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NEGATIVE ZONE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • France


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Negative Zone biography
NEGATIVE ZONE is a young French band from Marseilles whose talent should burst out before long ! Led by the rhythm section of ECLAT (drummer Fabrice Di MONDO and bass-player Bruno RAMOUSSE) and helped by guest musicians such as MIRAGE's guitarist Stephan FORNER, the band recorded its first eponymous album in 2005, to be released on the Musea label. It starts in a surprising way with a composition that may evoke PRIMUS. A few seconds later, it is nothing but obvious: NEGATIVE ZONE stands for one of the best PINK FLOYD disciples. Every ingredient that made the formula successful in the early Seventies is here, in the "Atom Heart Mother" period: careful singing and Beatlesque vocal harmonies, mindblowing keyboards parts and unreal atmospheres, subtle guitar parts and refined acoustic sequences... Some sudden high temperatures and more experimental passages are also present.

Some hints of KING CRIMSON or MAGMA could also be sensed here and there, but the essential thing does not lie there: perfectly composed, performed and produced, NEGATIVE ZONE's music doesn't plagiarize that of anybody else. It reinvents the free and sincere views of the Seventies in a personal, fascinating, nearly bewitching way. This is a magical album, surely one of the essential works of the year !

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Musea 2005
Audio CD$17.35
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NEGATIVE ZONE discography


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3.52 | 50 ratings
Negative Zone
2005

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NEGATIVE ZONE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I was attracted by this band because of the close relation they are supposed to have with Floyd.

It takes some time to get there actually. The first three short tracks are totally useless: mostly grotesque (in the ''Grobschnitt'' sense of the term) for both ''Overture'' and ''Cats'', while ''Stack'' is a spacey electronic track with no texture, experimental.

Things get better with ''Don't Sleep'' which can be considered as the first true song from this album. The band is investigating more traditional atmospheres and the tranquil and acoustic start builds up nicely. A gentle piece of aerial music which turns into an ''Echoes'' clone for the closing section (you know, the long sidereal middle part of this gigantic epic).

If you consider that the second leg of this song is pretty decent (even vocals are OK here), you'll have about an idea of this album: here and there some well constructed music, but most of the time it sounds completely chaotic and loose (''Who We Are'').

Almost all songs (except three) are on the very short end (less than three minutes). I'm not saying that long tracks are per se better but at least it allows to develop a little more and it could have avoided to bear some old fashioned tune like ''Farewell'' (I bet you!). It is even more childish than any of the songs from ''Piper''. Floyd were pioneering with ''Piper''. Almost forty years later, ''Negative Zone'' (they opted for this name.) doesn't add any particular flavour even if the second half of a song as ''Fly Away'' is pleasant.

A later Floyd can be appreciated during the second ''long'' track from this album (just over 4'30''). ''Hold Out Your Hand'' is a typical Gilmour oriented song and features a basic structure: acoustic start which ends up into a more ''dynamic'' electric solo. The whole remains mellow but fine though.

Even if this album sounds too much of the same (''Island''), it is excellent for relaxation. So, sit back and tranquilize (''Fairy Tales''). Should there be any future for this band (they are apparently working on a second album), they should maybe concentrate in expanding their own musical ideas or dig more in the direction of the closing and title track.

I don't appreciate this album very much; just average. Five out of ten.

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars This is French progressive rock act Negative Zoneīs selftitled debut studio album. The album was released in 2005 which means that we can hope for a new release from the band in the near future ( I donīt know anything about this, itīs just a wish).

The music is very influenced by Pink Floyd. Itīs so obvious that I have to mention it right from the start of this review. So if you donīt like bands that take a lot of their ideas from other artists you should probably stay clear of Negative Zone. Personally I enjoy this release. Cats sounds like something from Piper at the Gate of Dawn while the rest of the songs sound more like something from The Dark Side of the Moon to The Wall era Pink Floyd. The biggest difference between the two bands is the the length of the songs. Where Pink Floyd excel in mostly long songs in that period ( with the exception of The wall) Negative Zone has many short tracks that donīt last more than two to three minutes each. Little pop/ rock songs with a Floydian mood. There are a few longer tracks in Donīt Sleep part I and the last song Negative Zone but none are longer than nine minutes.

The band is well playing and I especially enjoy the soft and warm keyboard sounds that are used. Again itīs hard not to think about Pink Floyd. The Gilmour like vocals are delivered with an accent and it could be a problem for some, but I think they are allright. Great harmony vocals as well. I noticed a couple of nice spacy guitar sounds that I also enjoyed. Acoustic guitars are also a big part of the sound on Negative Zone.

The production is good even though there are small things I would have done differently. Warm and pleasant.

Negative Zone is for Pink Floyd what Unifaun is for Genesis. A very well sounding clone band that are sure to please some fans of the original band who canīt get enough of anything that sounds like the masters but at the same time is sure to alienate others because of the same factors too. Negative Zone deserves a 3 star rating in my book. Iīm sure that if they wish to make more original music in the future they will be a real treat.

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Moatilliatta
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Wow! I don't think I've ever heard a band that isn't Pink Floyd sound so much like Pink Floyd. The only distinctions between Negative Zone and Pink Floyd are the different vocalists and the modern production of the former. The music sounds the same, the vocal styles are the same, the atmosphere is the same, it's crazy. While most listeners will find this striking similarity to be a problem, I don't, at least not entirely. Negative Zone may not be original or essential listening, but they do provide a set of enjoyable songs on their self-titled debut. Insatiable Pink Floyd fans may find this to be a suitable replacement for a new Pink Floyd release that will probably never come. That isn't to say that this album is on the same level as the glorious 1971-1977 Pink Floyd releases; it's definitely not as profound, provocative or powerful. But, with rich textures and atmosphere, plus a little bit of humor and flute peppered in throughout, Negative Zone is worth a listen by anyone at all interested in Pink Floyd or psychadelic/space rock music. Some may not be able to get over the sound and some just may not be captivated by it, but some will find certain pleasure.

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by silvertree
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Oh no. Yet another flagrant Pink Floyd clone or should I say 'wannabees'. It does contain original elements such as the use of a flute and some humour. However, the flute is much too rare to be interesting. The humour reminds me of the other French band called Taal. But come on, let's face it. This is just a pale copy of the original with vocals having a French accent... It's not that I don't like Pink Floyd influenced bands. I quite like RPWL and Tale but this is way too close to Pink Floyd for me to listen to it a second time. So this is going straight to the bin.

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Way too floydian to be considered a original masterpiece, but it is still enjoyable

Well, it is unquestionable that Pink Floyd's influence is very, very vast, reaching from punk rock (well, the punks hated Pink Floyd, so that IS some kind of influence nevertheless) to extreme metal, passing through pop rock, prog rock and many others only on the rock genre. This french band right here is clearly one of many band influenced by Pink Floyd, since they care to sound floydian since the very beginning of the album (well, in fact the music only REALLY starts in the second song, but who is counting?), reaching from the psychedelic rock (like the song Cats) to the long and synth dominated space rock songs (like the Don't Sleep songs and the Negative Zone song).

In fact, this is basically a vintage album that reproduces with stunning perfection the psychedelic music if the late 60's and the early 70's. However, this is, at the same time, the biggest virtue and the biggest flaw of the album: the music presented here is terrific but it is very derivative and emulative. But since the big bands of the genre, such as Pink Floyd, Eloy and Hawkwind, will not release any new albums soon or have not released a very good album is some time, Negative Zone homonym album will have to do the work for the eager fans of the space rock genre.

About the songs, musicianship and other features there are some thing i would like to state:

These french guys can sure deliver some good music on their debut, but it is not very challenging music. if you are used to this king of music you will sure like this band and there are no extremely difficult or technical parts here and, because of that, there are no display of exceptional musicianship. The lyrics are pure nonsense, just psychedelic talk.

Grade and final thoughts

Well, if like Pink Floyd and psychedelic rock in general, this album is for you. Very good music but they unfortunately emulate Floyd way too much, stopping me from giving them the 5 star grade. In fact, the 4 star grade may be considered way too generous, but i think they deserve this grade.

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Awol

3 stars The first time i've listened to NEGATIVE ZONE, i thought: well, that is pretty like PINK FLOYD!

In fact, the whole sound if floydian. I guess that the main influence comes from Dark Side Of The Moon.. From those olden times, when David Gilmour was young, and when Syd Barret was alive, and well and living in.

Cats sounds like Money. These harmonies.. It feels like they came from the past, took new clothes and are now walking beside us. And we shake our heads. Damn, we think. It is more likely Floyd!

Then NEGATIVE ZONE begins to feed us with space theme. More frustrating, than relaxing, in fact. It matters, if the whole energy of song is not.. positive? Yes. It is not positive. It is like a cold winter evening, like a gray sky.

And than comes the masterpiece, which is separated with.. something strange. Something like innuendo. And this masterpiece is Dont sleap, pt. 1. Well, we could hear the floydian influence on vocal parties, as well as on guitar minor harmonies.. It is a bit smell from Another Brick In The Wall.

Well, NEGATIVE ZONE is a very talented band. And they are good students.. And their teacher, PINK FLOYD, is great.

Good choise for all Floyd fans.

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by João Francisco

4 stars In these days I'd never expecpected a space rock album so close to a bygone reality. Not only the lyrics, not only the exelent music they made but also the great studio work that helped us to enter the "trip" they offer.

The intro of the album take us into a fantasy world that reminds Pink Floyd's early days. Exellent tracks like "Don't sleep" (part 1/2) have great power and are very beautiful, the "Farewell" is a kind of lullaby song that make anyone dream and "Negative Zone" blows everything with a great organ's intro and guitar solo in the midlle (in Atom Heart Mother style) . The Negative Zone band entered in my private top ten and they let me in a urge to wait for a next album! I give him four stars because this is a excellent addition to any prog music collection. Very good for Floyd's listeners.

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There have been a lot of bands over the years who have been described as sounding like PINK FLOYD, but I have never heard a band sound as much like PINK FLOYD as the French band NEGATIVE ZONE. And as it is apparent that PINK FLOYD won't be recording any new material any time soon (if ever), this record is just what many FLOYD fans want. Although lets face it a lot of people prefer bands who are more original if that's possible these days. This isn't eighties sounding FLOYD, this is late sixties, early seventies FLOYD. There is the psychedelic silliness found on the first two tracks that reminds me of "Pipers At The Gates Of Dawn", which for me are the weakest. It's the rest of the album for me that shines brighter.

"The Stack" is a short instrumental that is a little creepy to begin with. Lots of atmosphere while late in the song it gets chaotic and louder. "Don't Sleep Part 1" is a great track ! My favourite. Spacey synths, strummed guitar and Gilmour-like vocals. Love the organ that comes in at 3 1/2 minutes. A dead calm arrives 6 minutes in, it becomes quite haunting, and at the seven minute mark it is even MORTE MACABRE-like. "Who Are We" has a nice heavy sound. The tempo picks up as the angular guitar comes and goes.The melody stops 3 minutes in as we get lots of atmosphere to the end of the song. "Farewell" has a line in it that goes "...see you soon on the dark side of the moon". I've heard that somewhere before I think ? The song itself sounds like it came off the "Meddle' album.

"Fly Away" has a great sound to it once it kicks in. Heavy psychedelic. "Don't Sleep Part 2" has a fantastic organ intro and the vocals may be at their best here.The guitar seems to echo. This song reminds me of the band FIRST BAND FROM OUTER SPACE. "Hold Out Your Hand" is another good track, it's gentle, fragile, beautiful with Gilmour-like guitars. "Island" is similar as well, soft vocals and flute added too. The song "Negative Zone" is rather atmospheric, and it intensifies at the six minute mark with some energetic drumming and great guitar.

If your a fan of early PINK FLOYD this album was made for you !

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by x_bruce

4 stars I realize many people compare Negative Zone's self titled CD to Pink Floyd and it's ilk, and to some degree that type of sound is certainly available on this fine album. But it's roots are similar in the way a band like "Signify" era Porcupine Tree are similar to Floyd.

The areas that I find so refreshing about both band and album are the easy feel and flow it takes and how quickly the listening experience goes by. Unlike bands like RPWL, who I also enjoy but see a more tribute-like sound rather than a band that happens to make music that reminds, which to my way of thinking is a big difference.

The vocals are excellent and atmospheres work within the spacy, yet technically capable range which many bands I've paid attention to tend to over-extend. Without trying to preach, it is fairly easy to learn flashy riffs and soloing but is vastly harder to play as an ensemble while working in modern sounding arrangements that borrow only for those familiar to some of the themes and progressions older bands used and made familiar.

To me, this only says that certain ideas, no matter the performer, work well in general and if played to the quality Negative Zone plays at will always sound good. Better yet is the glimmer of the band's own style; something younger or less PF interested fans will appreciate for the quality of music and execution it is.

While not a masterpiece, I'd reccomend Negative Zone to almost any fans of rock, prog, or contemporary music. This is a wonderfully enjoyable band to listen to, filled with lots of straightforward curves in composition and easy to digest vocals and melodicly, sometimes technically oriented music.

4.5 stars!!

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 Negative Zone by NEGATIVE ZONE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.52 | 50 ratings

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Negative Zone
Negative Zone Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by hdfisch
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Not an essential work in Prog but a very good and nice album! 3 1/2 stars really!

Though being really not original nor innovative at all NEGATIVE ZONE's debut is hard to be pulled down. It's certainly a very good album, maybe even to be called excellent and a very pleasant listen but nevertheless far from being a masterpiece, at least within progressive rock and that is what we're dealing with on this site. Actually in a way it sounds almost like a musical trip through the history of Pink Floyd starting from the early psychedelic days ("Cats") to spacey gilmourish guitar lines ("Fly Away"), even Cédric Cartaut's vocals sound very similar. Just the fact that these are all really their own compositions saves them from being not more than an (admitedly) excellent cover band. Nevertheless they're carrying their influences "on the sleeve" for sure and most probably they will be always be remembered as a PF clone band later on for this. Let's hope for these guys that I'm wrong and they're going to have a brilliant future with many more good and more original releases. At least from the point of musicianship they're excellent and if they manage to find their very own self-contained style they could really become a great and essential band in progressive rock one day.

Though most probably it will not be an all-time-fav of mine (this has to be proved by the test of time) I like this album especially its second half having the much stronger tracks. But since I usually do not EVERYTHING I like necessarily with 4 or 5 stars and rather depend my decision upon the overall historical importance of an album I'm giving it "only" a 3-star rating. Moreover I've got the impression it's been slightly overrated by Floyd fans in particular.

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