Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Vangelis Soil Festivities album cover
3.46 | 93 ratings | 10 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Movement 1 (18:32)
2. Movement 2 (6:20)
3. Movement 3 (6:10)
4. Movement 4 (9:57)
5. Movement 5 (7:20)

Total Time: 48:21

Line-up / Musicians

- Evangelos Papathanassiou / performer, arranger & producer

Note: The actual instrumentation was not available at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Alwyn Clayden

LP Polydor ‎- POLH 11 (1984, UK)

CD Polydor ‎- 823 396-2 (1984, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy VANGELIS Soil Festivities Music

More places to buy VANGELIS music online

VANGELIS Soil Festivities ratings distribution

(93 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

VANGELIS Soil Festivities reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by soundsweird
2 stars This album impressed me when I first bought it; it sounded a bit different, and I thought that there was an edge to it that was lacking before. As years went by, though, each piece seemed unfocused, too repetitious, or just plain unoriginal. I'm sure that someone who owned only this album by Vangelis would find it wonderfully creative, but I've already got over a dozen (plus the Aphrodite's Child stuff). By this time, I was ready for Vangelis to do something new, which soon happened with "Invisible Connections".
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Soil festivities has the making of a great piece of work but loses itself on not being unique in any clearly defined way. Don't get me wrong I like it quite a lot all the movements are strong particularly part four and five but there is a diluted ' feel' to the album which perhaps is just me missing something. There are many excellent albums by Vangelis, personally SF just does not quite make it as an overall work. For collectors only definitely.
Review by richardh
3 stars Now this is Vangelis doing ''new age'' ! ..and doing it extremely well.I have to admit I like a lot of new age stuff..strap on the haadphones, relax back in your sofa and let the music take you away..Then you wake up!! OK by many peoples definitions this is boring BUT Vangelis is so talented that you must not ignore any of his music.This is still very good of its kind.Undemanding and atmospheric music that creates a pleasant ambience.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Soil festivities" sounds a bit like the "Mask" album: it was just made the year before "Mask". The loaded & floating keyboards are often echoed, giving a feeling of grandeur to the whole. The rhythm (low frequency synth notes) is slow, but many times changing.

My favorite track is "Movement 4", which takes all its time to reveal all its majestic power in the form of apocalyptic & floating streams of keyboards. "Movement 4" sounds like "Mask" and I really appreciate it! "Movement 5" is very symphonic and dynamic. If you like "Mask", then you should at least like some bits on this record. But I really prefer "Mask", because it has the mythological & religious dimension that is not really present here.

Review by Matti
4 stars I guess this is closest to ambient that VANGELIS ever came. To some degree I'm fond of this album, partly because it has memory links to my first love, and yet it has never been among my biggest favourites by VANGELIS. It was actually the first and second movements only that I taped long ago. Now I'm listening to the whole album again and I like also movements 4 and 5. Still the 3rd one doesn't turn me on: a bit chaotic flights of synths and percussion. What I always liked most about Soil Festivities - or the long 1st movement to be exact - is the strong image of moist and lively worlds of microcosmos, the creatures in the soil. Consider the sleeve pictures and the album title: that secret world is the theme, the inspiration, for this album. Only I'm not so sure if the image remains as strong on all movements.

1st movement (18:32): the repetitious, pulsative synth background with various sharper synth sounds functions really meditatively to the concentrating listener. It's not quite like any other music by VANGELIS but to me one of his best pieces. The sound effects of rain may not be very original but they fit perfectly. The 2nd movement (6:20) has more or less similar pulsative nature. It is slower, calmer and not so strong in evoking images, but its wailing synth melodies are equally beautiful.

4th movement (9:57): yes, it reminds of Mask, the next album, and is among the highlights. And the 5th movement (7:20) could be described as the most symphonic and triumphant one. How on earth I originally missed these two great movements? I recommend this album to those who enjoy ambient music with an orientation to evoke inner images. Especially if you find the theme, the microcosmos of the soil, interesting, check it out! 3½ stars.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I bought this album as soon as it was released and initially I disliked it. I was hoping to find a symphonic prog masterpiece like Heaven and Hell and I was very disappointed with this tendentially newage album. In addition to this, the same year I saw him live in one of the worst improvised concerts I've ever seen, even if the landscape of the Caracalla ruins in Rome was very impressive. I was about to quit with Vangelis that year.

I resisted and gave more spins to this album. It was not bad. Only different from what I was looking for in that specific moment. A bit more fantasy in the choice of the tracks titles whould have been appreciated, in any case.

"Movement one" is long as an epic, but it has little variations. It's more like a Krautrock or space rock track. Just some more melodic than what Edgar Froese was used to do. Some sounds remind to the OST of Blade Runner, but there are some sounds that are typical of Vangelis and can remind to any of his works. It flows very softly. Many people is used to define Vangelis as a newage artist, but try to add a Mediterranean touch to Tangerine Dream and you'll have a description of his music in this period. Don't confuse "Mediterranean" with "Sunshine" It can be wintertime in Greece too, and this is music for a rainy day, stigmatized by thunders and rain in the final part of the suite. This is likely the reason why he started to be considered a newage artist, but the use of Nature's sounds doesn't always mean newage. Is Edgar Froese debut newage?

"Movement two" is based on the same tempo, but the sound that gives the tempo is different. The melody is provided by a "violin" (It's everything made by keyboards, but speaking of violin takes less than writing "sound of violin"). Whenever the chord changes, the passage is never trivial. Again a good piece of space music.

"Movement three" Starts darker than the previous two tracks. There are echoes of "China" in the use of percussions (same as violin, of course), but this really reminds to Albedo 0.31, in particular to "Nucleogenesis". This can't be called newage in any way. It's dark space rock. Some bells remind to the Hell section of Heaven and Hell, too. At around minute 4, the rhythmless dark sounds give room to an orchestral part, still chaotic which ends inaspectately with major chords in the best Vangelis tradition before going back to the darkness and fading out.

"Movement Four" Starts with four Xylophone(same as violin and percussions) notes on which a flute-like sound blows the tune. The variations here are given by the percussions. This is quite a dark version of "Alpha"(Albedo 0.39). Then the pitch starts to change and the passages are used to introduce a symphonic element. It happens three times, then the track is back to the original mood. Now other than percussions we have fender piano, fretless bass and octavine (all championed, of course). An hypnotic track.

Finally, "Movement Five". It's not chaotic as Nucleogenesis but it looks like an improvised track (even if you can't never say with Vangelis). It's very hard to describe as it changes several times and alternates melodic and chaotic parts very frequently, The result is a sort of springtime after all the dark winter days of the first four movements.

I suggest this album to Space Rock and Krautrock fans. Many people considers Vangelis newage probably for his most melodic soundtracks, but this album is not the case.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars After the release of the excellent «Antarctica », Vangelis explores more into the new age territories with this very quiet « Soil Festivities ».

The album is divided into five movements, but it might as well be considered as one long and single track. The whole album is very repetitive and sounds as a very similar stuff from start to finish. There are some fine experimentations and sonic landscapes but I would have liked some more grandeur in the style.

You have been warned: don't expect anything ą la "Antarctica" or you might be disappointed. This album is quite daring and definitely explores less commercial ways than several of its predecessor. At times, it is fine to see that an artist is willing to take some risks and avoids some routine work.

Still, this is quite a different album in the whole of the artist's career. It is not my fave but I it is interesting enough to rate it with three stars.

Latest members reviews

3 stars One of two albums released in the same year. With all the soundtracks and collaborations with Jon Anderson, it is good to hear some pure Vangelis. As usual, this one is very different from its predecessors, yet reminiscent of many of them. There is a greater sense of unity in this recording ... (read more)

Report this review (#292772) | Posted by Progosopher | Friday, July 30, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is my 'Desert Island Disk'. From the moment I heard it I knew it was special. Over twenty years later and its even more so, not just for sentimental reasons, but also because I have found out a little about Vangelis in the mean time and now know that this, like so many of his other albums ... (read more)

Report this review (#68875) | Posted by | Thursday, February 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I followed Vangelis' career closely back in those days, and I had every single one of his albums. By the time 'Soil Festivities' was released I was into lots of other stuff, but this album brought me right back home. Like all of Vangelis' music, it really drives the imagination, but because of h ... (read more)

Report this review (#34774) | Posted by | Saturday, May 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of VANGELIS "Soil Festivities"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.