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YOG SOTHOTH

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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Yog Sothoth biography
Not to be confused with the Shub-Niggurath song with the same name as this band, still they sound quite like them. Yog Sothoth was a dark and brooding quintet heading from France which consisted of Pascal Morrow (violin), Philippe Guillot (saxophones, flute), Jean-Yves Joron (keyboards), Pierre-Gedeon Monteil (bass) and Olivier Lechien (drums). Their sound easily reminds of bands like Shub Niggurath, Vortex and Art Zoyd with a very dominant Jazz edge to their music that borderlines Zeuhl terretory at times. Their self titled debut album, released in 1984, never got much attention after the band disbanded around the same time but should definitely be heard by any enthusiast of the mentioned bands since Avantgarde Jazz and Chamber Rock are common elements in this release. Not easy listening but incredibly rewarding nevertheless!

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4.43 | 13 ratings
Yog Sothoth
1984

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YOG SOTHOTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Yog Sothoth by YOG SOTHOTH album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.43 | 13 ratings

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Yog Sothoth
Yog Sothoth RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I must admit that my focus during my first two spins of this album were in comparing their sound to SHUB NIGGURATH. After the comparisons I just listened to the music and my appreciation grew with each subsequent spin. These guys weren't nearly as dark or classical as SHUB NIGGURATH but I do hear similarities. This has more of a jazzy side, even Free Jazz at times, with some brief Classical moments but above all this is Avant music without a doubt. They were a five piece band out of France including violin, flute and sax with some guest trombone and female vocal expressions. The best thing is that this was released in 1984 a rather bleak time for Prog.

We get just three tracks starting with the 18 minute opener called "Nekrosis". The wind is blowing as an ominous atmosphere takes over then we get some solemn sax and trombone drones. it turns upbeat with keyboards, drums, bass, sax and violin. Things get jazzy after 2 minutes especially the bass as piano, cymbals and horns help out. That jazzy section lasts until we get a drum solo 4 minutes in then a minute later it turns Classical with lots of wind instruments. We get some solo mournful violin expressions before 7 1/2 minutes and it stops after 8 1/2 minutes as a new soundscape takes over of horns, bass and cymbals. The jazzy bass is back 10 minutes in as it walks with electric piano, sax and drums helping out. The horns are dissonant at times then a new section takes over after 11 1/2 minutes with synths leading. Very cool. Honking horns arrive 13 minutes in with cymbals and bass as the synths continue. The violin is back 14 minutes in with growly bass and a beat as the horns and synths stop. The horns are back before 15 1/2 minutes then it settles with a melancholic vibe with violin, horns and drums standing out to the end.

"Maint Reve Vesperal Blule Par Le Phenix" is the closing track on side one and the shortest tune by far at 5 minutes. Faint sounds build, it's fuzzy sounding. The violin comes to the fore then honking sax before bass and clashing cymbals help out. It's dark with vocal expressions as well. Discordant piano follows before her vocals get crazy and creepy. Such an Avant piece.

"Fou: L'art Noir" fills side two at over 22 minutes. Piano melodies to start as drums join in along with bass as the piano continues. Sax after 2 minutes then violin as well. It turns insane, very avant before 3 minutes. Pretty much a silent calm takes over 5 1/2 minutes in then it turns dark with sparse sounds and female vocal melodies. Creepy stuff, then it kicks back in around 10 minutes in with violin over top of the jazzy soundscape. He starts to rip it up on the violin then we get some screams and insanity before 12 minutes. Man this is experimental until around 13 minutes when it turns dark and haunting. Sax 15 minutes in signal a change along with more creepy vocal melodies. Vocals to the fore before 16 1/2 minutes then she stops as the violin kicks in a minute later. Dissonant horns and piano follow a minute later with random drum patterns. Bass too until before 18 1/2 minutes when we can hear people talking and yelling. Piano, sax and a beat take over along with violin to the end.

This is such an innovative album that ticks many of the boxes that makes adventerous music so important to me. A must!

 Yog Sothoth by YOG SOTHOTH album cover Studio Album, 1984
4.43 | 13 ratings

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Yog Sothoth
Yog Sothoth RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Just like Shub-Niggurath, Yog Sothoth was a French avant-prog ensemble bearing both the name of a Lovecraft monstrous character and a penchant for the preservation of chamber-rock in the 80s. It is a pity that Yog Sothoth could only release one single album, since their music is tremendously good, prominently based on somber and dark moods full of neurotic vibes and provided with a pertinent dose of aggressiveness: all in all, the sonic focus is versatile enough as to give room for a noticeable amount of free-jazz developments and agile extra colors. In this way, Yog Sothoth seems to lean closer to DŁn than to the aforementioned Shub-Niggurath, although from a deeper perspective, Yog Sothoth keeps a clear peculiarity amidst the standards of RIO. With two long tracks and a third one that goes around the 5 minute mark, the band enjoys the expanded rooms and takes advantage of them in order to confidently explore the potential intensity of the motifs. 'Nekrosis' fills the album's first 18 minutes, getting started with a brief, ceremonious fanfare of sax and trombone, and then moving on through a dynamic display of a distinct motif, grayish and playful at the same time. Along the way, the piece absorbs a diversity of tonalities that range from the extroverted to the mysterious, and from the intense to the subtle. A special mention has to go for the incendiary violin solo that shines with a bizarre light, and the same goes for the weird tenor sax solo that is featured during a free-jazz section. There are some jazzy sections that, strangely enough, may remind us of the Canterbury-style dynamics, but then comes a section heavily rooted in the zheul thing, featuring a synth solo that mixes the cosmic and the wild. Shortly before the 14 minute mark, the band starts a gradual development of the climax, whose coda ends on an eerily lyrical note. 'Maint Reve Vesperal Blule par le Phenix' closes down the album's first half in an exercise on Dadaistic chaos, pretty much related to the challenging formlessness of musique concrete. The album's second half is totally occupied by 'Fou: L' Art Noir', undoubtedly the most monumental piece in the album. Starting with dense flows on piano soon joined by the drum kit and a distorted bass guitar, the installation of a jazzy chamber-rock motif sets things for the whole ensemble. A few seonds short of the 10 minute mark, things get pulsating in a zheul kind of way: the frontally dissonant violin solo brings a solid contrast against the warm (while still experimental) bass lines. This particular section ends with a chaotic frenzy, giving way successively to a very different section, a languid one full of cosmic nuances. The opaque mood is very convenient to convey a sensation of being kept at distance from a mysterious thing that never seems to show off. With the emergences of a violin-flute duet and a stunning vocal solo (performed by guest Cathy Camilleri), the stage is set for another jazz-dominated section. The presence of conversations augments the free-form feel that rules this section. The last passage is lead by a violin-sax duet that is very reminiscent of "1313"-era Univers Zero (the first 2 albums). Without equaling the sinister majesty of Univers Zero or Shub-Niggurath, and also without matching the graceful finesse of DŁn, nevertheless, Yog Sothoth deserves real attention from fans of avant-prog all over the world.

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