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Vortex - Les Cycles De Thanatos CD (album) cover

LES CYCLES DE THANATOS

Vortex

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.12 | 60 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!

Over four years after their superb self-titled debut album's release, finally came out on an independent label called Faites-Le-Vous- Même (FLVM is DIY in French) their second (and last) album called Les Cycles De Tanathos (based on you know what book, right? ..), but the group had finished the album for over one year, but where unable to find a label to issue this little pearl. In the meantime, the group had undergone a few line-up changes, losing some mostly growing from a quintet into an octet, something not exactly wise for a group whose music was not exactly drawing huge crowds.

The opening track God Is Good To You is more of late 70's JR/F tune in the JL Ponty style than anything they had gotten us used to in their debut album. The following Prolegomènes (of which we have a previous version in the bonus tracks of the debut album) starts out on a Ratlege/Jenkins mode, staying jazz for a while, but as the track extends it goes more progressive, flirts with RIO, borders with Chamber Rock, reaching the sublime between the tenth and the twelfth minutes and subtly veering Zeuhl in the lasrt two minutes. Awesome stuff and just a preview of what's to come on the flipside.

The Cd reissue gives us the full 25 minutes of the sidelong title track, something that had not been feasible on the vinyl of those years. Indeed the epic Tanathos starts out heavily depressive and AZoyd and UZero are not far away in terms of gloomy ambiance. Yes, obviously there are also many moments when HCow or Hatfield &TN are hinted at, principaly

Again with the Cd reissue this second album comes with two bonus tracks, and just as it was the case with the debut album, they add much value to the original album, so much that you'd swear they'd always been part of it. Hypopotalamus Negro is subtle and superb deconstruction of a Zoydian Zeuhl music into a simpler but just as superb jazz-rock. Ivanoe (Invanhoe for the English) is more of a full-blown Mahavishnu Orchestra-style jazz-rock-prog again growing a bit softer into a mid-70's Weather Report.

Just as incredible as its forerunner, Tanathos is a splendid album veering between chamber rock, Zeuhl, JR/F and RIO, and it might just be that it is the single best example of the four distinct styles merging together to form one single musical ensemble. Clearly Vortex has not usurped its name

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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