive bridge to more frenetic harmonium (at least two harmonia!) and piano play reach new heights of tension. The flies win! How terrifying! (8.75/10)

Total Time: 50:09

After two albums, the UZed sound and prevailing dark mood no longer come as such a shock. For some reason, I find the songs of Ceux du dehors to be the most accessible and enjoyable collection of the band's discography.

A-/five stars; a masterpiece of Avant Garde/RIO music but also a continued reminder to all prog rockers of the potentialities of their genre of music. In my opinion, Univers Zero is essential listening for all musicians proclaiming a desire to carry the torch of true progression in modern music.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars The third album by the Belgian chamber avant-rock band UNIVERS ZERO followed in the footsteps of the avant-garde ominous dread that the self-titled debut (aka "1313") and the spine-tingling "Hérésie" presented with all the stunning musical maestrohood on steroids, however CEUX DU DEHORS (translates as "Those of the Outdoors" or "The Outsiders") found inspiration from the darkened world of H.P. Lovecraft's most demented works after someone left some of his short stories in the recording studio. Much of this album revolves around those occult and darkened themes set to the musical complexity and labyrinthine avant-prog angularities that had made the band stand out from virtually the rest of the entire musical scene in the late 70s.

As with the previous two albums UNIVERS ZERO was centered around the stable quartet of Daniel Denis (drums and percussion), Guy Segers (bass, clarinet, vocals), Michel Berckmans (bassoon, oboe, English horn, vocals) and Patrick Hanappier (viola, violin, vocals) and joining the ranks were the new talent of Andy Kirk joining in on piano, harmonium, organs and vocals. In addition there are three guest musicians that spice up the album with a violin, cello and hurdy-gurdy all which prove to add some of the most haunting and blood curdling sounds that can be experienced in the world of recorded music. While the band would begin to shift their sound on the following "Uzed," CEUX DU DEHORS can be thought of as the last of a dark mythological trilogy of the band's origins only continues the journey with even more precision and skill.

While "Hérésie" explored the absolute limits of impending doom and ominous nihilism and perhaps ranks as one of the scariest sounding albums of all time, CEUX DE DEHORS starts out on a much lighter note at least towards the beginning with the almost festive "Dense" starting things out with more emphasis on fiery circuitous rhythmic drives that allow the classical chamber orchestral sounds to ping and pong and resonate in astounding tight-knit precision. The light hearted melodic flow is almost exuberant in its medieval-tinged folklore burbling to the surface. The track which is one of two that exceed the 12 minute mark (the other being "Combat") may start off as a jittery caffeinated romp but five minutes in the band revives the eerie gloomy chamber rock drones and classical minimalism that can raise the dead and then proceeds to mix the two moods together displaying an uncanny ability to juggle these opposing musical tones.

While tracks that follow "La Corne Du Bois Des Pendus" and "Bonjour Chez Vous" tend to focus on the fiery instrumental acrobats that focus on the extremities of chamber rock and classical wizardry while the album ebbs and flows through angular labyrinthine compositions that zigzag unexpectedly and utilize unorthodox tempo changes and jagged riffs that find the most jarring ways to ratchet up the tension, CEUX DU DEHORS slowly but surely drifts off into the same nightmarish musical perversity that "Hérésie" excelled at in freakish perfection. In particular the last three tracks starting with "La Musique d'Erich Zann" there is more focus on classical minimalism such as that by Philip Glass and the Krautrock motorik rhythmic drives as heard by German bands like Neu! only set to a classical orchestral performances that take a little jazz improvisation and industrial bleakness and funnel it all down into some of the most ominous hair-raising sonic terror that will never allow you to look at the bassoon and oboe in the same way. The way this track starts is like a haunted pasture with freaky imitations of sheep freaking out.

The bleakness continues with "La Tete Du Corbeau" and the closing "Triomphe des Mouches" which ends the album in utter contrast as to how it began. Perhaps these latter tracks were leftovers from the earlier sessions before the band decided to lighten things up a bit? Regardless, CEUX DU DEHORS is another amazing album by UNIVERS ZERO that displays an even more uncanny flock of bird randomness in the tight instrumental interplay and an even more unbelievable mastery of using sonic juxtapositions to create the maximum fear factory. While the album pales only in comparison to the phenomenal perfection of the first two albums and the inconsistencies of stylistic approaches that differentiate the beginning tracks from the end, it's really not that big of a deal when the music presented on every track is of this amazing caliber. On CEUX DU DEHORS, these Belgians proved that they indeed could craft the perfect soundtrack for the Dark Fantasy perversions of Lovecraft and in the process make it sound so ridiculously natural.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is my defenite favourite of the RIO-wave (Henry Cow, Fred Frith, Samla Mannas Mamma). It's dark, it's energetic and it's mysterious. The rythms are pulsating through-out the record and most of it is rather complex. The balance between the instruments are extremely satisfactory and well played. ... (read more)

Report this review (#7592) | Posted by Hammar | Sunday, March 21, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Generally seeing as their best album!More rhythmic but still played by mostly classical instruments.'Triomphe des mouches' here on CD wasn't originally issued with the original LP,but is a one-sided 7 inch issued in micro-quantity and enclosed as extra by the second issue from Recommended Records.Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#7591) | Posted by | Saturday, February 7, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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