Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Zoikhem - Vox Clamantis In Deserto CD (album) cover

VOX CLAMANTIS IN DESERTO

Zoikhem

 

Zeuhl

4.00 | 3 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars ZOIKHEM were a French band who released two studio albums in 1997 and this happens to be the second one. A trio of vocals, drums, percussion, piano and clarinet mostly with a strong Zeuhl flavour at times, especially MAGMA with those deep vocals bringing Blasquiz to mind. Interesting that there's no bass here and I should mention this is very much an Avant album in fact it's listed as such at RYM. There's lots of space and quiet moments contrasted with some very wild moments usually involving dissonant clarinet and discordant piano. This really has been a treat to spend some time with finally and it's a very strong 4 stars in my book.

The title track consumes pretty much the whole album other than the 5 minute closer consisting of piano melodies only which gives us time to reflect and catch our breath or more likely to figure out what the heck we just finished listening to. "Vox Clamantis In Deserto" is divided into 4 parts. "Mouvement I" opens with faint piano as cymbals help out then faint sounding drums but it's getting louder. Operatic male vocals after 1 1/2 minutes much like Blasquiz then some clarinet. A calm follows then it kicks in at 2 minutes with chanting, piano and drums. Another calm with clarinet then the drums and vocals kick back in. Piano is back 3 minutes in as the tempo continues to shift. A very Zeuhlish track. Dissonant clarinet 4 minutes in as well as discordant piano and random drum patterns before a peaceful calm with piano and faint clarinet follows. This goes on for some time then clashing cymbals and a piano line follows 7 minutes in and both are faint before it kicks back in with dissonant clarinet and drums to end it.

"Mouvement II" is dark with piano, clarinet and vocal expressions. Some percussion and drums too. It kicks in 1 1/2 minutes later but the tempo will shift dramatically. Faint piano, clarinet and drums will eventually follow and it stays sparse until it kicks in wildly with vocals, drums, piano and clarinet around 4 1/2 minutes. The clarinet becomes dissonant again before we get another calm around 6 1/2 minutes to the end.

"Mouvement III" opens with piano melodies with clarinet as drums join in. Vocals follow in this fairly uptempo start. A calm after 1 1/2 minutes with clarinet and piano then it's piano, drums and vocals as it builds to an uptempo groove. Dissonant clarinet and mournful vocal melodies follow. Soon it's chants, clarinet and drums almost 5 minutes in. A Zeuhl groove follows with clarinet over top. The clarinet turns dissonant once again before 8 minutes as the vocals stop but not for long. It winds down late.

"Mouvement IV" features sparse piano to start then clarinet and a distant sounding beat follow almost 1 1/2 minutes later. Vocals a minute after that will come and go along with outbursts of sound before it settles into a Zeuhl groove with piano and drums pulsating. An eerie calm and random drum patterns follow then it's pulsating again then more outbursts of sound until another calm 5 minutes in with outbursts of piano. Haunting is the word. Sparse too. Then clarinet, vocals, piano and drums return around 6 minutes dramatically at times. It's quite Zeuhlish after 8 minutes with vocals. Nice. The tempo picks up as we get some crazy stuff with dissonant clarinet.

So while I mentioned MAGMA in the intro this has but a flavour of them and is more experimental with far less vocals. Much less composed it would seem then MAGMA but man this is an album I highly recommend.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ZOIKHEM review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives