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Sotos Platypus  album cover
3.86 | 39 ratings | 7 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. MalstrÝm - Part 1 (5:20)
2. MalstrÝm - Part 2 (4:30)
3. MalstrÝm - Part 3 (4:19)
4. MalstrÝm - Part 4 (5:01)
5. MalstrÝm - Part 5 (9:59)
6. MalstrÝm - Part 6 (7:18)
7. MalstrÝm - Part 7 (4:31)
8. Wu (27:37)

Total Time: 68:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Nicolas Cazaux / violin
- Yan Hazera / guitar, metallophone
- Nadia Leclerc / cello
- Bruno Camiade / bass
- Michael Hazera / drums, percussion

Releases information

Cuneiform 164

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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SOTOS Platypus ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SOTOS Platypus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second and final album from Sotos saw them on a new label, Cuneiform, and with a new producer, the brilliant Bob Drake (5UUs). Platypus is a big improvement on their promising but patchy debut, at least partly due to Bob Drake's production skills. The King Crimson/Magma/Present/Univers Zero influences are still in evidence, but there is a sharper sense of focus and a more distinctive compositional voice to be heard here.

The album is in two parts, beginning with the 41 minute, 7 part Malstrom. This piece could, and perhaps should, have been an album in its own right; in the good old days of vinyl it would have been about the right length for a single LP. Reviewers elsewhere have rightly pointed out that, while each of the 7 parts works well as a stand alone track, it's not immediately obvious how the pieces form a coherent whole. This is a minor quibble, however; while there may not be any great thematic unity, there is a consistent and compelling atmosphere throughout. The dynamics are much more effectively managed than on the debut album, with the acoustic/electric and quiet/loud contrasts being used to sometimes spectacular effect. There are also some electronic treatments of the instruments, but the effects are used sparingly and add to the generally brooding atmosphere. At times their influences become extremely obvious - in part 6 there is a passage which recalls Robert Fripp's one note solo on the studio version of Starless, used in a similar way to build tension - but they never fall into the trap of simply copying from the artists who inspire them.

Having crafted an album's worth of dark, atmospheric, RIO-tinged chamber rock, Sotos felt the need to add another epic, this time a 27 minute epic called Wu. Rather like the 22 minute Tango which opened their debut album, it has plenty of atmosphere but rather too little content to justify its epic proportions. It's not particularly bad, but compared with the clarity and concision demostrated for most of Malstrom it's a rather vague, formless piece which outstays its welcome. There are some powerful moments, and Michael Hazera turns in possibly his best performance to date on drums, but the piece could probably have been edited to half its length and been far more effective for it.

4 stars for this album, mainly for Malstrom. Anybody who loved the 73-74 incarnation of King Crimson will find plenty to enjoy here, and for those disappointed that Sotos broke up after this, the brothers Hazera went on to form the excellent Zaar.

Review by laplace
4 stars Like many other recent chamber-prog bands, Platypus sounds like Present playing variations on King Crimson's "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, part 1". It's up to you to decide whether that's a good thing. Personally I enjoy this album and appreciate that it can be uneventful in all the right places. 3 and a half stars from me, rounded up to 4 to give the piece a little extra push..
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is pretty close to 5 stars but as Pnoom has noted the final track keeps it from being a masterpiece. It's the first 13 minutes of that track that keep telling me not to give it 5 stars. Too much of too little if you know what i mean. I love that song from there on though.

"Malstrom" is a 41 minute suite broken down into 7 parts. Part 1 opens with experimental vocal sounds that are quickly replaced by some excellent angular guitar. Drums come crashing in to create an awesome sound. This actually reminds me of ANEKDOTEN without the mellotron of course.The violin comes in at 3 minutes. It settles down somewhat a minute later with violin leading the way. Part 2 is mellow with violin to begin with. It becomes fuller a minute in then settles back quickly. It becomes very calm after 2 minutes. Some dissonant violin to end it though. Part 3 is led out of the gate by bass and odd-metered drumming. Cello joins in as this becomes a Jazz / Zeuhl flavoured passage. I like it. Part 4 features a cool guitar line as drums then violin come ripping in. Great sound after 2 minutes of angular guitar and drums. Violin becomes more prominant late.

Part 5 gets dark and heavy before a minute.Then it slows right down only to build back up slowly. This is incredible ! Part 6 features these light intricate sounds without much else going on. Until a full sound comes in suddenly 1 1/2 minutes in. The drumming shines a minute later. A repetitve guitar line sounds cool. Violin and drums build 4 1/2 minutes in. Another incredible section. Part 7 features the metallophone in this pastoral closing passage. "Wu" is the over 27 minute closing track. As I mentioned the first 13 minutes are all about the atmosphere with no real melody until 6 1/2 minutes in when a mellow one appears. It's slow going though until the tempo starts to pick up before 13 minutes. Drums and violin lead the way to a powerful section after 16 minutes. This is where the guitar makes some glorious noise. It gets very intense 2 minutes later like it's going to blow,something has to give. Unbelieveable ! It starts to let up 21 minutes in and winds down until 2 minutes later it starts to come back to life again.

I really feel this band has more in common with KOREKYOJIN, AMYGDALA and POCHAKAITE MALKO then UNIVERS ZERO and PRESENT, although they're all connected.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I am not familiar with their debut, but this album has grown on me over time although i dont listen very often to it. Here is dominating a blend of the more atonal, dark, strictly instrumental and experimental progrock - clearly influenced by King Crimson (Wetton/Bruford era), a bit of Univers Z ... (read more)

Report this review (#1115096) | Posted by Obersturmbannprogger | Thursday, January 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Sotos is a French ensemble that published two albums. On the rock side they hold drums, bass and electric guitar. On the classical / acoustic side, there are violin and cello. No special sounds or effects here, it sounds very strait forward, but the few effects that does appear here and there, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#130386) | Posted by ShW1 | Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Chamber rock is fast becoming one of my favorite styles of progressive rock (most chamber bands can be found under the RIO/avant heading). This usually dark, often disturbing, and generally instrumental music has a unique effect on me as I listen to it. I can't describe exactly what it is I fe ... (read more)

Report this review (#115885) | Posted by Pnoom! | Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fantastic! Following the steps of Univers Zero and Present, Sotos gives ur a really deep and consistent album with two powerful masterpices: Malstrom: divided in seven parts, is a real dark and complex compositon with extraordinary performances. Raw and terrorific, and even so quiet and simpl ... (read more)

Report this review (#74366) | Posted by progadicto | Friday, April 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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