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SHUB-NIGGURATH

Zeuhl • France


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Shub-Niggurath biography
SHUB-NIGGURATH was formed  in 1983 and consisted of six musicians: Allan Ballaud on bass, percussionist Franck Coulaud, Frank Fromy on guitar and percussion, Jean-Luc Herve on harmonium, piano and organ, vocalist Ann Stewart, and a trombone/bass player Veronuque Verdier. The band released their first untitled demo on 1985 and got good feedback from critics. The promising debut album, "Les Morts Von Vite", was released on Musea label in 1987. The album received good reviews and is their finest moment: it caught the band at the peak of their creativity. Musea reissued this album on CD in 1997, including two rare bonus tracks. The debut sold well and later, in 87, SHUB NIGGURATH's song appeared on Musea's Zeuhl compilation "Enneade", a tribute to the legacy of Magma. After its release, Franck Couland left into jazz, as did Franc Fromy. Jean-Luc Herve, being a guitarist, took Fromy's spot. In 1988, SHUB-NIGGURATH collaborated with SLEASE ART on a compilation called "Dithrambe". 1989 brought another compilation, "Douze Pour In 2" followed by a live tape with the new line up: Allan Ballaud on bass, Jean-Luc Herve on electric guitar, Veronuque Verdier on bass trombone and percussions, two singers Sylvette Claudet and Jean-Pierre Lourdeau, and the drummer Michel Kervinio. Some members vhanged instruments, which displays the musical versatility of the band. A second studio album was released on CD in 1991, called "C'etaient De Tres Grands Vents" on Musea label. It was released by the same lineup except a new percussionist, Edward Perraud, was added and Jean Pierre left the band to become a painter. Since then, the band has toured around Paris playing for small audiences. In 1995 bassist Allan Ballaud died of cancer. They made a comeback in 2003 with the third album "Testament". At this point the band consists of four people: - Jean Luc Herve on guitar, Veronique Verdier on trombone, bassist Alain Ballaud and drummer Edward Perraud.

SHUB-NIGGURATH's best album is the debut, and it's also the best place to start exploring their music. However, their career has been fairly consistent and the other two albums are quality efforts.

If you like dark, brooding mix of RIO and Zeuhl you will like SHUB-NIGGURATH. their avant-ish dark prog with a sharp edge is both unique and challenging.

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C'Etaient De Très Grands VentsC'Etaient De Très Grands Vents
Import
Musea 1991
Audio CD$5.29
$5.96 (used)
Morts Vont ViteMorts Vont Vite
Import
Musea Records France 2001
Audio CD$25.00 (used)
Shub-NiggurathShub-Niggurath
Import
Musea Records France 2006
Audio CD$23.04
C'Etaient De Tres Grands VentsC'Etaient De Tres Grands Vents
Musea 2003
Audio CD$13.74
$12.00 (used)
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SHUB-NIGGURATH discography


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

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

4.07 | 96 ratings
Les Morts Vont Vite
1986
2.95 | 26 ratings
C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents
1991
1.48 | 14 ratings
Testament
1994
4.02 | 15 ratings
Introduction
2009

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

2.56 | 7 ratings
Live
1989

SHUB-NIGGURATH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

SHUB-NIGGURATH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

SHUB-NIGGURATH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.64 | 11 ratings
Shub-Niggurath
1986

SHUB-NIGGURATH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Les Morts Vont Vite by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.07 | 96 ratings

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Les Morts Vont Vite
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by Guldbamsen
Forum & Site Admin Group Site and Forum Admin

5 stars Inspired by my recent vacation to Rhodos, Greece, down where the deep turquoise Aegean ocean unfolds its infinite beauty, I thought I'd do a word-wide musical road trip, swooping through all kinds of interesting places - starting up in one of my absolute faves of countries when it comes down to progressive music: France.

I'd like to apologize in advance to all you folks out there who appreciate the value of saving one's 5 star reviews for something special, unique, life-altering - this is going to be quite the masterpiece parade, yet I sincerely hope the people who know me well, also know that I don't throw them around like toffees at a hunger strike in Bangladesh. These are all albums that I've been dying to review for a looooong long time, and I would certainly feel refreshingly more relieved having gotten this crazy idea off my back.

No monkeys aloud unless we set to sea. Anybody who knows anything about anything knows that...

There are some albums that you already with confidence know halfway through your first spin of them, that they'll change the way you think about music forever and never quite looking at it in the same manner. It's perspective is what it is - making a huge bulge in your nice neatly arranged music world. Shub Niggurath's debut from 1986 did that for me. I rate it up among the same marvellous and illustrious echelons of progressive music as where the likes of King Crimson's Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Bubu's Anabelas, Magma's MDK, Amon Düül ll's Tanz Der Lemminge and the mighty Pawn Hearts from Van Damme Generator reside. It's literally that good. It changed my life, even if it sounds like a perplexingly mundane thing to say about something as esoteric and finite as music.

Prancing out on the musical scene in 1986 with an album that sounded like it was recorded at least 10 years earlier - these guys were about as casually nonchalant as a pair of tanning specialists at a drilling facility in mainland Greenland looking for ancient elongated ice cubes. The music sounds like Godzilla with a pair of big steel boots stomping furiously through town. The sheer musical girth this thing has is incomprehensibly ginormous. Much of this comes from the bass of death bobbing back and forth like a 50 foot anaconda doing gymnastics between two palm trees: BOOOUUUHHHH BAAAAAAAUUOOOWWW BOUUW BOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUWWWW BUUUOOOUHHHHH BOOOOOOHHHH BOUUUUUUUUUUUHHHH Responsible of this remarkable playing is Alain Ballaud, that all by himself could power up downtown Tokyo with a good two way stereo rack. He could be a tunnel burrower for all I know.

I've read a lot of different reviews saying that Les Mortes Vont Vite sounds scary and frightening, but the gloom it has is also heavily underlined, and at the same time counter-pointed by a deep bellowing groovy vibe that permeates the music, and I don't know about you guys, but I find it hard to associate funky danceable sounds - even if they are Zeulish like hell and probably every other genre-tag you care to apply to it as well - with fearful imagery. To me it sounds like National Health meet Univers Zero in a dark throbbing daturah induced nightmare. With the incessant feel of the mantraing high priestess incantations and the magic double-teamed percussion cement mixers make my mind wander to stroboscopic radiant images of a heavily sedated Jon Bonham engulfed in spiralling restrained anger. The opening track Incipit Tragaedia has always reminded this avid listener off a vexed blurred and unnerving take on Tenemos Roads. Call me crazy, but that's what I get.....The feel of Dave Stewart's angular organ riffing remoulded into the jittery kaleidoscopic harmonium/organ and piano extraordinaire Jean-Luc Herve who continues to amaze me with his strange and beautiful sorcery. He could have been a fine druid, had he been born in Wiltshire some 5000 years ago.........

Continuing the wondrous array of breathtaking musicians performing on this baby is the twin duo of guitar man Franck W. Fromy that evokes a certain John McLaughlin-trembling-with-flickering-anxiety feel to him - and the equally enticing trombone player Véronique Verdier. Together they conjure up a mountainous sonic landscape that edges it's wild and flabby tummy over the ash-coloured peaks of Kashmir like a majestic towering figure of power. It swoops through you like a napalm firestorm and leaves you on the tip of your chair throughout it's stubborn driving course with eyes peeled wide opened, erratic breaths and a sense of occasion that rivals a rather sudden earthquake in your right hand pocket. I'd give this record a million stars of white crystallized embers in a heartbeat.

This is essential listening, and anybody into progressive music owe it to themselves to hear this prodigal beautiful colossus at least once in their lifetime. It will make the small hairs on your back stand on end and equip your skull with a way of communicating with chatty black holes cortege-driving through the outskirts of the Universe.

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 Testament by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.48 | 14 ratings

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Testament
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

1 stars From dark ambient to noisy. When you are expecting Zeuhl things like this can make one disappointed, so I have tried to listen to "Testament" as it was a psychedelic or an avant album but unfortunately this none of the two.

The band members have surely had some fun in recording this noise. Only the first track, the dark-ambient one deserves to be listened. The rest as I have written is just noise, without the research of new sounds or any experimental use of the instruments. If I think to other "noisy" numbers of other bands it's always possible finding something interesting even when there is no structure to follow.

In this case there is a bit of structure, mainly in "Part III", but I find it totally uninteresting and lacking of a meaning. Maybe giving a title to the tracks could have helped the listener in catching hidden messages if any, but there are no track titles, too.

The album sleeve is totally black, so no messages at all.

The title "Testament" in this environment may signify "take my goods and do what you want"...

So we too can do what we want of this album: use it as a frisbee, tie it to a scarecrow, or even listen to it, but keep in mind that your speakers are working fine, it's the album that has something wrong.

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 C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.95 | 26 ratings

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C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars After the excellent debut Shub Niggurath are back with a work even more dark and evily than the previous one. It's ambient music, slowly progressing, with noisy accents.

"Glaciations" takes five minutes of ambient sounds similar to the darkest parts of Vangelis Heaven and Hell before becoming noisy and chaotic, with strings crying like somebody is killing them over a frenetic drum. When the drums stop we are in a realm of deadly bells with strings, guitar and trombone slowly dying. From the track title I think the music represents the extintion. And it does it very well.

"Ocean" is more grotesque. The guitar plays a major chord on which the other instruments build what apparently is chaos but is I think perfectly planned. The trombone is the lead instrument and the guitar crescendo seems to announce an emerging Cthulhu from the abyss. Effectively after a short pause the second part of the track is heavily and evily chaotic. A sonic tsunami. Like a tsunami, when the chaos is gone what remains is desolation, for the last 20 seconds of the track.

"Promethee " (or Prometeus) has lyrics. It's incredible how Sylvette Claudet sings with her soprano voice just a quarter of tone out of tune in order to increase the weirdness of the track. The impression is like a follow-up of the dark hymn to Yog-Sototh on their first album, but this time more than a hymn is an elegy.

"D'un Seul Et Meme Souffle" (A single identical breathe) is again very cemeterial. One has to be in the right mood for this music, but this time the link to classical music is more evident. Even with fulfilled of darkness I hear a bit of Stravinskij. It's classical contemporary more than Zeuhl. The album's highlight. "La Nef De Fous" (The Ship Of Fools) is a chaotic crescendo over a heavily distorted bass, like in death metal. Differently from the other tracks this has a jazz mood with a touch of psychedelia. The chaos of this track is not too different from the most acid Floyd.

"Contrincante" start with trombone and bass. A bit of relax after all the chaos, but the sounds are sinister and one can expect everything. Some bass passages appear to be melodic, surely a mistake of the bassist...the guitar joins and now we have three instruments apparently going on their own, but this is jazz, I can't tell what chord they play, but they are playing on the same chords.

The title track closes the album with the longest piece. It starts with percussions and noises just enhanced by trombone and bass. After a couple of minutes Edward Perraud shows what he can do with drums: a jazz base on which the other instrumentists put their dark effort. The track takes about 6 minutes to become more chaotic, thanks to the distorted bass, but it's the drums which lead it until the end, with the guitar crying pain on the high pitches. The last minutes are a return to the ambient of the first track.

A step back respect to the debut but still a good album for who likes spending some time in the hell.

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 Testament by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.48 | 14 ratings

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Testament
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

1 stars I thought Shub-Niggurath's earlier albums were OK but not brilliant zeuhl pieces which didn't really stand out from the crowd very much. This time around, though, they seem to be going for a dark ambient sound but are attempting to produce it using more or less conventional rock instrumentation. The end results are not appealing. They're neither quiet, slow, and placid enough to be particularly good ambient - not even industrial ambient - and there isn't quite enough happening for actual rock compositions to emerge from the noise. The end result is more or less indistinguishable from a band tuning up, or endlessly playing the intro to a song which never gets around to starting.

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 Les Morts Vont Vite by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.07 | 96 ratings

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Les Morts Vont Vite
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

4 stars Before coming to this band I thought that the best musical interpretation of HP Lovecraft myths was the song "Yog Sototh" in the debut album of Steve Hillage's "Arzachel". That song is a grotesque imitation of a religious anthem based on a church-like organ with psychedelic dissonances. This whole album is totally scary, instead.

Also here there's a song entitled to the "Blind and Idiot God whistling his flute in the center of the Universe", but this sounds more like a demoniac ritual. The Shub-Niggurath music is Zeuhl, but instead of the jazzy pomposity of Magma they are in a very different territory. The omnipresent vocals of the soprano Ann Stewart are always dissonant, the bass notes of the trombone make the music constantly dark throughout the whole album. The guitar is used to produce weird sounds and the organs have both a rhythmic and filling role.

The band is able to transmit to the listener a dark and evil atmosphere, even more dark than HP Lovecraft's tales, as he was a writer who lived in the first half of 20th Century but heavily influenced by authors of the 19th like E.A.Poe so this connection with the romantic age mitigates the evil that is totally exploited in Shub-Niggurath's music.

As other reviewers have written, there's no need of growling and massacring distorted guitars to give the idea of evil. This music is weirdest than any metal I've ever heard. The dark side of the Zeuhl

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 C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.95 | 26 ratings

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C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars The first question I asked myself when listening to this album was "does C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents possess "shubbage"? Does it take you to that dark and eerie realm where malevolent trombones batter you with their slides, and concepts like 'sunshine' and 'puppies' seem insane and from another dimension? The answer was 'yes'. This album has shubbage. I was suitably shubbed. Does that make this creation an automatic personal favorite, considering that their previous album is beyond incredible and the very essence of shubbage in which all other albums possessing some form of shubbage are measured against? Not really.

The creepy dissonance remains intact. The vibe is oppressive, lonely and dreary. This time, though, the structure is often lacking, causing the tunes to spread thin like a cloud. Without a base structure, some of these pieces sound like the band mistakenly recorded themselves tuning their instruments and then stopped recording just before playing the actual song. Atmospheric but meandering.

That's not always the case. "D'un Seul Et Meme Souffle" has a melodic pattern, and it's amazingly dark. Music to conjure nightmares. Also, "Promethee" has signature vocals from their previous album to reel in the track to a cohesive tightness. As an entire opus though, it's quite difficult to listen to this album after a period of time...there's a lot of quiet moments that seem to drag on with no theme except possibly wandering a wasteland at night. As background music for a haunted house amusement ride, it has more than enough shubbage to be the most memorable aspect, disturbing adults while their kids look at themselves through warped mirrors. As a recommendation, it's good, but not the first place to start with this band. That would be Les Morts Vont Vite, which is shubtastic.

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 Les Morts Vont Vite by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.07 | 96 ratings

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Les Morts Vont Vite
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by Prog Sothoth
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars Created by a band named after one of my buddies, this album is literally a musical monster that's as enjoyable as it is harsh & eerie. If you feel the need to horde the candy on Halloween without leaving the house, blast this album out of your windows. Unlike heavy metal stuff, which would just annoy passerbys until the cops arrived to force you to shut off that racket, Les Morts Vont Vite would probably give the little kids patrolling outside in their Spiderman and fairy costumes horrendous nightmares. The candy in a bowl by the front door would be all yours, although none of the neighbors would invite you to their cookouts the following summer.

An extremely dark and oppresive atmosphere spreads throughout the body and mind like the fungi from Yuggoth: a throbbing distorted bass, an odd-toned soprano, sheets of guitar "sounds" that invoke aural representations of shoggoths, trombones providing haunting melodies accented by weird piano passages and creepy organ moans. The effect is disconcerting and actually quite "heavy" without being "metal", but I find it also captivating and memorable. It's not something to hum along to, but the menacing opening melody of Incipit Tragaedia is pretty catchy, and this close to 16 minute creature remains interesting throughout its duration. The last portion of Yog Sothoth (which, of course, is one of the greatest song titles of all time thank you very much) is mind blowing, with Ann Stewart chanting the song title in multiple tracks over that monstrous bass, like a subterranean death bell aknowledging the successful conjuration of an Ancient One. The album's other long track, La Ballade De Lénore, begins with a chilling organ and haunted, almost detached operatic vocals as gloomy forebearer of what would suddenly morph into miasmic guitar chaos and desperate drumming...a kind of psycho jazz at times.

Every song here has its share of memorable moments, and remains a dark twisted entity that burrows in the mind from the opening dirge to the final crawling chaos of the last track. I've never found myself tired of this particular work, and rank it among one of my personal favorites in my collection. It's that rare piece of music that's both dissonant and beautiful that sends the listener into the insane world of the Black Goat In The Woods With A Thousand Young.

Iä! Shub-Niggurath!

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 Les Morts Vont Vite by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.07 | 96 ratings

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Les Morts Vont Vite
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Les Morts Vont Vite' - Shub-Niggurath (7/10)

Taking it's name from a beast in the H.P Lovecraft mythos, French chamber act Shub- Niggurath's first album is arguably some of the darkest music to ever come out of the bubblegum-stained 80's. First associated with the French Zeuhl scene of avant-garde music, Shub-Niggurath is quite a far cry from the tongue-in-cheek nature of compatriots Magma. Instead, this music takes the operatic jazz-fusion style first made famous by Christian Vander and company, and takes it far into the depths of hell, R'lyeh, or whatever Lovecraftian nightmare you can conjure in your mind. However, despite an incredibly promising opening sound and first track, 'Les Morts Vont Vite' ultimately loses quite a bit of it's magic and consistency as the album plunders on, although the fact remains that this is one of the most disturbing classics I've ever listened to.

Shub-Niggurath and their sound is defined by a remarkably dark and tritonic brand of jazz- fusion, mixed with the operatic soprano of Ann Stewart. The resulting effect is one of total chaos and dystopia. In fact, the band may very well have had a real masterpiece on their hands, had this debut been more consistent throughout. The album begins with the true highlight and epic of the album, 'Incepit Tragaedia', which is- in it's own odd and atonal way- the most memorable and melodic on the album. A solemn dirge that builds very slowly and intentionally to it's chaotic climax, the odd harmonies between Stewart's distinctive vocal approach and the maddening tones of the lead instruments is brilliant. All the while, the foreboding and sense of doom only grows, to the point where a comprehensive song structure can't hold back the darkness. From there on, the album takes a much more chaotic, almost 'jam-like' nature to it, focusing more on waves of sound and a jazz- influenced improvisation mixed with segments of hymnal doom.

Disregarding the obvious comparisons with bands such as chamber rock legends Univers Zero and Zeuhl innovators Magma, the biggest relation in sound I am reminded of is actually of King Crimson, circa their 'Red' album, in which a gloomy bass was used heavily, and the harmonies used were nothing, if not quite unsettling. However, Shub-Niggurath take that sound set, and makes it about as uncomfortable (read: unsettling yet interesting) as is possible. However, despite the album only getting more experimental as it goes on, the lack of structure can make some parts feel too noisy and chaotic to warrant a memorable experience.

A album of dark proportions I might only be able to compare to Scott Walker's 'The Drift' and some of the most sincere black metal out there, Shub-Niggurath will leave an impression on the listener, regardless of relative enjoyment. While the first track is the only one that is memorable on it's own, this French band has made an unlikely classic of it's first album.

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 Introduction by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.02 | 15 ratings

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Introduction
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This was a real find for myself and I have to thank Torrod for his interview with one of the members for that. According to the liner notes SHUB NIGGURATH used this recording (in cassette form) in preperation for the tour they were going out on in 1982. Udi Koomran (who else?) did the transfert and mastering and he did an amazing job as usual. So this is where it started for the band. It's the same lineup that was on the legendary "Les Morts Vont Vite" an album I always play at Halloween. And while this particular cd isn't as dark or as intense as "Les Morts..." believe me there is plenty of darkness and tension. It's very similar in style in fact. Actually the opening track here also appears on "Les Morts..." Piano is ever-present on this album and we also get lots of harmonium and trombone. And of course bass, drums and guitar. Can't forget about Ann's vocal melodies either.They provide an often haunting element. All the tracks were composed by either the piano player or the guitarist.

"Yog-Sothoth" opens with faint sounds that almost hum. The piano around a minute is sparse. It kicks in with power before 2 1/2 minutes including female vocal melodies. It's eerie 4 minutes in then a calm arrives after 5 minutes but it doesn't last long. It's back though 6 minutes in as we get a dark atmosphere. An almost frightening outburst of sound follows then guitar. Female vocal melodies are next. Haunting stuff. "Entreasol" has this ominous and dark presence to start. It kicks in after a minute. Piano and drums lead the way.Trombone after 4 1/2 minutes.

"Introduction" opens with screams and yelling followed by piano and vocal melodies. Sparse drums join in too. It ends with drums only. "Barback" opens with piano, cymbals and trombone all in a reserved manner. Vocal melodies become prominant 3 1/2 minutes in then the music picks up 4 minutes in. It settles back again then builds with a solid beat and chunky bass. It settles before 7 minutes to an eerie soundscape then kicks back in a minute later with power.The guitar is raw and discordant. Vocal melodies and dissonant trombone before 11 1/2 minutes. Just an incredible display. "In Memoriam" features trombone and piano in a dark setting. Vocal melodies before a minute. It settles before 2 minutes then picks up again.

I'm so impressed with this album, it's even better than I thought it was going to be. A must for fans of their "Les Morts Vont Vite" album. 4.5 stars.

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 C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.95 | 26 ratings

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C'Étaient De Très Grands Vents
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Zeuhl ? Make it avant-garde.

I applaud Musea for releasing this album, first of all. It is as anti-commercial as an album can get. And that is even in a anti-commercial scene. Unfortunate, this album is not in the same standard as their self titled demo (later re-released on CD as Introduction) and their genre defining debut album Les Morts Vont Vite. Only Promethee falls within the Zeuhl genre here with some dark vocals. The rest of this albums varies between dissonant avant-garde and Tibetan monks dissonant trombone use.

So, why do I think this is a good album ? First of all, Shub Niggurath manages to create a dark, dark place with this album. The mood is the likes of total damnation no black metal bands has ever managed to replicate. Welcome to hell.

The use of trombone and harmonium throughout this album is excellent. So is the drums and the bass. This album is nowhere near a Zeuhl album and is clearly on the avant-garde end of the avant-garde genre. But I still think this is a good album. But it is nowhere near as good as both the demo and the brilliant Les Morts Vont Vite album. But give it a try, anyway.

3 stars

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