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ZEUHL

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


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Zeuhl definition

Zeuhl is an adjective in Kobaan, the language written by Christian Vander, drummer and founder of the French band Magma.

Pronunciation: zEU(h)l, while the EU are like a French E with a slight U, and the (h) is a semi-silent letter which is an integrated part of the EU, totaling in a "syllable and a half".

The word means celestial, although many times it is misunderstood as meaning "celestial music", since the members of Magma describe the genre of their music as Zeuhl. Zeuhl Wortz, though, means Music of the universal might.


The genre is a mixture of musical genres like Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Modernism and Fusion. Common elements: oppressive or discipline-conveying feel, marching themes, throbbing bass, an ethereal piano or Rhodes piano, and brass instruments.

Current team members (20/05/2016):
Raffaella (Raff)
Luca (octopus-4)
Ian (Nogbad_The_Bad)
Keishiro (DamoXt7942)
Ori (frippism)

Zeuhl Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Zeuhl | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.30 | 909 ratings
MEKANK DESTRUKTW KOMMANDH
Magma
4.27 | 635 ratings
K.A
Magma
4.25 | 445 ratings
EROS
Dn
4.28 | 202 ratings
4 VISIONS
Eskaton
4.19 | 476 ratings
MHNTHTT-R
Magma
4.18 | 316 ratings
CHRISTIAN VANDER: TRISTAN ET ISEULT [AKA: ẀURDAH TAH]
Magma
4.23 | 192 ratings
WEIDORJE
Weidorje
4.26 | 130 ratings
MATHEMATICAL MOTHER
Universal Totem Orchestra
4.40 | 69 ratings
MAIS ON NE PEUT PAS RVER TOUT LE TEMPS
Thibault, Laurent
4.14 | 443 ratings
KHNTARKSZ
Magma
4.14 | 355 ratings
FLICIT THSZ
Magma
4.12 | 392 ratings
1001 CENTIGRADES [AKA: 2]
Magma
4.04 | 426 ratings
MAGMA [AKA: KOBAA]
Magma
4.12 | 118 ratings
LES MORTS VONT VITE
Shub-Niggurath
4.28 | 51 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT II
Bondage Fruit
4.09 | 123 ratings
THE MAGUS
Universal Totem Orchestra
4.07 | 126 ratings
INFERNAL MACHINA
Top, Jannick
4.51 | 24 ratings
VISION
Bringolf, Serge
4.77 | 15 ratings
200 000
Zwoyld
4.08 | 90 ratings
RITUALE ALIENO
Universal Totem Orchestra
4.17 | 50 ratings
ARCHAA
Archaia
4.08 | 81 ratings
GURISON
Setna
4.47 | 21 ratings
CAILLOU
Caillou
4.05 | 92 ratings
弌 (TWO) [AKA: VIVA KOENJI !]
Koenji Hyakkei
4.11 | 48 ratings
KAWANA
Zao
4.00 | 97 ratings
EIDER STELLAIRE I
Eider Stellaire
3.95 | 140 ratings
ANGHERR SHISSPA
Koenji Hyakkei
4.15 | 30 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT VI
Bondage Fruit
4.02 | 54 ratings
FANFARE DU CHAOS
Rhn
4.10 | 29 ratings
BUDO
Vak
3.97 | 56 ratings
NICOLAS II
Potemkine
4.06 | 31 ratings
AEDIVIDEA
Vak
4.31 | 14 ratings
BLACK EQUUS
Ga'an
4.22 | 17 ratings
NEFFESH MUSIC :GHILGOUL
Seffer, Yochk'o
3.96 | 55 ratings
FICTION
Eskaton
4.17 | 16 ratings
PAGA
Paganotti/Paga Group
3.93 | 55 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT I
Bondage Fruit
3.98 | 36 ratings
U RIGIRU
Rialzu
3.96 | 39 ratings
BONDAGE FRUIT III - RCIT
Bondage Fruit
3.87 | 120 ratings
TOSCCO
Happy Family
3.94 | 47 ratings
CYCLE I
Setna
3.89 | 83 ratings
HUNDRED SIGHTS OF KOENJI
Koenji Hyakkei
3.92 | 50 ratings
SHEKINA
Zao
3.88 | 78 ratings
NIVRAYM
Koenji Hyakkei
3.92 | 43 ratings
SYMPHONICA
Ruins
4.19 | 12 ratings
ALONE
Ruins
3.97 | 29 ratings
PALLASCHTOM
Ruins
3.90 | 51 ratings
OSIRIS
Zao
4.02 | 20 ratings
OFFERING PART III / PART IV
Offering
4.13 | 12 ratings
LES CYGNES ET LES CORBEAUX
Vander, Christian
4.00 | 18 ratings
GA'AN
Ga'an
4.00 | 16 ratings
A FH
Offering
4.09 | 11 ratings
TO LOVE
Vander, Christian
3.94 | 22 ratings
INTRODUCTION
Shub-Niggurath
3.98 | 17 ratings
ARKANA TEMPORIS
Neom
3.95 | 20 ratings
AMATERASU
Corima
4.18 | 8 ratings
NEFFESH MUSIC: DLIRE
Seffer, Yochk'o
3.92 | 23 ratings
OFFERING PART I / PART II
Offering
4.00 | 14 ratings
RETORT
Unit Wail
3.94 | 17 ratings
02
Scherzoo
4.03 | 10 ratings
NEFFESH MUSIC: IMA
Seffer, Yochk'o
4.02 | 10 ratings
ZGOND
Zwoyld
3.82 | 50 ratings
DHORIMVISKHA
Koenji Hyakkei
3.80 | 106 ratings
CRATION DE L'UNIVERS
Xing Sa
3.85 | 29 ratings
MINIMAL GODS
Happy Family
3.85 | 23 ratings
LAGGER BLUES MACHINE
Lagger Blues Machine
3.83 | 30 ratings
FOETUS
Potemkine
3.86 | 18 ratings
CONTACT
Thollot, Franois
3.94 | 9 ratings
TOK 1
Elephant Tok
4.50 | 2 ratings
CHROMOPHONIE II
Seffer, Yochk'o
4.50 | 2 ratings
CHROMOPHONIE 1 : LE DIABLE ANGLIQUE
Seffer, Yochk'o
3.90 | 11 ratings
STONEHENGE
Ruins
3.94 | 8 ratings
ZAO FAMILY
Zao
3.90 | 10 ratings
04
Scherzoo
5.00 | 1 ratings
SAXRUINS - BLIMMGUASS
Ruins
3.79 | 35 ratings
QUETZALCOATL
Corima
4.04 | 4 ratings
AFFRESCHI E MEDITAZIONE
Runaway Totem
3.83 | 15 ratings
NOA
Noa
4.08 | 3 ratings
ADAMA
Seffer, Yochk'o
3.98 | 4 ratings
KAKUSENJO NO ONGAKU
Kakusenjo No Ongaku (Base Of Fiction)
4.05 | 3 ratings
UNDINE
Ono, Ryoko
4.05 | 3 ratings
INNE' VITAL
Stalingrad 119
3.77 | 54 ratings
HAPPY FAMILY
Happy Family
3.81 | 13 ratings
VAZYTOUILLE
Vazytouille
4.00 | 3 ratings
VOX CLAMANTIS IN DESERTO
Zoikhem
4.00 | 3 ratings
A TOUS LES ENFANTS
Vander, Christian
3.79 | 16 ratings
COMPLEX COMBAT
Amygdala
3.75 | 377 ratings
D ẀD
Magma
3.95 | 3 ratings
RYOKO ONO & ROGIER SMAL: WOODMOON
Ono, Ryoko
4.05 | 2 ratings
DMK
Ryorchestra
4.00 | 2 ratings
YOG 2 - SEFIRA
Seffer, Yochk'o
4.00 | 2 ratings
YOG 1 - PITCHIPOY
Seffer, Yochk'o
4.00 | 2 ratings
FIESTA IN DRUMS (WITH FRANK RAHOLISON)
Vander, Christian
4.00 | 2 ratings
JOHN COLTRANE L'HOMME SUPREME
Vander, Christian
3.77 | 17 ratings
VRRESTO
Ruins
3.80 | 5 ratings
THE GREAT FILTER
Orvalians
3.76 | 16 ratings
BURNING STONE
Ruins
4.00 | 1 ratings
AGBOVILLE
Bringolf, Serge
4.00 | 1 ratings
ACEL TOLL
Seffer, Yochk'o
4.00 | 1 ratings
YOG 3 - YOCHK'O SEFFER BIG BAND
Seffer, Yochk'o

Zeuhl overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Zeuhl experts team

C'TAIENT DE TRS GRANDS VENTS
Shub-Niggurath
BONDAGE FRUIT I
Bondage Fruit
HUNDRED SIGHTS OF KOENJI
Koenji Hyakkei
NEFFESH MUSIC :GHILGOUL
Seffer, Yochk'o

Latest Zeuhl Music Reviews


 Dhorimviskha by KOENJI HYAKKEI album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.82 | 50 ratings

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Dhorimviskha
Koenji Hyakkei Zeuhl

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group Avant, Crossover & Neo Teams

3 stars The album "Dhorimviskha" created by a brilliant Japanese Zeuhl project KOENJI HYAKKEI has been released into the progressive rock scene in the summer 2018. Every track has an eccentric title (don't know what manner they give such a funky title to a track in), weird melody lines, complicated rhythmic bases, or incredibly technical instrument activities. Surely you can feel it should be an enjoyable creation as well. Or let me say, you can run away from the real serious world through the material in this opus definitely.

They use multi-rhythmic phrases in a repetitive manner, based upon critical drumming, seasoned fantastically with Ah's high-tone voices, Keiko's funkadelic wind instrument plays, Kengo's deep, deeper bass tones, Kei's speedy guitar storm, and Taku's sincere jazzy keyboard shower. Their serious, positive, delightful play is crazy great indeed, even in a incredibly sound bizarre, and the frontman Tatsuya YOSHIDA should be crazy nasty at the drumming or percussion without doubt ... yes without any doubt. Wondering how they launch a novelty different from previous material, and for me sounds more of technique or strength, and less of creativity nor potentiality.

Of course, their performance upon stage drives you mad. I'm looking forward to their gig along with this magnificent album ... yikes.

 Dhorimviskha by KOENJI HYAKKEI album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.82 | 50 ratings

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Dhorimviskha
Koenji Hyakkei Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Ever since Christian Vander introduced the world to a new bizarre form of jazzy rock that contained seeds of alien contacts in his band Magma, many of the most extreme and adventurous musicians of the entire world have followed in his footsteps and added their own stamp on the crazy musical world that has become known as zeuhl. While many of these bands have come from Vander's native France, this bizarre field in fusion paradise has also attracted many others from around the world but perhaps no other nation has been so interested in adding their signature mind bending freakery to the style more than Japan and perhaps the single individual who has contributed the most to zeuhl's evolution in the 21st century is the indefatigable Tatsuya Yoshida (吉田達也) who has kept several plates spinning with his admirable Ruins, Ruinzhatova and Akaten (amongst many many other endeavors). However without a doubt the most ambitious of his projects has to be the hyperactively absurd musical smorgasbord of KOENJI HYAKKEI (高円寺百景).

While KOENJI HYAKKEI (高円寺百景) released their debut album "Hundred Sights Of Koenji" (the literal meaning of the band name) all the way back in 1994, this band hasn't exactly been the most prolific of Yoshida's projects since only four albums were released between the debut and 2005. While seemingly disbanded, like a good Godzilla movie, this monstrous musical beast has returned a full 13 years later with another brutally delicious extreme zeuhl piece of work in the form of DHORIMVISHKA which finds Tatsuya returning on drums and vocals along with bassist Sakamoto Kengo and woodwind maestro Komori Keiko. Joining the cast is keyboardist Yabuki Taku, guitarist and vocalist Koganemaru Kei and vocalist "Ah" Yamamoto Kyoto. Anyone familiar with KOENJI HYAKKEI (高円寺百景) will surely be aware of their unhinged adventurous nature and with this new cleverly crafted edition to their ongoing legacy, the band concoct one of the most adventurous and labyrinthine albums of their entire existence with the expected bubbling zeuhl rhythms bursting with obsessively frenetic time signature workouts, virtuosic instrumental attacks and some of the most over-the-top operatic vocals you could ever hope for.

If bands like Magma were like introductions to an alien civilization with gentle melodic developments that slowly ratcheted up to crescendoes, then KOENJI HYAKKEI (高円寺百景) is more like an extraterrestrial attack where every cadence and every measure of sonic possibility is a crescendo as if everything were turned up way to 11 and the extrem-o-meter was set for "mind melt." As with previous albums, DHORIMVISHKA is simply uncompromising in its relentless angular bouncing from one adrenaline fueled track to another. While the term brutal prog is a rather recent appellation that simply describes of brand of progressive rock that nurtures all the progressive accoutrements lavishly and takes them all to their logical extremities, this indeed is THE signature attribute for one of Japan's most unusually energetic musical troops as they accrue a unique zeuhl inspired flow embellished by percussive pummelation usually reserved for extreme metal and vocal gymnastics that sounds like someone spiked the divas drinks with high quality and long lasting methamphetamines that allow them to do unthinkable performances at breakneck speed.

DHORIMVISHKA is divided into seven lengthy tracks ranging from the six to twelve minute mark with each finding its own unique expressiveness but share the hyperactive overdrive antics. The star of the show is clearly vocalist Yamamoto Kyoto as she whizzes up and down the operatic scales flawlessly as the pummeling percussive drive plods along in conjunct with the excessive distortion of guitar riffs and solos, brash bass bravado and the unique mix of saxophone and clarinet attacks. The music is as wild and utterly unhinged as music can be and is as weird as the freaky track titles such as "Palbeth Tissilaq" and "Zjindhaiq" indicate. It goes without saying that this is extremely highly complex music but it is in reality exaggerated out of fairly easy to digest and humble beginnings. The melodies are well established, the rhythms are consistent and the deviations happen at a deliberate calculated pace so that the overall sense of order doesn't completely devolve into utter chaos.

For those who love the zeuhl rock opera sound that mixes and melds the expected marital and repetitive rhythmic percussive drive with larger than life chanted vocals in wordless or at least alien language form in a trance-like minimalism only laced with the excessive bombast of guitar runs, overweening saxophone squawks, glass shattering vocal antics and aggressive time signature and tempo changes, then you've come to the right slice of an alternative reality with KOENJI HYAKKEI (高円寺百景) who continues their unique trend of splicing and dicing zeuhl realities with avant-prog angular abstraction to create an edifice of powerful extreme prog that recognizes no boundaries. And whose only mission is to pummel the senses into utter submission like a blitzkrieg of sonic freneticism that attacks like a swarm of angry hornets. Despite this over the top bout with complexity, it's absolutely amazing how KOENJI HYAKKEI (高円寺百景) adds a sense of firm control over the monster of their making like a lion tamer in a circus with only a small whip and a whole heap of confidence to keep it all from going terribly awry. KOENJI HYAKKEI (高円寺百景) are back with a vengeance and Tokyo will never be the same!

 Eider Stellaire I by EIDER STELLAIRE album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.00 | 97 ratings

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Eider Stellaire I
Eider Stellaire Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars It seems that most if not all bands that fall into the world of zeuhl have some connection direct or otherwise to Magma's Christian Vander and his pioneering band of the entire sub-genre of progressive jazzy rock. The French band EIDER STELLAIRE is no exception to this rule. The band was founded in 1980 by Michel Le Bars in Albion-sur-Seine near Paris after having started out under the moniker Astarte. The band released three albums in the 80s beginning with this 1981 debut that was completely eponymously titled upon its first pressing but has been given the title I ( one) since the remastered 2011 version came out. This is so that it fits in with the following albums II ( two ) and III ( three ). Makes sense to me!

This is one of those albums that has been virtually impossible to find for many years after its inception since it was issued originally in 1981 as a small private micro-pressing of only 300 vinyl LPs. That is the version with the blue cover and stellar backdrop. A second self-released small pressing took place in 1986 which sported a white backdrop on the cover with a castle in the lower right corner. It also had a sticker slapped on it that shouted '1st Album!' Despite two releases, it was still super rare and remained one of the most sought after obscurities in the prog universe. While it has been available to hear once the internet has been in existence, finally in 2011 the holy chapel in the form of the record label Soleil Zeuhl remastered the album and re-released it on CD with the original album cover but if you want any of the vinyl editions, expect to shell out some serious dough.

Like all zeuhl projects, EIDER STELLAIRE are highly influenced by 70s Magma with the same exact mix of 20th century classical (Bartok, Orff, Stravinsky) and rock fortified jazz-fusion with strong bass driven rhythms and angelic female vocals. The band Astarte started out with Michel Le Bars (drums), Patrick Singery (bass) and Jean-Claude Delachat (guitar) who all played together for three years before disbanding and beginning the EIDER STELLAIRE project in 1980. During the Astarte years, the band would open up for Magma when much of the material for this debut album was written so on top of being influenced by Vander's pride and joy, they would become immersed in the music as well which becomes more obvious when listening to this debut release. After reforming under the different band name the additional members of Pierre Gerard-Hirne (piano, organ), V'ronique Perrault (vocals), Marie- Anne Boda (vocals, flute) und Michel Moindre (tenor sax) would join in and the EIDER STELLAIRE party began.

ALBUM NO. 1 originally hosted five tracks and the re-release added an alternative version of 'Nihil' which was longer and quite different as a bonus track. EIDER STELLAIRE not surprisingly sound a lot like Magma. In the similarities department we have the same incessant rhythmic bass workouts that form the backbone of the musical drive but with the same nerdy precision of Jannick Top and the host of other bassists who have tackled this demanding sub-genre. The alienating effects of the music are nearly identical as EIDER STELLAIRE easily whisks you away from 'normal' Earthly bound music. Another distinct feature that is clearly from the Magma playbook are the ethereal female vocals that offer the same sort of human touch that was so prevalent on not only Magma albums but Canterbury greats such as Hatfield & The North. The bass driven grooves are also augmented by organs and keyboard runs as counterpoints. That's where the similarities end.

The differences are numerous. EIDER STELLAIRE blend in a lot more jazz-fusion than the Magma albums after the first two did but even so it's not like the first two Magma albums which were extremely experimental. This is completely zeuhl oriented with jazz- fusion touches more like the band Zao only a tad demanding and a lot more energetic. What really drives EIDER STELLAIRE over the top is the inclusion of heavy guitar riffing and soloing which is something not common in the zeuhl microverse. For the most part this music is completely vocal free save the examples strewn about where the girls chant wordless utterances. Despite falling into what some would call clone country, EIDER STELLAIRE do find their own voice in the zeuhl wilderness although admittedly with a rhythmic drive and bass bombast so similar to their influences, it's hard to remember that small detail.

Though the band sounds most similar to Magma when the girls are hitting the high notes, there are times of pure magic such as on "Arctis 6.'me 'ph'm'ride' where the instrumental interplay is absolutely divine and if one pays attention to the details of the bass lines in mix with the frenetic percussion, it is apparent that EIDER STELLAIRE implement a far more jazzy approach than Magma with their Teutonic marches onto the battlefield. This music has a lighter and airier feel as if Weather Report was joining in for a few sessions but then got carried away. While many deem this as a masterpiece and cornerstone of the sub-genre i'm not quite as keen on it. It's certainly a stellar example of zeuhl taken on its own terms but in the end this debut album sounds like a perpetual jam of sorts with no real resolution for the compositions, something Magma never lacked. It simply doesn't register as highly as Magma's never-ending supply of top notch albums. EIDER STELLAIRE would only release three albums and ultimately Michel would later join Christian Vander's post-Magma band Offering which i would imagine was a dream come true.

3.5 rounded down

 Les Morts Vont Vite by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 1986
4.12 | 118 ratings

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Les Morts Vont Vite
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars After forming in 1983, bassist Alain Ballaud spent many years crafting his Paris based SHUB-NIGGURATH into a truly ugly beast that found a unique middle ground between two completely demented subgenera of progressive rock. The first would come from the rhythmic jazz-rock genre known as zeuhl developed by his fellow countryman Christian Vander in his unique musical act Magma where pulsations of sound emanate in a rather orderly fashion and create a musical backbone so to speak that extends into much larger compositional constructs. Secondly Ballaud was equally intrigued by the frightening beauty that was possible from chamber rock orchestrations from the likes of Univers Zero and Art Zoyd where freeform chamber rock elements could conspire to create soundtracks of utter gloom and doom.

While Ballaud would bring those influences to the table, keyboardist Jean-Luc Herve would bring yet another important aspect of the musical process into the picture. His direct tutelage under Grard Grisley ushered in what is known as spectral music, which is a form of non-functional harmonic textures and exotic scales that could logically be argued were direct descendents from 20th century classical composers such as Edgar Varese, Giacinto Scelsi, Olivier Messiaen, Gyrgy Ligeti, Iannis Xenakis and Karlheinz Stockhausen. However, in the 70s what would be deemed as spectral music was intricately involved in the compositional process that dealt with the analysis of the sound with a spectograph and how the composer can manipulate the characteristics of the timbre. While predominantly utilized in the avant-garde reaches of 20th century classical music, SHUB-NIGGURATH adopted these principles in the context of progressive rock.

The band released a full-length demo in 1985 which took on all the characteristics of a bona fide album save the rather primitive production values, however the band had developed one of the scariest styles of music that was seemingly set for the soundtrack of the apocalypse, something the world hadn't experienced since Univers Zero's formidable "Heresie" which emerged the decade prior. While the self-titled demo would have to wait over twenty years for a proper remastering and re-release, SHUB-NIGGURATH which took its name from a deity in the H.P. Lovecraft crafted Cthulhu Mythos universe instead went back to the studio to nurture their musical madness in the form of their first official album LES MORTS VONT VITE (The Dead Go Soon) which follows in the footsteps of the demo (re-released as "Introduction" in 2009) and offers a darkened musical journey straight into the very infernal wastelands of hell.

LES MORTS VONT VITE is an interesting experience as it somehow eschews all categorization. While proceeding in a rather blatant rock context with a percussive drive, a bass driven groove and post-punk meets no wave sounding guitar torture, the music itself mirrors a far more avant-garde intellectualism reserved for the off-kilter offerings of 20th century classical composers. The zeuhl aspects bubble through in that they keep the pace as if they are an unheard driving force that only pierces through the darkened din as to keep the listener from spiraling into a dark and forbidding dimension where minds are completely lost and sanity is banished into unthinkable camps of incredulity, a place where sonic demons reign with impunity and hellish soundscapes tear souls apart for eternity.

While similar to the demo, LES MORTS VONT VITE is less forceful for the most part and also hosts a far superior production value. The guitar grunge and bass fueled doom fuzz is turned down and the acoustics of the instruments are allowed to be heard in full frightening form. The tinkling of minimalistic pianos haunt the soundscape as the spectral vocal hauntings of vocalist Ann Stewart provide a hypnotic wordless etherealness that keeps the musical outpouring from completely sinking into the darkened abyss. The addition of a bass trombone adds a mysterious serious of bleats and extra layer of rhythmic dysfunction that blends into a never- ending series of off-kilter counterpoints that offer various time signatures layered upon each other. While the track "Yog Sothoth" is recycled from the demo, the version here is completely different as it generates more of a surreal mood setting rather than an grinding doom.

The album consists of four lengthy tracks with the opener "Incipit Tragaedia" hovering near the sixteen minute mark. The first three tracks craftily navigate through mostly surreal soundscapes that incorporate the avant-prog and zeuhl elements and meld them with the classical infusions of the avant-garde. The true bombast however is reserved for the closing "La Ballade De Lnoire" which paradoxically is no ballad at all but rather a brutal mix of thundering percussive attacks, blistering bass bantering and dissonant guitar abuse straight out of the no wave playbook of bands like DNA and Theoretical Girls. Strange microtonal melodies are generated and everything seems somewhat familiar yet slightly off center, a trait that i consider quite desirable in magnificently dramatic music such as this. The 1997 CD reissue contains two equally compelling bonus tracks: "Delear Prius" and "J'ai Vu Nagure En Peinture Les Harpies Ravissant Le Repas De Phyne" which are well worth inclusion although they are quite short in comparison. This album is the stuff nightmares are made of! Some of the most brilliant sounds ever to conspire to scare the living daylights out of you. Masterpiece!

 Introduction by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.94 | 22 ratings

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Introduction
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars SHUB-NIGGURATH emerged from the fertile French underground at a time when a new chapter of progressive oriented rock had been taking on the challenge of finding its way into a new decade that wasn't so friendly to its highly innovative and experimental approach. The roots of this band emerged from another band that was known both as Apsara and Altas. This Paris based band was finding equal inspiration not only from their fellow progressive contemporaries Magma but also from neighboring Belgium in the terrifying chamber rock possibilities of Univers Zero. Their name is derived from one of the deities in Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft and as it turns out the perfect visual representation for the band's delving into some of the most avant-garde developments that could be classified within the greater zeuhl category.

The band was founded by Allan Ballaud sometime in 1982 or 1983 and would remain active until his untimely death from cancer in 1995. The band consisted of seven musicians in the beginning including Ballaud (bass), Franck Coulaud (drums,) Franck W. Fromy (guitars), Jean-Luc Herve (piano, organ & harmonium, Ann Stewart (vocals), Vronique Verdier (trombone) and Michel Kervinio (even more drums and percussion). This eponymously titled debut emerged initially as a demo preceding their classic album "Les Morts Vonte Vite." It emerged in 1985 as a mere cassette with a production job to match but has since been remastered and re- introduced to the band's canon in 2009 under the title INTRODUCTION. Despite the intent of a re-release there are slight differences between the original demo and the what would be called INTRODUCTION but only negligible differences well made up by the greater remastering job.

This demo is considered somewhat mandatory for SHUB-NIGGURATH fans due to the fact that the tracks never appeared on another album with the exception of the opener "Yog-Sothoth" which is a heavier and rawer version. The band's goal was obviously to create some of the darkest and most terrifying sounds ever heard. While staying within the rhythmic confines of Magma inspired zeuhl complete with the operatic vocal style of Ann Stewart, the music itself relies more on an apocalyptic "Heresie" era of Univers Zero styled chamber rock which the band pulls off effortlessly with a stellar instrumental section. One of the unique factors for SHUB-NIGGURATH was the inclusion of a bass trombone to add hitherto unthinkable bleats to their doom-laden bass fuzz and rhythmic marches into the world of dread.

This demo or INTRODUCTION is very similar to the album "Les Morts Vont Vite" as can be expected since that album continues the dynamics presented here in a more cohesively uniform fashion, however this demo provides a more intriguing experience in a frighteningly raw journey that imposes order of disparately tortured sounds through the zeuhl decree. While a rhythmic march is somewhat loosely contained, the real magic lies in the dissonant guitar squeals, the heavy bombastic outbursts and the ethereal vocal chants of Stewart. Never before has music sounded so tortured and enshrouded in darkness. Ballaud learned well from the Univers Zero playbook and upped their game exponentially.

Part of the appeal of SHUB-NIGGURATH is the fact that pianist / organist Jean-Luc Herve studied under the tutelage of 20th century classical composer Grard Grisey who was a key figure in what was called the spectralist movement which emerged in the 70s and with the assistance of computer analysis would analyze the quality of the timbre in acoustic music derived from its synthesis, therefore a whole new method of music existing as an aesthetic rather than a distinct style emerged. While somewhat known in the avant-world of 20th century classical music, SHUB-NIGGURATH were instrumental into bringing these techniques into the greater progressive rock universe.

This debut by SHUB-NIGGURATH can really be considered a halfway point between the Kobaian zeuhl magic that Magma unleashed in the early 70s with the intricacies of chamber rock made popular by bands such as Univers Zero and Art Zoyd. While "Les Morts Vont Vite" is surely the first stop in exploring the demented and darkened world of SHUB-NIGGURATH, this debut demo turned archival is not to be missed for it is as haunting as anything you could possibly imagine with a musical backbone to match. If you seriously want some apocalyptic sounds that take you to a vast underworld of avant-extremities then don't mistake this demo for a mere weak version of the debut album. This is every bit as accomplished and worth of a prime time performance that offers tracks unavailable anywhere else.

 Shub-Niggurath by SHUB-NIGGURATH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1986
3.85 | 14 ratings

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Shub-Niggurath
Shub-Niggurath Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars SHUB-NIGGURATH emerged from the fertile French underground at a time when a new chapter of progressive oriented rock had been taking on the challenge of finding its way into a new decade that wasn't so friendly to its highly innovative and experimental approach. The roots of this band emerged from another band that was known both as Apsara and Altas. This Paris based band was finding equal inspiration not only from their fellow progressive contemporaries Magma but also from neighboring Belgium in the terrifying chamber rock possibilities of Univers Zero. Their name is derived from one of the deities in Cthulhu Mythos by H.P. Lovecraft and as it turns out the perfect visual representation for the band's delving into some of the most avant-garde developments that could be classified within the greater zeuhl category.

The band was founded by Allan Ballaud sometime in 1982 or 1983 and would remain active until his untimely death from cancer in 1995. The band consisted of seven musicians in the beginning including Ballaud (bass), Franck Coulaud (drums,) Franck W. Fromy (guitars), Jean-Luc Herve (piano, organ & harmonium, Ann Stewart (vocals), Vronique Verdier (trombone) and Michel Kervinio (even more drums and percussion). This eponymously titled debut emerged initially as a demo preceding their classic album "Les Morts Vonte Vite." It emerged in 1985 as a mere cassette with a production job to match but has since been remastered and re- introduced to the band's canon in 2009 under the title INTRODUCTION. Despite the intent of a re-release there are slight differences between the original demo and the what would be called INTRODUCTION but only negligible differences well made up by the greater remastering job.

This demo is considered somewhat mandatory for SHUB-NIGGURATH fans due to the fact that the tracks never appeared on another album with the exception of the opener "Yog-Sothoth" which is a heavier and rawer version. The band's goal was obviously to create some of the darkest and most terrifying sounds ever heard. While staying within the rhythmic confines of Magma inspired zeuhl complete with the operatic vocal style of Ann Stewart, the music itself relies more on an apocalyptic "Heresie" era of Univers Zero styled chamber rock which the band pulls off effortlessly with a stellar instrumental section. One of the unique factors for SHUB-NIGGURATH was the inclusion of a bass trombone to add hitherto unthinkable bleats to their doom-laden bass fuzz and rhythmic marches into the world of dread.

This demo or INTRODUCTION is very similar to the album "Les Morts Vont Vite" as can be expected since that album continues the dynamics presented here in a more cohesively uniform fashion, however this demo provides a more intriguing experience in a frighteningly raw journey that imposes order of disparately tortured sounds through the zeuhl decree. While a rhythmic march is somewhat loosely contained, the real magic lies in the dissonant guitar squeals, the heavy bombastic outbursts and the ethereal vocal chants of Stewart. Never before has music sounded so tortured and enshrouded in darkness. Ballaud learned well from the Univers Zero playbook and upped their game exponentially.

Part of the appeal of SHUB-NIGGURATH is the fact that pianist / organist Jean-Luc Herve studied under the tutelage of 20th century classical composer Grard Grisey who was a key figure in what was called the spectralist movement which emerged in the 70s and with the assistance of computer analysis would analyze the quality of the timbre in acoustic music derived from its synthesis, therefore a whole new method of music existing as an aesthetic rather than a distinct style emerged. While somewhat known in the avant-world of 20th century classical music, SHUB-NIGGURATH were instrumental into bringing these techniques into the greater progressive rock universe.

This debut by SHUB-NIGGURATH can really be considered a halfway point between the Kobaian zeuhl magic that Magma unleashed in the early 70s with the intricacies of chamber rock made popular by bands such as Univers Zero and Art Zoyd. While "Les Morts Vont Vite" is surely the first stop in exploring the demented and darkened world of SHUB-NIGGURATH, this debut demo turned archival is not to be missed for it is as haunting as anything you could possibly imagine with a musical backbone to match. If you seriously want some apocalyptic sounds that take you to a vast underworld of avant-extremities then don't mistake this demo for a mere weak version of the debut album. This is every bit as accomplished and worth of a prime time performance that offers tracks unavailable anywhere else.

 mhnthtt-R by MAGMA album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.19 | 476 ratings

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mhnthtt-R
Magma Zeuhl

Review by GruvanDahlman
Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Magma occupies a space in the spheres of music that is totally unique. No other band sounds like them and the genre they created, zeuhl, is not for everyone. I am not saying that to scare people off but it is true. As in most cases regarding the more extreme sounds in music there is a somewhat limited fan base, as opposed to more easily digested ones. Having said that I would also like to state that Magma has so much to offer to those who dare venture into and explore this dark and foreboding landscape.

mhnthtt-R is an album released by this longlived band 39 years after their debut. There are many examples of bands that over such a long period of time (in this case also a disbandenment/hiatus) fail to reproduce the splendour and majesty of past glory but Magma does the opposite. Alot is very much the same as it has always been. The chanting is there, the vocals sung in Kobaan, the heavy distorted bass, Vanders exquisite drumming and so forth. All that is pretty much identical to the classic stuff but the material is just as brilliant as ever, something one might have expected to be otherwise. mhnthtt-R is a very intense album. Now, that's not a shocking statement when speaking of Magma, I know. But it is. Intense, powerful, dark and overwhelming. The four piece suite that occupies most of the album is a stunning piece(s) of music. It attacks you and sucks you in like a monstrous vampire and stuck inside the belly of the beast you stand in awe and amazement. It is, to put it mildly, a stunning experience.

There is no point in dissecting the pieces on this album. Just listen to it and you'll be alright. However, I must emphasize that "mhnthtt-R II" and "mhnthtt-R III" are my favorites on the album. The 2nd piece is the longest, 22 minutes in length, and offers a great variety. It is also my absolute favorite on the album. The 3rd piece with its 13 minutes the most hard rocking and intense of the pieces. It reminds me alot of the song "Mekanik kommandh"from MDK in regards to intensity and power. It's like the band is barely able to contain the massive amount of energy produced. I get the feeling that they are about to explode. What is there to say? Brilliant? Well, yes.

The material on the album was not entirely new back in 2009. It is made up of bits and pieces played live over the years but it has never, as far as I understand, been recorded in the studio, at least not in this grand and fullfilled way. I think this is just as good as anything the band ever made. MDK may be the absolute pinnacle but this is not far off. It fills me with such emotion, joy and exuberation that I am about to shoot off into space, never to return. Fueled by the energy from the album I could sail off to the farthest corner of the universe and still have it in me to go back to Earth. It's that good.

Is mhnthtt-R a good place to start if one is new to Magma? Yes, I suppose so but there are other albums just as apt to begin with. I do think however that you can't go wrong with this one. The power and the glory is all there. Go for it, why don't you?

 Budo by VAK album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.10 | 29 ratings

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Budo
Vak Zeuhl

Review by Nogbad_The_Bad
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Eclectic Team

5 stars VAK are back with their second Soleil Zeuhl release three years after their debut. The core of the band is the same with Aurlie Saintecroix (wordless vocals), Alexandre Michaan (keyboards), Jol Crouzet (guitar & bass) & Vladimir Mejstelman (drums). The sound is filled out with guests Michal Havard & Nora Froger on sax's and flutes respectively.

Their sound is heavily influenced by Eskaton, particularly the wordless vocals, and Magma. They have a very retro zeuhl sound with driving rhythmic bass and drums with keys primarily leading the composition. If you like long instrumental pieces that suck you in with the a groove that grooves and grooves you'll love this. One of the highlights of the year.

Mastered by Udi Koomran and a very happy return of the Soleil Zeuhl label who have been quiet for a couple of years.

 Eros by DN album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.25 | 445 ratings

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Eros
Dn Zeuhl

Review by mariorockprog

5 stars A masterpiece by Dun, a french group that mainly participated in the festivals of Rock in Opposition of that era along with Magma. It is also a overlooked band that I think deserved more success, they only produced one album, but is a gem, however commercially they didn't have the enough success to continue making more. I am not a really big fan of zeuhl style, in fact outside of Magma and Dun, I dint like other band. However I have to recognize that this album is a masterpiece, the combination of all instrument and the quality of musical composition is excellent. I liked how the album flows with every song and the sudden apparition of different rhythms with different instruments make it very interested, also the contra-tempo managed of the music is perfect. I think this is a must have album, for me the best of Zeuhl music, and also can recommend to any prog listener who doesn't really know Zeuhl and want to start with the sub-genre.
 Dhorimviskha by KOENJI HYAKKEI album cover Studio Album, 2018
3.82 | 50 ratings

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Dhorimviskha
Koenji Hyakkei Zeuhl

Review by Norbert

5 stars Dhorimvishka is the fifth studio album of Japanese Zeuhl/Avant band Koenjihyakkei. I usually trie to curb my enthusiasm when it comes to rating and reviewing new releases to allow for a cooling off period, but the new album of Koenjihyakkei deserves attention (well, all Koenjihyakkei albums do.). I was already very excited when I learned about the release of this album, their last studio effort was released in 2005, quite a long time ago. The albums artwork for the mini LP sleeve is probably their most beautiful to date, and I considered the track listing very encouraging. 7 tracks in 61 minutes, and as a general rule the 8-10 minute long compositons of Koenjihyakkei are often the best. Koenjihyakkey is a sextet here, the soaring lead vocals of the lady called Ah (aka Yamamoto Kyoko) are accompanied by the chants of the male band members, mastermind and world class drummer Yoshida Tatsuya, longtime bassist Sakamoto Kengo, and new guitar player Koganemaru Kei. The band is complete with the keyboards of Yabuki Teku and the woodwinds of the other lady Komori Keiko. As always the musicanship is of the highest calibre (not only the drumming.), and Ah has an impressive range. The music basically Zeuhl, but with more twist that French legend Magma. There are influences from symphonic music, jazzrock, metal, hardcore punk, and even from soul music (the second track Levhorm). The seven compositions are full of complexity, breaks, tempo changes, and dyamic contrasts, but the arrangements are very well structured, this music is controlled chaos from finest! This music comes very hyperactive and excessiv accross, especially at first listening, but there are more laid back jazz-like and even acoustic moments, and there is a healthy dose of catchyness, and fortunately they do not take themselfes too seriously. Certainly, 2-3 listenings are nothing to explore this album, but with more than a week experience I may conclude that all 7 tracks are very good, there are no kind of filler tracks, like on some of their earlier albums. Maybe this is even my favourite Koenjihyakkei album so far.

Data cached

Zeuhl bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
ALTAS France
AMYGDALA Japan
ANAID France
ARCHAIA France
ARKHAM Belgium
BONDAGE FRUIT Japan
SERGE BRINGOLF France
CAILLOU France
CORIMA United States
DAI KAHT Finland
DAIMONJI Japan
DN France
EIDER STELLAIRE France
ELEPHANT TOK France
ESKATON France
FRACTALE France
GA'AN United States
HAPPY FAMILY Japan
HONEYELK France
KAKUSENJO NO ONGAKU (BASE OF FICTION) Japan
KOENJI HYAKKEI Japan
LAGGER BLUES MACHINE Belgium
MAGMA France
MUSIQUE NOISE France
NEOM France
NEW PLEASURE Canada
NOA France
OFFERING France
RYOKO ONO Japan
ORVALIANS France
PAGANOTTI/PAGA GROUP France
PERCEPTION France
POTEMKINE France
PSEU France
RHN France
RIALZU France
RUINS Japan
RUNAWAY TOTEM Italy
RYORCHESTRA Japan
SCHERZOO France
YOCHK'O SEFFER France
SEKKUTSU JEAN Japan
SETNA France
SHUB-NIGGURATH France
STALINGRAD 119 France
SUPER FREEGO France
LAURENT THIBAULT France
FRANOIS THOLLOT France
JANNICK TOP France
UNIT WAIL France
UNIVERIA ZEKT France
UNIVERSAL TOTEM ORCHESTRA Italy
UPPSALA France
UTOPIC SPORADIC ORCHESTRA France
VAK France
CHRISTIAN VANDER France
VAULTS OF ZIN United States
VAZYTOUILLE France
WEIDORJE France
XING SA France
ZAO France
ZOIKHEM France
ZWOYLD France

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