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DEYSS

Neo-Prog • Switzerland


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Deyss biography
DEYSS is a Swiss band that has a good elaborate sound, but sadly lacks of originality, they took the label to the extreme and tried to be a book case of Neo Prog playing in the style of GENESIS and MARILLION, to the point that the vocalist's artistic name is "Jester", but don't expect him sounding remotely as Fish or much less to Peter Gabriel..

Their sound is based in a massive use of lush keyboards with the classical sound of the 80's that reminds me of Jan Hammer in Miami Vice trying to play like Tony Banks.

DEYSS started playing in clubs of the French Switzerland during the late 70's, after several years of performing they found a stable line-up that included Giovanni De-Vita (Fender Stratocaster, Kramer Pacer Series, Roland GR 700 guitar synthetizer and Bouzouki), Patrick Dubuis (Wall Custum Bass, Rickenbaker 4001, Moog taurus bass pedals), Paul Reber (Roland GR 700 guitar synthetizer, Moog Taurus bass pedals) and Giustino Salvati (Godwin CS 444 organ, Prophet 5, Emulator 1, Roland JX8P, Korg Polysix, Minimoog, Moog, Korg MS 20, Crumar Performer and Roland Vocoder SVC 355).

Sounds impressive but they are not, but if you notice, they don't have a drummer, not even in the guests and of course the awful drums machines are credited in their debut album "At-King" which a more than casual similarity with "Script of a Jester's Tear", this album was released in 1985.

For their second release "Visions in the Dark" (1987), they recruit "Jester" as vocalist and a real drummer called Francois Bauer, but still they keep using the Linn Drum Machine.

Despite it's not a great album, you can see an improvement, some dark atmospheres a la Hackett played by the new acoustic guitarist Patrick Heimburger and Givanni Ce Vita make this album much more listenable, but still they haven't found an original sound to call their own,

Three years later with the new millennium DEYSS releases their third and last album "The Dragonfly from the Sun" in which they seem to have learned to deal with the influences instead of almost cloning them, you can listen hints of PINK FLOYD, CAMEL, KING CRIMSON, etc; but the sound is pretty original and very well developed, this album deserves to be listened.

After that, little is known about them, seems they had a web page but it has vanished, so I don't think we'll be hearing more from DEYSS and it's a shame because they were starting to be a great band.

If you're a MARILLION die-hard fan,...
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Buy DEYSS Music


Vision In The DarkVision In The Dark
Import
Musea 1987
Audio CD$15.99
$9.00 (used)
Dragonfly From the SunDragonfly From the Sun
Import
Musea Records France 2006
Audio CD$79.75
$24.44 (used)
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DEYSS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DEYSS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.01 | 27 ratings
At-King
1985
3.20 | 30 ratings
Visions in the Dark
1987
2.31 | 7 ratings
The Dragonfly From The Sun
2000

DEYSS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DEYSS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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DEYSS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Visions in the Dark by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.20 | 30 ratings

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Visions in the Dark
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

4 stars Deyss's debut received critics, ranging from mediocre to even laughable thoughts and propably this was a good reason for the group to move on to corrective actions.They recruited a regular drummer named Francois Bauer and a new vocalist entered the band, mysteriously hidden under the pseudonym Jester.In November 86' the rebuilt Deyss line-up entered the Relief Studios in Belfaux to record their second work, which was finished three months later and released privately as double-vinyl and CD pressings.

Deyss had taken their lesson and the new album is extraordinary MARILION-esque Neo Prog, this time with a great vocalist, having his own identity, amd some pretty solid musicianship, containg symphonic touches and memorable melodies.Despite the presence of two guitarists the sound still is keyboard-dominated with Slavati strengthen his flashy synthesizers with frequent moves on Hammond B3 and Mellotron.The overall style is extremely British-influenced with ABEL GANZ, IQ and of course MARILLION stylings throughout, from the nervous synth passages to the melodic and striking guitar solos.The tracks move from atmospheric parts with multi-layered keyboards to great guitar-based textures, including Jester's very good vocals somewhere in the middle.The same stands for the sound, which goes from emphatic, symphonic and dynamic movements to laid-back and more lyrical moments.A couple of nice ballads are thrown in for good measure, far from the cheesy offerings of ''At-king'' and keeping much of the artistic style of the group.The 17-min. title track epitomizes Deyss' mature playing, switching from intricate and rich instrumental parts to more melodic and sensitive soundscapes, definitely among the great pieces of 80's Classic-styled Progressive Rock.

The same year the band put out the picture disc compilation ''For your eyes only'', pressed in the limited number of 1,000 copies, but this meant to be also the farewell offering by Deyss, that seemed to have been stabilized under the new core.Nevertheless, ''Visions in the dark'' is an excellent album of Neo/Symphonic Prog with some fine melodies, superb keyboard work and pretty great vocals.Highly recommended.

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 Visions in the Dark by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.20 | 30 ratings

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Visions in the Dark
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by ProgLine

4 stars I still love this album even 25 years after discovering it. And that's the problem for the "newbies" who are used with modern production : It sounds like most of self production from that area. Back in 1987, 'Vision of the dark' was considered as one of the 'Album of the year' amongst the few remaining progfans and it's still the case. The cover paintings show a strong reference to Marillion (as well as singer's name : Jester) but i, a musical point of view Deyss are closer to IQ's Tales from the lush attic (Mainly in the last track with long instrumental parts). So back in 1987, I would have given 4.5 stars but 3.5 according to 2012 standards...

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 Visions in the Dark by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.20 | 30 ratings

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Visions in the Dark
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Neo prog band Deyss formed in early '80's is the swiss answer to Marillion and IQ in musical terms. Influenced by such bands they release in the mid to late '80's two albums, first in 1985 and second and their best two years later in 1987 named Visions in the dark. Well, to me this release is a pleasent one from start to finish, I have nothing to complain, maybe some variety in the arrangements were better to be, otherwise the album is played in good neo prog tradition. The new voice of Jester is better then on previous album, the music has improved aswell and here are some excellent passages that almost every neo prog fan can appreciate. Take yourself back, The Crazy Life Of Mister Tale and Fifteenth Century Fox are worthy examples of great neo prog with lush keyboards and good guitar work. The ending track , Visons in the dark , the longest tune of the album clocking around 18 min divided in small little pieces is another good one from the band where all musicians tries and I think succeded to come with some intresting passages. All in all I don't know why is so bad treated this release, to me is a good towards great neo prog, ok is not original but has some really good moments. Fans of Marillion, IQ, Abel Ganz , danish Zaragon can take some spins, I think worth the time. The album was re released on CD by Musea in 1995. Excellent gatefold cover.3.5 stars rounded up to 4, and aswell one of my fav albums ever not only from neo prog zone.

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 At-King by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.01 | 27 ratings

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At-King
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 2.5 stars, really. Well, we all know how influential Marillion has become over the years, which is quite ironic, since they were themselves labeled as ´Genesis-clones´ with no originality when the general press critics first heard them. History proved them wrong, but I was quite surprised to realise that they were already being themselves cloned as early as 1985. When I saw the cover of this CD I knew it should be something in the vein of Fish era Marillion, and I was right. So originality was not Deyss forte. However, if it is good, I tend to forget this point. I like bands that plays in the same mold as Marillion, like that one from Canada, Red Sand.

At-King however, is more promising than really good, although they do have some nice stuff. The short intro The Meeting Of The Lords is a good introduction that, unfortunatly, leads to the weakest momento of the whole CD, the popish Turning Night Into Day. Not a bad song per se, but the very 80´s sounding eletronic drums and the chessy keyboards timbres are too dated to be effective. The very good guitar parts can´t save the day with this one. The singer´s voice is little too boyish here (maybe trying to sound like Jon Anderson instead of Peter Gabriel?). Unlike one reviewer wrote, the vocalist on this album is Patrick Fragnere, a guest, and not the one called Jester, who would join the band by the time they released their second CD.

Things get a lot better with After And After, a very nice prog ballad that works quite well all the way through (excellent keys and guitar). The next two songs are just short instrumental tracks tha again show how good Giovanni De-Vita (guitar) is, but ultimately are just sound like introductions to something that never comes. The last tune (yes, this is a very short CD, running at only 33 minutes) is their very best, the title track of the album is surely the longest and the most interesting of the lot: lots of tempo changes, mood swings, strong solos, tasteful arrangements and convincing perfomances of all involved. Great song! It really made me give the added half star in my rating.

All in all not a bad CD. Quite promising in fact, but it is highly derivative too. I´m curious about its follow ups. If you love the early 80´s neo prog scene in general, and Marillion in particular, you shold check this out.

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 At-King by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.01 | 27 ratings

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At-King
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by Aragon

3 stars mmm low rating. Ok it's not a masterpiece for sure...but there are good ideas here that can't be ignored. This album is 100 % accessible with catchy melodies, nice chorus, and instrumental songs, but also nice keyboards solos, the style remember me some single from Pendragon, and it's a blend of new wave and simple neo progressive. There are weak moments like the instrumental composition and the new wave song "Turning night in the day", poorly arranged. Than what does remain of good of this album? The last track "At king" is a good piece of progressive rock long structured, with beautiful guitar and keyboards passage and solos, and "after and after" is good too with a memorable chorus. 3 poor stars, recommended just to lovers of '80 era.

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 Visions in the Dark by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.20 | 30 ratings

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Visions in the Dark
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

2 stars DEYSS were a Neo-Prog band out of Switzerland and this is their second and apparently best release from 1987.They are very much in the GENESIS / MARILLION style but man do these guys pale when compared to either band, I mean they aren't in the same universe even.The vocals have a strong accent and besides the fact the music isn't original in any way, it's just so uninspiring to my ears.

"Passage" is an instrumental and the best of the bunch. Unfortunately that's not saying a whole lot although it has it's moments. "Take Yourself Back" is where it seems to go downhill fairly quickly. Again the vocals are a distraction. "Chained Human" is ballad-like with some soaring guitar later on. "Untouchable Ghost" has this catchy beat with synths early on. Vocals join in and we get a guitar solo before 2 1/2 minutes.

"The Crazy Life Of Mister Tale" opens with some GENESIS-like keyboards as the guitar joins in playing over top.The tempo picks up 2 minutes in.This is good. A calm with gentle guitar then reserved vocals. Some theatrics after 4 minutes then pulsating keys. "Last Chance Flight" is an uptempo track with vocals leading the way. "Vision In The Dark" is the over 17 minute closing suite. It's pastoral to start with vocals and strummed guitar as the song begins to forge it's own path until we get a calm 10 1/2 minutes in with atmosphere. Nature sounds a minute later then the music slowly returns to end it.

It's albums like this that give Neo-Prog a bad reputation i'm afraid. 2 stars.

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 Visions in the Dark by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.20 | 30 ratings

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Visions in the Dark
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

3 stars There are a few things that puzzle me with this second release by Deyss. First of all it's the line-up of songs on this album page. It shows that it's the line-up of a vinyl but if that's true it's a vinyl with three sides. THREE ??? Huh ? I'm curious what that looked like. The release year is 1987 so the CD was just arising and it is very likely we're talking about a vinyl as original production system. I myself have the disc and the line-up of songs is different from shown above on this page. Well, only slightly different. So that's all pretty interesting I would say.

Another thing I would like to know is who in fact Jester was. He's the vocalist on this second album, a different one compared to the debut At King. And the reason I would like to know this is that he sounds a lot like Aluisio Maggini, the vocalist of Clepsydra, a band that produced their albums in the nineties mainly. And they are both Swiss bands so it's not impossible they are one and the same person but I haven't found the answer yet.

Whilst I was digging for this information I noticed on other websites that they were actually quite positive about Deyss whereas on our site comments aren't that enthusiastic to say the least. And since it's our duty to inform our readers, there's an interesting task ahead of me now with Vision in the Dark. I will try to inform as good as I can of course.

One of the key factors why the opinions about Deyss vary so much could be the amount of experience you have in neo prog or even in prog in general. I think it makes a big difference whether you're newbie on the scene or if you have heard another 100 neobands before (like me). Because if you're new you could be quite impressed with the band for the music, and then I mean mainly the compositions, aren't bad at all. If you are an experienced listener you might detect some flaws especially in the quality sound and another problem could be you heard music like this many times before and done in a better way. Whichever, always realize this was done in the eighties and sound quality (in general) improved big time last twenty years.

My first encounter with Deyss was their debut At King and on that release the title track was slightly worthwhile to me and the rest hardly or not at all. With that in the back of my mind and the rumours that this second album was supposed to be a lot better I have been checking this one out last few months playing it every now and then. My conclusion is that sound quality has only improved somewhat but the compositions are a lot better. The songs have much more substance and are more energetic and emotional sounding than those on the debut. On the other hand it's especially the long epical title track that impresses most and the other songs are just remotely better than At King, the stream track on our site.

So that should tell the story you might say and it brings me to the convinced conclusion that 3 stars is the only right outcome. It goes way too far to call this album an excellent addition to any prog rock collection but it's a good album nevertheless. Mainly for neo fans that is.

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 At-King by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.01 | 27 ratings

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At-King
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

2 stars Finally,the time has come for me to review one of the most-I would dare to say-hated albums in progressive rock history,DEYSS's ''At king''.DEYSS were formed back in late 70's by Govanni DeVita.Several live appearances will follow with the band considering Yes,ELP and Genesis as their main influences.DEYSS represented themselves to the public in 1985,releasing a short-LP,entitled ''At king'' with a running time just over half an hour.

Despite the aforementioned influences,just a couple of listenings are enough to bring one and only band to your mind: MARILLION.This is pure neo-progressive very much keyboard-oriented and a guest vocalist named Patrick Fragniere.What about the music?...Well,I could call DEYSS just an average MARILLION-clone...Opening track ''Meeting...'' begins with the sound of battling swords and ends with a decent guitar solo.The follower ''Turning night...'' is a total disaster.Awful drum-machines,very much pop- oriented and disturbing vocals compose a bad image for the band.Things get a lot better with ''After and after''.A ballad-like track with good chorus,nice keyboards,decent guitar solos but a little bit overlong.''Chinese dawn'' is another decent track in the line.A good instrumental with slow-tempo and interesting keyboard work.''March of destiny'' follows and things get worse again.Despite sounding quite original due to the ''marching'' keyboards,the result is very amateurish,even childish,with a cheesy sound.This short LP closes with the eponymous track and this is a really good one.Clocking just under 10 min.,this track offers nice vocal arrangements-despite Patrick Fragniere's lack in vocal range-,some complex drum programming(!),superb synthesizers/guitar work and overall a good neo-symphonic sound,a path the band should have chosen from the very start of this album...

So,what about the rating?...Despite my love for neo-prog and some nice moments,this album has many weak references...Almost total lack of originality,amateur sound and vocals,badly sounding drum machines and an evident inexperience in composition...So,this is an album mainly for collectors and die-hard neo fans...Genarally I'd recommend you to spend your time and money somewhere else,there is a lot much better albums on market than this one...

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 At-King by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.01 | 27 ratings

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At-King
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by progrules
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Looking at some comments of the past this should be one of the worst albums on this site but if you look at the ratings without review it's not that badly awarded with several 4 star- and even a 5 star rating. But all in all an average of 1,93 doesn't give much hope for something great or at least nice. But I'm a neo lover, freak even and I decided to judge for myself by still buying this one (sales) despite an avoid and a not recommended by prog reviewers.

First (short) track suggests we're in the middle ages with some apparent sword fighting, well in fact so does the cover artwork so that's probably the idea here. An insignificant little song for an opener, an overture for the rest. Second is a real song but it's not very impressive and the indeed poor production becomes evident. Third, After and After, is somewhat better, more like a real neo sounding song with nice guitar and more variation than the slightly monotonous Turning Night into Day. Not bad this one coming close to a three star effort. Side one of this original vinyl scoring about 2,3 for me.

Second side opens with two short tracks. The first, Chinese Dawn, with hints to Chinese sounds is an instrumental, nice without being great. The second, March of Destiny, indeed sounding like a march with medieval tournament feel, is a sort of upbeat for the final epical title track, supposedly but also in reality by far the best track of this EP (this album is so short I wouldn't want to call it a real album, even for vinyl standards). This song is neo prog how I usually expect it, a genuine neo epical song with interesting compositional variation. Although I have to say the vocals are slightly annoying here especially when Patrick Fragnere does his high pitch efforts. This is not helping the song to a high level. Not by chance I believe the middle part of the song is the best as it is mainly instrumental.

In the end also this track can't save this EP from a two star rating. Side two scores about 2,5 for me making it a 2,4 overall so I will have to round down to two stars. Slight consolation for Deyss: I've heard worse in my life. So the reviewers were right and the raters not in my opinion although it will always still be a matter of taste.

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 At-King by DEYSS album cover Studio Album, 1985
2.01 | 27 ratings

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At-King
Deyss Neo-Prog

Review by Prog-jester
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Commonly regarded as ''the worst album from the worst band in Prog'', this EP (or short LP) is not that much disgusting. Some nice solos in ''After and After'', some catchy moments in eponymoys epic, the whole amateurish mood that I like in such Poppish Neo...but that's not enough for a good album. So that's true, it's very much like collector's item and don't bother getting this one (only if you're prepared for synth-pop beat in the very first track after intro!). 1,5 stars and no recommendations

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