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ART ZOYD

RIO/Avant-Prog • France


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Art Zoyd biography
Founded in Valenciennes, France in 1969

In 1968, French smalltown Maubeuge was giving birth to this fascinating avant-garde outfit that now boasts 13 albums, 17 videos, many soundtracks and music for shows, worldwide festival appearances plus numerous live and compilation disks. By the early 80's, ART ZOYD had already gone through over 30 musicians but the core always centered around composer and classically-trained violinist Gérard Hourbette and bassist Thierry Zaboitzeff. Constantly evolving over the years, their music is always highly adventurous, drawing on elements of the modern classics (Bartok, Stravinsky), the chamber rock of UNIVERS ZERO, a bit of jazz, a good dose of zeuhl and lately, a penchant for electronics. Despite their lack of a drummer, their material is intensely rhythmic and largely relies on strings, horns and piano. Considered more 'neo-classical chamber' than truly rock, their energy level has the intensity of bands such as MAGMA and 70's KING CRIMSON, with strong dynamics and atmospheric climaxes.

With each successive album, the rock aspect of their material slowly gave way to a blend of zeuhl and classical music, developing ever tenser and darker climates - surely not for the faint of heart. "Phase IV" (1982) is hailed as their all-time masterpiece and displays a remarkable "ear" for dense and dramatic textures. "Les espaces inquiets" (1983) is in the same vein but a bit more experimental, the music alternating between ominous, plodding parts with minimal instrumentation (usually a solo piano or organ) and faster, more frantic sections led by trumpet and strings. "Le mariage du ciel et de l'enfer" (1985) is perhaps the one that best displays the band's adventurous compositional sophistication while remaining reasonably digestible for new listeners. "Nosferatu" (1989) features nightmarish music that could wake the dead - albeit all too willing to oblige, no doubt. Finally, "Haxan" (1997) shows the band at their most 'electronic'. It features UNIVERS ZERO's drummer Daniel Denis who mostly plays around with sample triggers (sequencers). A good sampler for ART ZOYD neophytes is their 1987 album "Les espaces inquiets / Phase IV / Archives II", made up of 32 tracks covering the two cd's plus a few extras.

If you get off on UNIVERS ZERO, MAGMA or RIO in general, if you have a passion for the likes of Bartok, Stravinsky and Schoenberg, you definitely should check out the music of ART ZOYD : it is risky, unsafe, dark,...
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ART ZOYD discography


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

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

3.90 | 110 ratings
Art Zoyd 3 [aka: Symphonie pour le jour oų brûleront les Cités]
1976
3.87 | 111 ratings
Musique Pour L'Odyssée
1979
4.03 | 109 ratings
Génération Sans Futur
1980
4.18 | 82 ratings
Symphonie Pour Le Jour Oų Brûleront Les Cités
1981
3.94 | 73 ratings
Phase IV
1982
3.81 | 61 ratings
Les Espaces Inquiets
1983
3.98 | 88 ratings
Le Mariage Du Ciel Et De L'Enfer
1985
4.14 | 89 ratings
Berlin
1987
3.74 | 45 ratings
Nosferatu
1989
2.71 | 15 ratings
Art Zoyd / J. A. Deane / J. Greinke
1990
4.19 | 33 ratings
Marathonnerre I
1992
3.30 | 27 ratings
Marathonnerre II
1992
3.96 | 38 ratings
Faust
1996
4.47 | 106 ratings
Häxan
1997
3.31 | 26 ratings
u-B-I-Q-U-e
2001
4.00 | 36 ratings
Metropolis
2002
3.58 | 12 ratings
Art Zoyd & Musiques Nouvelles: Expériences De Vol
2002
3.83 | 12 ratings
Art Zoyd & Musiques Nouvelles: Expériences De Vol 4-5-6
2005
3.05 | 26 ratings
Le Champ Des Larmes
2006
3.33 | 18 ratings
La Chute De La Maison Usher
2008
2.22 | 8 ratings
Expériences De Vol - 7 [Aka: Pure Noise]
2009
4.46 | 20 ratings
Eyecatcher
2011
3.27 | 11 ratings
Armageddon - Opérette Pour Robots
2012

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Art Zoyd with L'Orchestre National de Lille: Dangerous Visions
2017

ART ZOYD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

3.52 | 12 ratings
Les Espaces Inquiets / Phase IV / Archives II
1987
3.47 | 13 ratings
Symphonie Pour Le Jour Oų Brûleront Les Cités / Musique Pour L'Odyssée / Génération Sans Futur / Archives I
1987
4.19 | 12 ratings
Marathonnerre I & II
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Magma / Art Zoyd - Mekanik Destructiv Kommandoh
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Musique Pour L'Odyssee
2008
4.93 | 10 ratings
44 1/2 Live + Unreleased Works Box Set
2017
4.52 | 14 ratings
Phase V
2018
3.00 | 1 ratings
Experiences de Vol 10/11/12/13
2018

ART ZOYD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.53 | 10 ratings
Sangria / Something in love
1971
5.00 | 2 ratings
Manege
1982
5.00 | 1 ratings
Derniere Danse
1983

ART ZOYD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Häxan by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.47 | 106 ratings

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Häxan
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Maw The Void

5 stars Art Zoyd - Häxan

An atmospheric masterpiece. Very few records have been capable of encapsulating such strong vibe and recognizability without practically any lyrics. Art Zoyd, being more of a collective rather than a band by itself, has been very inconsistent when it comes to their discography. Their records are sometimes either just atmospheric for the sake of being atmospheric, but Häxan, being the imaginary soundtrack of the horror-comedy movie of the same name, manages to perfectly encapsulate the dark ambience of the cinema piece.

This record by itself is incredibly inaccessible, but it's without a doubt a record that must be check out. Five stars, a masterpiece of ambience music.

 44 1/2 Live + Unreleased Works Box Set by ART ZOYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2017
4.93 | 10 ratings

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44 1/2 Live + Unreleased Works Box Set
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewian
Prog Reviewer

5 stars There is no way to do this absolute monster of a box set justice in a review. Maybe I start by writing that Art Zoyd have developed over time from a RIO band that used mainly acoustic elements including strings and woodwinds into a more electronically oriented experimental avantgarde collective, from a strong orientation toward chamber-like composition in the beginning to more focus on subtle atmospheres and sound design, evolving their signature sound inspired by horror movies and the depths of the psyche while still remaining unmistakably Art Zoyd when it comes to the mysterious dark mood and experimental spirit. A number of members came and went through the years, many with remaining long term association with the band, and later the group became more of a collective with changing line-ups often in parallel doing different projects. Spiritus Rector Gerard Hourbette sadly passed away far too young at 64 in 2018, but it looks like many of the tentacles of Art Zoyd will go on. All this is represented here, so if you want to start your Art Zoyd fandom with a bang, buy this (obviously if you're not rich chances are you're not going to plunge into such a set first even though I may tell you that you won't regret it... maybe some will actually, because AZ are surely not for everyone).

This is 12 CDs, two DVDs, and maybe still additional gimmicks if you order now (I love my Art Zoyd T-Shirt that I got with this) and as far as I know all previously unreleased. There are live versions of quite a bit of Art Zoyd's back catalogue, all of which have quite a bit of additions and variation. Most sound very good although there's the odd outlier in sound quality, but anyway, the fan will have the originals and can still enjoy spotting the differences. In any case having these versions is worthwhile if you want to hear how they changed and developed their material live. I'm even more excited about the several CDs (hard to count as some of this material is scattered all over the place) of yet unreleased high quality music, much for ballet etc., that would have made a valuable complete career in RIO on its own but wasn't deemed apparently to be up to publication standard by the Art Zoyd collective up to 2017 (of course the sad reason may be that despite being an absolutely authoritative and super productive band, there was never enough money in the hand of buyers who could appreciate such off mainstream experimentation enough to buy even more than the several dozens of albums that they had put out anyway). There is the odd foray into unusual territory like more poppy electronic, charming enough to be entertaining and not distracting from the greater scheme of things which here means properly GREAT.

If I start to review any detail of this, my week will be lost and there are unfortunately a few other things that I have to do. Remember, this is two full discographies of fine bands worth of material, despite the fact that AZ have released loads of other stuff that isn't represented here. Pity that probably only the craziest people like me will buy such a set. Not sure whether the world would be a better place otherwise, there are some disturbing psychological and even parapsychological tendencies portrayed in the most scary way in some of AZs music, so maybe I should be happy that far more people love Lennon's Imagine than having ever heard any note by Art Zoyd, but if you're interested in the worrying stuff that goes on underneath, look and listen here!

 Häxan by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.47 | 106 ratings

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Häxan
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Gorgut Muncher

5 stars What a gentle surprise this album was! The high ratings definitely justify for the bizarre sound and ambience that this record features from beginning to end. It's a strange record, most tracks are shapeless and unexpected, entering a new section every certain time that is completely different to the one before it. There's strong use of percussion, droning, singing, opera singing, and lots of buildups. It's also accompanied by a bunch of SFX that can be heard in pretty much the entire album. My favorite track is 'preuves d'Acier, which is a pretty fast paced track that utilizes its eighteen minutes well.

Is this avant-garde though? To be fair I thought it was closer to Post-Rock. Anyways, five stars for me.

 Häxan by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.47 | 106 ratings

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Häxan
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Ian McGregor

5 stars An absolute goliath of an album. This record is dark, atmospheric, mysterious... I first listened this album at 5:00PM while doing other things and I thought it had too much filler and very little content. Second time I listened it in the dark at 12:00AM and it was a truly surreal experience. The mastery of atmosphere is unlike no other, you get submerged in an endless space of psychedelic percussion and bizarre sound effects, slowly building up for a moment of beauty were chords strike in. It sounds obscure despite not being very heavy, which perfectly captures the escence of the original movie from 1922.

I really can't divide this record into tracks, I think this is one big piece of music that should be listened from beginning to end. It's very inaccessible but I'm thankful I gave it a second try. Don't be afraid to give this record multiple listens, because it will probably need them. Five Stars, one of the best atmospheric albums I've heard.

 Häxan by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.47 | 106 ratings

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Häxan
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by King Brimstone

5 stars - Review #32 -

Widely touted as a masterpiece, Haxan finds French avant-grade band Art Zoyd at its peak, with colossal and astonishingly complex tracks. It is a hard to digest album but this record rewards you with its beauty impregnated all along. The album is divided in five tracks (since the title track was divided in three movements), some of them being just three short minutes long and other clocking at ten times that length. It provides an excellent flow from beginning to end and the quirky sounds and time signatures that avant-grade is very known for.

Without a doubt, a five star record. The best Art Zoyd album. Five Stars. Highly recommended to all Avant-Garde fans and a must-have.

 Häxan by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.47 | 106 ratings

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Häxan
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Isaac Peretz

5 stars One of my favorite avant-garde albums, Haxan features seven tracks of pure and awesome avant-garde or Avant Rock. The opener is for sure one of my favorite Avant-Garde tracks of all time. It's sometimes energetic and bizarre, sometimes it's atmospheric and obscure, and the instrumentation is flawless although the latter property can be applied to the whole album if you ask me! The rest of the album is great, it's entertaining and overall it's classic Frank Zappa avant-garde. I have only listened this record once but I'll for sure digging this record a lot in the coming months (or even years!). Underrated, which is why it has a high star rating but low rating count, but you should still give it a go!
 Berlin by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1987
4.14 | 89 ratings

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Berlin
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The Belgian avant gardistes experimenting with 1980s technologies. I hear a lot of the influence of Phillip Glass and Christian Vander here.

1. Epithalame (20:12) weird weave of tribal sounds pulsing like a Phillip Glass soundtrack with C. Vander-like castrati singing in the background. Hypnotic in an African drum-circle, Joni Mitchell "Dreamland" kind of way. (34/40) 2. "Baboon's Blood" (5:35) obviously the band was experimenting with a lot of the new sounds and technologies that the digital, MIDI, and computer world were making available to the art world. The vocals are laughable, the Art of Noise samples and sounds embarrassing, but the strings contributions are okay. (8/10)

3. "A Drum, a Drum" (20:20) what opens as a creepy soundtrack to a horror film turns more musical in the fifth minute--though still scary/creepy (The vocals are just weird. I like the band much more as an instrumental band.) The Middle Eastern-sounding saxophone can get a little grating. Then a drawn out washy coda turns into an almost-Berlin School section reminding me of some of Mike Oldfield's poorer passages. The use of some of the 1980s technologically available innovations only serves to date and mire this music in anachronistic time capsule. I'd love to hear the 21st Century, all-acoustic version the band would do of this today. Overall, I'd say this song is quite a failure. There is nothing exceptional, virtuosic, engaging, or even particularly fresh much less entertaining. (30/40)

Total Time: 46:14

Overall I think this album is a sad testament to the limited and limiting technologies coming available in the 1980s--sounds that have either been vastly improved upon or simply (and with embarrassment) discarded. I'm glad they went back to their unplugged acoustic sound palette.

C-/2.5 stars; a brick of an album that is more historically valuable for the example of how wrong a band's experimentation with latest technologies can go.

 Häxan by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.47 | 106 ratings

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Häxan
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars The avant garde masters' effort at providing a soundtrack to Swedish filmmaker Benjamin Christensen's much-lauded Swedish silent film from the 1920s. As a soundtrack it definitely works. As a masterpiece of wonderful music (avant guarde or not), it also works! Amazing use of samples and computers--especially for an Avant/RIO band!

1. "Glissements Progressifs Du Plaisir" (extraits) (30:42): - Ubik 1 / Ubik 2 / Ubik 3 / Allez ā Des Moines / Drama / Ralentando / Ubik 7 (59/60) 2. "Nuits" (7:26) spacious tubular bells are joined by tympani and deep Slavic-sounding operatic male voice tracks at the one minute mark. Synth horns and ticking of windup clock enter at 2:00 mark. The fourth minute is filled with computer-manipulated percussives over ticking clock with intermittent offerings from voices, synth horns, and harpsichord. Fifth minute gets two bass lines, horns, etc. Sixth minutes gets bell tolling tubular bell with, eventually, sounds replicating a carnival atmosphere. If I saw the film, this might make more sense to me. As a stand alone song, it is just too weird and discordant. (11.5/15) 3. "Häxan Phi" (5:37) wonderfully austere and bare, despite operatic female vocals in the background. (9.5/10) 4. "Häxan Xi" (2:10) maintains tension with slow, sparse percussive weirdness. (4.75/5) 5. "Häxan Psi" (4:25) a little too quiet and bare, despite the operatic male vocals and "distant" trumpet in the second half. (8.5/10) 6. "Épreuves d'Acier" (17:57) (29.5/35) 7. "Marche" (3:45) more computer treated samples from daily world/life used for percussion track to get this one going. Then strings joins in, beautiful and clear, before vocal sounds of shivering man enter at the extreme fore. Weird. (Guess I need to see the movie!) But the strings arrangement is so beautiful. Electric piano enters for the final third, sounding, unfortunately, a bit out of place among the pristine strings. (9/10)

Total Time: 72:02

As a music album, this contains often stunningly gorgeous and/or emotional stuff while, at other times, the odd and seemingly random stringing together of sounds and samples is just off-putting. Were I to see this in the context of the film, my comprehension and, thus, appreciation might be even higher.

A-/five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music.

 Phase V by ART ZOYD album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2018
4.52 | 14 ratings

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Phase V
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewian
Prog Reviewer

5 stars You may have travelled Thailand, Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, New York, New Zealand, Venice, Costa Rica, Kenya, and the Chinese Wall. You may think you have seen it all. Well, almost all. You have never been to Antarctica. What would you want there? It's remote and cold, no trees, few animals, no human beings apart from a few researchers. Still deep in your heart you know that Antarctica holds something for you that you cannot find anywhere else. Well I cannot be sure that it's something for you, you may be more of a nervous type, you may need something to keep you busy all the time and hot, you may not belong down there. Still you know for some of us it's a dream, and for some it may be ultimately more the place to be than all the other fancy destinations.

Another thing to realise: Antarctica is vast. You may think you have seen photos, so you know how it is, but don't forget, it's bigger than the whole of Europe and almost equal to the whole of South America.

Next thing to realise: This is a most inappropriate introduction to a review of Art Zoyd's Phase V. Neither is this an album about Antarctica (it has track titles that are totally incompatible with that idea such as "Out of the window of a train"; the photographs indicate that it's rather about derelict city and industrial landscapes), nor have I actually ever been there. So you may dismiss the whole thing but wait! Still there are connections.

Phase V is a 5 CD-set, and Art Zoyd have made it ridiculously inaccessible (and at the moment I'm not even talking about the music). No free samples are flying around at the time of my writing as far as I know, I don't think it's available anywhere for less than 30 Euros (which is not that much money for 5 CDs but a fortune at this day and age for buying music without having had a taster first), information given by the band is pretty scarce (chances are that the majority of the material was recorded between 2010 and 2017 but I actually don't know; who exactly did what where? No idea) and then they split it up into loads, actually 90, tracks, that first, before reviewing, want to be put into progarchives in the right format. Thank you very much. It took about one year from the release to anybody (me actually) bothering to put the album on PA, and this is one of the longest serving most innovative and influential RIO/prog bands there is! On top of that, Gerard Hourbette, mastermind of Art Zoyd, died on 8 May 2018, so this is the last album released during his lifetime on which he performs (not sure whether there is more material somewhere in the vaults to be released at some point). I couldn't find any English language review of it either (German language "Babyblaue Prog Reviews" have a review and the author has dug out slightly more info, it's 2009-2017 actually).

Surely Hourbette didn't die in an ebb of productivity; the 44 1/2 boxset including, the Zoyds put out 17 CDs of unreleased material in 2017/18 alone, I think this is more than any other RIO band released over their entire career! It's too much actually, it seems, for most people to listen to, so this vast continent of music seems to fly under everyone's radar.

Now to the music on Phase V. It surely has some Antarctica feeling about it. Art Zoyd continues to do avantgardistic, freezing, mostly electronic landscapes. Part of the music is really remote from even progressive rock territory, there are slow meditative minimalistic pieces, some rather industrial sound alchemy, some machine rhythms, some parts rather populated with movement somehow contrasting the Antarctica impression, although many of these also have some rather cold uninviting character (also don't forget Antarctica has penguins, Aurora, volcanic activity, mountains up to 5000m and spectacular but unsettling phenomena as a consequence of global warming on top of the vast snow plains). There is no proper singing, although voice samples and some electronically manipulated speaking are used. One could say that already for quite some time, in the 21st century, Art Zoyd is more of a project of serious contemporary experimental music rather than belonging to any category with a rock or popular music connection - what an admirable development for a progressive band though! I also want to emphasize that they didn't fill their more than five hours of music on the cheap. Quite a bit of composition and construction must have gone into some of the less minimalist parts, they haven't split this up into 90 tracks for nothing. In terms of speed and intensity the listener gets quite some variety and there are many, many things to discover.

The CDs are split up into different projects, some if not most or all of them were probably made as soundtrack or theatre music (the German reviewer cited above claims that some of these are only parts of what was actually done, including film concerts and sound installations). It starts with Kairo and Les particules noires, which share the first CD. Kairo has a number of rather minimalist parts and is surprisingly icy, given the name, although it also features some rhythm. Later on CD 1 we get some more actual notes and chords (this is only a transient side phenomenon of this work). There are some references to earlier Art Zoyd work, e.g., Transmutations would have been something pretty typical for the band since the 1980s. CD2 has the nice title "Trois reves non valides". It starts with a slowly moving but actually delightful more liquid 10 minutes number, "Je suis compose d'eau", certainly a favourite track, before going into smaller tracks. It has some more civilised sounds such as churches, opera singing, a lot of other voices and some allusion to classical music, so it comes over as somewhat warmer overall despite the odd icy part. It is very inventive and hosts some striking contrasts between parts, both worth marvelling at and in places a bit annoying, but it is overall exciting and may be the most entertaining CD, and it is braced by a somewhat more intense reprise of "Je suis compose d'eau".

CD3 hosts four different works and is as such even more heterogeneous. Les rives du futur has a lot of rhythm and is more transparent and composed than other parts with a number of returning motifs, still in itself almost as heterogeneous as the whole album taken together. Here, as well as elsewhere, intense rhythmic parts are often interrupted by less structured sound valleys. Histoire naturelle is rather minimalist, meaning that rarely more than one thing is going on at a time. Also there are not so many long sounds that fill the space. It is, if you want, the most decluttered part of the album. Note though that the different projects are never consistently different, they all share many characteristics and differ gradually rather than radically from each other - this one is actually decluttered over the first half but becomes more packed with stuff later. Occasionally a piano or strings are met. Vampyr has some really scary Vampyre voices, this is really pretty dark and threatening stuff. There is only 1 1/2 minutes Musique pour Julia, but this is quite worthwhile and special as the most pastoral contemplative part of all the 5 CDs. I would've assumed that this is only a snippet of a bigger work and I am somewhat gutted that we don't get this one in full even though there's so much music already - but there may have been good reasons, who knows?

CDs 4 and 5 are both then devoted to "Paysages des enfers" (landscapes of hell), and although they are not quite as frightening as Vampyr, they are the proper Antarctic heartland (with some hot springs in unexpected places, and even some spots populated by penguins, researchers, funghi and whatnot), dominated by longer cool and windy sounds, and the tracks get some longer time to develop. Well probably things still change quickly enough that you may not agree with the Antarctica analogy, but it is a strange, remote and inaccessible landscape indeed that we have here. At some points it becomes quite loud and intense like a snow storm. The band has thought of other impressions, the first track on CD5 is called "the dead child" and is rather gothic, certainly with zero percent sentimentality. Then later a "space lab", some more vampyre voices and a long varied finale titled "at the age of 25 I was captain of the guard of the king of Naples" if I'm not mistaken. How on earth these titles fit together I don't know, but it doesn't matter really. In any case the finale is something of an open end, and we can be sure that Hourbette wasn't ready to die yet, and would have had even more to give.

When I think of it from the outside, it might feel Antarctic, but every time I listen to it I'm actually shocked how much they managed to put into this, even, in some places in quite short time. Rest In Peace Gerard Hourbette, nobody can say that you didn't deliver until the very end. Here potentially ends the story of the mighty Art Zoyd who have created their own continent, bah, universe of music, and let their guiding light go with a work that even at pretty old age has more creativity in it than many musicians put out over their lifetime. Well I could come up with some things to criticise and there is the genre issue that would make people think that maybe this shouldn't have 5 stars on a prog rock site, but honestly, who'd give 4 stars to Antarctica and say that it was nice and impressive but they feel a bit lukewarm about it because the breakfast was poor?? This work needs to be chased, worked on, and relistened many times, and it will be ignored by the vast vast majority... how much they miss!

 Häxan by ART ZOYD album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.47 | 106 ratings

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Häxan
Art Zoyd RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Homotopy

5 stars One might argue that it's not a 5-star album for the simple reason of being obviously unappealing to a large fraction of potential listeners, be it random people or us progheads. Peculiar as RIO often gets, Haxan is not easy to get into and, for the most part, can not be really called rock music (dark ambient might be a better label if we are to use one). But so what?

I mark this as a masterpiece of progressive rock music. Yes, ones left untouched by its atmosphere would call it boring and just bad as "nothing is happening", but there is always such risk when it comes to atmospheric music. It's working for me and working for all those collaborator reviewers who dare to accept challenges set by Art Zoyd's ouevre. And most importantly: it brings a really unique experience. Experimental music is always something worth checking out, something interesting at the very least, but when the experiment is successful it just rises on another level. It's like a new, useful invention ready to be exploited, with no substitution available.

The state of mind this album is capable of delivering is really unimitable and inexpressible (thought I'm trying). For example, the very first seconds of Nuits and I already feel devastated, scared and somewhat empty inside. Meanwhile, the way the band throws you in dark forlorn buildings, bleak corridors and heaven-knows-where-else (where are we after the steel test of Epreuves d'acier when the water flows?) is never really "boring" or predictable - the band provides really eclectic and intriguing music throughout the album.

One piece of warning about the album I would like to give is that one ought not to start with the first track. As distinct from most prog albums, here the longest song seems to be the weakest one and is actually a compilation of excerpts from the next album u-B-I-Q-U-e (the fact that the same reviewers praise this track and slog u-B-I-Q-U-e strikes me as rather odd). It's still worth your time but only after you get into the rest of the album. The easiest track to listen to must be the brutal Epreuves d'acier - lots of crushing stuff going on. Still it won't really work somewhere on the seaside during daylight, obviously.

Highly recommended for the travelers keen on tours to the most gloomy, derelict and alien places.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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