Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Vangelis - L' Apocalypse Des Animaux (OST) CD (album) cover




Prog Related

3.75 | 123 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This is a great early soundtrack album from Vangelis and shows the composers abilities at creating diverse sounds without the banks of synthesizers that he would later acquire from Heaven and Hell onwards. In fact on the album you can hear just the Fender Rhodes electric piano, the Clavinet, a heavily disguised and treated Hammond organ and a wide variety of percussion instruments played by Vangelis. There are also some uncredited guest musicians on the album, including an acoustic guitarist (possibly Silver Koulouris of Aphrodites Child) on La Petite fille de la mer and La Mort du Loup, and some beautiful trumpet playing on Le Singe Bleu.

The album is the soundtrack to the wildlife series L'Apocalypse des Animaux produced by Frederic Rossif, and is the first of four collaborations between Rossif and Vangelis in this genre; the two would later work together on La Fete Sauvage, L'Opera Sauvage and Le Sauvage Bleu. The series, produced in 1970, was in six episodes each of which concentrated on different aspects of wildlife. For this soundtrack album, only three out of the six episodes are excerpted. The opening track is the title music to the program and features in its instrumentation; marimba, piano, organ, drum machine, percussion and very eerie sounding voices. Track two, La Petite fille de la mer is without a doubt the most well known composition on the album, and is also probably the albums highlight. This track comes from the final episode of the program, and is a beautiful track built around Vangelis' celestial sounding Fender Rhodes piano together with his heavily treated hammond organ, and acoustic guitar. The whole sound is strangely spacey and icy, yet delicate at the same time. A comparison can be made with Vangelis's later composition that was used as the title music for Carl Sagan's Cosmos program - from the Heaven and Hell album.

La Singe Bleu, coming from the first episode of the series, is probably the most simple piece on the album; a duo of Vangelis on Fender Rhodes again together with an unknown trumpet player. Again the music is delicate, and has a very still, static kind of atmosphere about it. On the LP, L'Ours Musicien comes next. This and the following track appear on the fifth episode of the program. This is a strange piece of music with a vaguely classical feel to it. Vangelis creates yet another unusual sound with his hammond organ, to the point that it could quite easilly be a stylophone. This is backed by yet more celestial fender rhodes. At just one minute in length, it is the shortest track on the album, and even appears to be cut short. La Mort du Loup is a very dark and unsettling piece, as its name suggests. A very simple Clavinet and acoustic guitar melody is backed by more hammond atmospherics.

Side two comprises just two lengthy tracks that would nowadays be described as ambient pieces. Both tracks come from the last episode of the series. Creation du Monde, with an echo-laden Clavinet lead and atmospheric background, gives the impression of a wide open space - this feeling of emptiness pervades the whole album. Likewise, La mer recommencee utilises the same sound tools, coupled with some strange scrapping percussion effects, creating a very unsettling atmosphere. The music on this album is very haunting. And as with many Vangelis soundtrack albums, the music works extremely well even without the support of the visuals. It is also unbelievable how Vangelis managed to create such a diverse collection of sounds with such limited equipment.

If the kind of Vangelis-music you like the most is the melodic material, then this is not really an album to go for. All the tracks contain melodic material, but these melodies are largely buried in the mix, apart from track two. However, if it is the atmospheric side of Vangelis that you like, then this is a interesting starting point. This, and Earth are probaly the best works of his early period, but Vangelis would soon however go on to bigger and better things. As for general prog-rock fans, this music would probably come across as slightly dull and uneventful. A better start would be his mid to late 1970s albums. This album should appeal to new age, ambient and general soundtrack music fans. A good, but non-essential album.

UnearthlyChild | 3/5 |


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 VANGELIS 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: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives