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Shub-Niggurath - Les morts vont vite CD (album) cover





4.08 | 161 ratings

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4 stars This music has both haunted and impressed from my very listen--so much so that I have resisted writing a review for over eight years--partly out of fear, partly out of respect, partly out of feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. With this, my 1111th review, and the end of my participation as a reviewer here at ProgArchives, I am seeking to put the finishing touches on what ends up being a ten-year excursion into the introspective world of music evaluation. I have chosen to stop at the number 1111 because the repetition of the number one has been significant to me and my wife as representative of the oneness that our re-union reflects for ourselves and for all things in the Cosmos.

With Les morts vont vite Shub_Niggurath has provided me with a message of the discord, chaos, and menace that humankind is capable of ---but more, this music is starkly beautiful for exactly the reason of the projection of "evil" or "menace" or perhaps "toil" and "hopelessness" that the band seems intent upon suggesting. That Earth has been plagued by this particular adaptation of the "human" experiment is without question or doubt; that we have been a plague to one another is debatable but less certain. Humans have been very creative at devising all kinds of methods of celebrating their individual perspectives, beliefs, and values. The manifestations of expression that many of us call "evil" are just one end of the spectrum of creative potential (which, I would argue, is a circle, perhaps even a moebius strip, as all actions, events, and circumstances can be devised as having opposing effects and consequences). The music recorded herein--and released for public display, consumption, and reaction--affects me with the conjuring of sadness--the kind of visceral imagery and emotions representative of the toil of human subjugation and enslavement. The drudgery of the bass and plodding pacing, the dissonance of the chords evoked from the piano and vocalist, the terrified screams (or is it sadistic laughter?) of the electric guitar shredding (literally, shredding), all evoke within me the most cynical concepts and feelings as relatable to the hopelessness incurred and endured by the individual under conditions of abject slavery. Hell.

"The dead are going fast" says the title of the album. "Insipid tragedy" says the title of the opening song.

1. "Incipit Tragaedia" (15:46) a song of such hopelessness and despair whose music does a masterful job of sucking one into the doldrums of its "insipid tragedy" that I cannot help but admire at the creative mastery of this piece of art expressed by representatives of my own human tribe. The piano solo is great in its expression of power and fear-induction, the bass not so much, but the electric guitar is the best: diabolical! (29/30)

2. "Cabine 67" (5:55) the dissonant piano work is quite enough to get under one's skin, but then the chunky bass chords and guitar screaming and squealing are added. Yeow! The flaw here is the oddly straightforward, hopalong "Radar Love"/CountryWestern drumming choices. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say that the song would be quite perfect without the driving force of the drums (as it was in the beginning)! Even the wild cymbal play in the final minute serve more to take away from the menacing mood that the other four instruments (no vocals here) seem so focused upon generating. Too bad! An incredible start gone wrong! Franck Fromy is a genius on the level of (or beyond) that of Adrian Belew. (8.5/10)

3. "Yog Sothoth" (12:27) the least engaging song on the album as it's prolonged expression of doom and gloom are drawn out so long as to seem almost comical or at least absurd--not unlike a 19th Century Gothic horror novel. Again, it is the brilliant, otherworldly manipulations of sound cast by M. Fromy via his electric guitar that provide the song's highlight moments. I wish Ann Stewart's voice had been used less as a counterpoint to the piano and bass, been given more jazzy free reign. (20/25)

4. "La Ballade De LÚnore" (8:58) opens softly, respectfully, circumspectly, almost majestically or reverently with organ, trombone church-like vocal of Ann Stewart projecting their religious offering to us until 2:40 when drums, bass, and squealing, wailing, wrenching guitar jump out of the shadows to affront the holy From this point on, the band uses the music to simulate or express a kind of battle between forces of "Good" and "Evil." The use of instruments common to traditional Christian religious worship (organ, voice, and brass horn) feel like the representatives of "Good" while the cacophony unleashed by the bass, drums, and electric guitar represent those of "Evil"--at least that's how we listeners might make sense of it coming from our society's Christian traditions. Perhaps LÚnore was haunted by this same internal struggle--on either a religious/spiritual level or in the form of a kind of bi-polar disorder. Another masterful rendering. (19.5/20)

Five stars; in my humble opinion Les morts vont vite is a high masterpiece of human creativity. I love and respect this album yet it is not an album I seek out very often: mostly when I want to be reminded of and marvel at the genius of the human fabrications of "evil" and "despair."

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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