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PoiL Sus album cover
4.00 | 62 ratings | 6 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sus la pera (11:58)
2. Lo potz (1:12)
3. Luses Fadas (7:07)
4. Gru Martire (6:20)
5. Chin fu (14:19)

Total time - 40:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Antoine Arnera / Keyboard, vocals
- Boris Cassone / Bass, vocals
- Guilhem Meier / Drums, vocals

Releases information

CD Dur et Doux - DD 027 (2019, France)
To be released in April 2019

Thanks to Harold Needle for the addition
and to tapfret for the last updates
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POIL Sus ratings distribution

(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

POIL Sus reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars PoiL took the extreme fringe of the avant-prog world by storm with the 2014 release "Brossaklitt" which under the more recently coined umbrella term "brutal prog" displayed the virtuosic angularity of avant-prog, the explosive bombast of punk rock, the mind melting expansion of psychedelia and the finesse of more deranged cauldrons of classical and jazz shaken n' stirred until a new elixir had formed. With a slight detour in 2018 with a collaborative effort with fellow French residents ni (emphatically in lowercase letters), the two bands released the avant-prog gem under the moniker PinioL however that was just a warm up for the next release of one of the more adventurous prog bands to have emerged in recent years.

Building on what came before, the power trio of Antoine Arnera (keyboards, vocals), Boris Cassone (bass, vocals) and Guilhem Meier (drums, vocals) return in 2019 with a suitable followup to their slightly unhinged and erratic masterpiece that came before. The succinctly titled SUS seems like a random placement of three Latin alphabet letters lined up to create a word that is the same in either direction read but it appears to be the Occitan word meaning "up, above, on, onto, over" since all the song titles themselves are in Occitan, the unofficial language of the southern region of France and parts of Spain, Italy and Monaco. BTW, the moniker PoiL itself means "skin" in French and it's apparent that it's because this music can indeed get under your skin. For some as an irritable parasite burrowing and sucking your blood or for others an injection of pure prog ecstasy.

With almost Cookie Monster-esque google eyes, the cover art wastes no time standing out amongst the music world even during these days where thousands of new releases hit the market seemingly daily but PoiL always has and apparently will continue to go above and beyond the call of duty in creating evocative and excessively idiosyncratic sounds and styles that evoke the zaniness of Zappa, the heavy hitting intensity of The Flying Luttenbachers, the wily electronic keyboard wizardry of, well i don't know! and the avant-prog angularity of the wild and weird world of Univers Zero, Art Zoyd and all the really out there bands. Melding this altogether SUS delivers another healthy dose of brutal prog NOT for the masses! SUS contains 5 tracks, 2 of which exceed 11 minutes ("Sus La Pera") and 14 ("Chin Fu") respectively with there three shorter tracks making up the creamy filling.

Despite the avant-weirdness run amok, PoiL succeeds in not producing a "Brossaklitt 2" and instead constructed a suitable followup that continues all the extremes while crafting a completely new methodology for throwing it all together. The results of which is yet another successful mastery of the most extreme elements of prog. "Sus La Pera" gently takes your hand into the turbulent sonic forces at work and nudges you along with enough melodic construct to keep you from running away screaming but chaos lurks beyond as the track develops and unleashes the monstrous progginess that churns out highly angular riffing prowess with guitars and keyboards duking it out for total domination. The bass and drums that provide the rhythm section often blur in the midst of the popcorn popper effect of ending. Oh yeah, PoiL is back!

After the rather chaotic closing sonic attack of the opener, "Lo Potz" attempts to calm the listener down with vocal chants that constitute the shortest track of just over a minute's run and "Luses Fadas" continues the monotones almost droning flow with the oscillating vocals spilling over with keys slowly building up the tension. Once established the vocal familiarity of "Brossaklitt" kicks in and the pulsating rhythms, off-kilter key / bass / drum counterpoints only jump into overdrive. These two tracks display the sudden affinity with the mixture of Occitan poetic polyphony, Renaissance classical types of constructs and keen sense of the unexpected. "Gre Martire" steps up the heaviness with brutal time signature lambasting, screeching distortion and more contemplations of what it would sound like if a monetary of chanting monks decided to all trip on LSD during choir practice.

One of the distinguishing features of SUS that separates it from the past PoiL offerings is that the tracks on SUS all flow together as the vocals and melodies connect them while other elements evolve into different variations. The grand finale "Chin Fu" continues the tripping monk chants but then develops into a bass laden groove with the keyboards getting all frisky and performing noisy antics that generates a free flowing jam for several minutes. About half way through it becomes just plain weird as it generates an avant-groove, hypnotic sound effects and ethereal atmospheric constructs before bursting into a bass and guitar heavy riffing pummelation which continues on for several minutes, adds more intensity and creates the most brutal aspects of prog allowed by law.

As good as SUS is, it does lack the variety and perfect flow of its predecessor. Something about "Brossaklitt" resonated perfectly to my ears as every element was laid out in its suitable place to usher in the next. SUS is much more chaotic and random feeling as the emphasis seems to be more on an improv and jam oriented bombast that takes lengthy grooves and riffs and augments their freakiness with as much weirdness as possible. The time signatures are off the chart on this one. If you seek a highly bombastic dose of brutal avant-prog look no further than PoiL's SUS. It delivers on all accounts and i admire that they created another completely unhinged wacky album that didn't just copy what came before but for my tastes, this one just doesn't meet the perfection of "Brossklitt." Will we have to wait another five years for the next album? I sure hope not. Even though this doesn't top the last album doesn't mean i don't love the heck out of it.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Let me say, sounds like they always play authentic, acceptable avantgarde progressive filled with wit, and such an authenticity has been justified perfectly also via their newest album "Sus" released in April 2019. Regardless of their ludicrous, nasty appearance (sorry), their musical diversity and variation - like joke, sarcasm, irony, seriousness, sincerity, or humanism - can be heard all around the creation. And amazingly their various elements above mentioned is not put in fragments but unified with other ones. Their attitude to construct one musical collective with lots of sound approaches should be certificated through every album they've released. Ah of course, I do not say kinda difficult methodological issue but that they play in a pleasant, enjoyable manner. That's all for them. ;)

They create everything they can create without hesitation. Listen to such a contorted, dissected sound explosion with artfully stabilized music balance in the opening track "Sus La Pe'ra". The very first tip reminds you of tech / extreme metallic polarity, that belongs to their extensive soundscape definitely. Beautiful melody lines here and there amongst violent sound / noise structures, or mellow chorus with meaningless phrases, should be fantastic too. In "Luses Fadas" you can hear something like boiling melodic anxiety beneath the sea, but in front of their funky performance. Such a unique song should be enjoyed upon a gig, I think strongly.

"Gr'u Martire" is one of the most complex tracks in this album and slight psychedelic moments tinged with Krautrock- ish flavour can be found here and there ... it's apparently of comfort. Their sound essence notifies you of much more attraction as the audience. The longest epilogue "Chin F'u" is greatly seasoned with ethnic spice and complicated rhythmic basis. Aggressively destroyed melodic phrases and sticky repetitive mass of notes can be mysteriously digested into our inner brain in a normalized, naturalized way. You cannot dance nor do headbanging to the music needless to say, but their weird work sounds not weird but addictive. That is the reason they play every material without any suffering from production.

Guess I've mentioned everywhere but again said that I wish I could attend their gig in Lyon or ... Japan. Seriously.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars PoiL is this off the wall RIO/Avant Prog band from France that was founded in 2005 The band was founded by Antoine Arnera (keyboards, voices), Boris Cassone (bass, voices), and Guihem Meier (drums, voices). "Sus" is the band's 4th album, released in April of 2019. The album consists of 5 tracks with a total run time of just short of 41 minutes.

"Sus la peira" starts things off with an obvious melodic element that actually stays down to earth for a few minutes before things quiet a bit and then odd layered vocals come in and things move to a definite art rock style, with ever-changing mood swings and meter shifts. Thematic elements come and go, and these are presented by all three band members, not just leaving it all up to the keyboards, but allowing the crazy bass to lead at times, and the drums also churn out mad rhythmic patterns When vocals come back the 2nd time, the vocalizations are kooky and then real chaotic punk attitude comes in with every instrument going wild, but still actually improvising around a single thematic element.

"Lo potz" is basically an acapella track with the three members singing in harmony, with some interesting intervals. This is quite short. "Luses Fades" follows and begins with a tense and warbling sound created by all three members including processed vocal sounds. Soon, the voices and the instruments start playing against each other, then the instruments are allowed to play on in a progressive and complex manner. Vocal harmonies return from time to time in their odd and humorous ways. At times things go quite chaotic and at others you get an avant-garde style jazz sound. Don't rely on things to stabilize for too long or even settle on a single texture or melody for any length of time, it's all just crazy, yet well thought out musical escapades. Even with no guitar, per se, the bass seems to create sounds that make you think there is a fourth member as he sometimes plays it like a regular electric guitar.

"Greu Martire" starts off quite dissonant and loud, immediately just immersing you in a harsh and abrasive musical collage that seems to have no melodical values except for a quick riff that keeps repeating. Things finally quiet down a bit as dissonant harmonies and contradicting melodic lines swirl around. Soon the harsh music starts again with only short interruptions, usually involving strange vocal harmonies. All of the tracks are inaccessible, but this one is the harshest of them all.

The last track "Chin fou" is the longest at over 14 minutes. An atmospheric drone takes you into a darker space, and chanting vocals that revolve around single harmonized notes keep things mysterious. Tempo speeds up a bit later as a start/stop instrumentation backs up more melodious vocals and these sounds clash quite effectively. After 2 minutes, things settle in to an improvised synth solo based around a middle Eastern dance style, but very staccato and jumping around in crazy intervals. This track actually takes on more of a melodic feel, especially in the vocal lines. Don't expect it to be accessible however, it's still quite quirky. Later, there is a strange sound that sounds like a singing cow, but the theme ascends for a while, then suddenly turns to a thick and heavy riff that drives the track in a direction that sounds like Primus on acid, except the synths are involved again. Even later on in the track, the band follows a strange chord progression that is led by repetitive notes from the keyboards, then we return to the quirkiness of it all again.

The overall sound of this album is quite harsh and brutal. It is definitely avant-prog and not meant to be accessible. The sound is quite relentless in it's inaccessibility, there isn't anything here you should expect to hear in the local grocery store anytime soon. The "words" in this music (and the titles) are in Occitan which is a regional dialect, an odd mixture of French, Spanish and Italian. The music is quite technical and brilliant, however, the one flaw that this album has can be in its heaviness. Just because it is avant-prog doesn't mean that it can't still have some softer sides. But that doesn't take away the fact that the music is still enjoyable and brilliant, just a little variety could have made it rise to the next level.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Following from their coming together with ni in 2018 as PiNioL, 2019 saw both bands independently releasing new albums. For PoiL that meant their fourth studio album, 'Sus', which was the first since 2014's 'BrossaKlitt'. The line-up is of course the same as it has been throughout their history, namely Antoine Arnera (keyboards, vocals), Boris Cassone (bass, vocals) and Guilhem Meier (drums, vocals). I have often felt that in terms of having no place to hide, trios are the perfect combination, in that each musician needs to have major chops, and be ready to take on the lead or support their companions at any moment. A really good trio stands out due to the innate ability of each musician to do this at all times, and it perhaps is no surprise that very few trios have managed to reach the heights of quartets.

In PoiL we have three guys who are taking pronk into new areas, mixing the punkish approach of bands like Cardiacs with the eclecticism of King Crimson, and then throwing in krautrock and Art Zoyd to create something which is aggressive and attacking the listener. I have seen the term brutal prog being used to describe PoiL, and while we already have more than enough sub genres around, I fully understand where that term comes from. This music is ferocious, and there are times when the listener really does feel under siege as the drums crash all over the place, the bass is there in the mix threatening anyone who comes near and then the organ is equally strident. Compare this ferociousness with the a capella harmonious "La Potz", and the listener's brain literally starts to explode. Dangerous and aggressive music always needs contrast, something which many bands don't ever manage to really understand, but to understand the dark we need to know the light, and to really get the impression of anger we need the kindness, and with the smooth comes the sharp. PoiL do not need to have this explained to them, and have no problem with mixing all these styles together to create something which is compelling and inviting while also attempting to frighten the listener away.

When it comes to avant prog there are few creating music as important and dynamic as PoiL.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I've written before of France's unique place in the world of progressive rock. Of the countries with distinct national sounds, theirs has always been the most unashamedly weird, fusing progressive rock with jazz and avant-garde music. Zeuhl was an almost-exclusively-French genre for the first twenty ... (read more)

Report this review (#2903116) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Friday, March 31, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been alive in this world for over twenty two years now, and in all my life up to this point, never was I so frantically happy and anticipative about any upcoming album by any band. I was waiting for Sus to come out ever since I've heard the first news about its existance, and frankly, I was ... (read more)

Report this review (#2183302) | Posted by Harold Needle | Monday, April 15, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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