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Univers Zero - Univers Zero [Aka: 1313] CD (album) cover

UNIVERS ZERO [AKA: 1313]

Univers Zero

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.22 | 238 ratings

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TCat
5 stars If you ever really wonder what Rock in Opposition sounds like, or if someone asks you what it is, then you put on an album by Univers Zero. That's about as good of an introduction as you can get. Of course, it branches out in all kinds of sounds and styles from there, but it's still a good start.

This album is all about traditional, orchestral style instruments, only not in an orchestra as much as in a chamber ensemble. But even then, you don't want to make the mistake of thinking you are going to be listening to baroque style music, think more along the lines of impressionistic music. Seeing as how the band cites Bartok and Stravinski as influences, then that should give you an idea of what you are going to get here, but with more contemporary percussion than with orchestral style. Throw in different string instruments like violin and cello, harmonium and some brass, then an occasional guitar and bass, and you got the idea.

This is definitely not rock or pop in any regular sense. If you are familiar with RIO or Avant-prog, then this sound is something that you are used to hearing. But, as this band is one of the pioneers of the sound, they are the ones that helped establish the genre. Expect complex melodies and time signatures with a lot of dissonance. Also, on this album at least, things are more raw then they would be in some future albums.

Many compare Univers Zero with Art Zoyd, and the comparision makes sense, at least in AZ's early stages. UZ is a lot more tight sounding as the music is more structured where AZ is more improvised. This album, called 1313 for the catalogue number, is not as dynamic and a bit rougher than their future releases would be. But it is still top notch quality music, much of it inspired by works of Lovecraft and other dark artistry. The music definitely fits that niche. But, some may also think because of this that the music is soundtrack style music. That is a mistake. It's much more complex and is not tied down to imagery, but much better composed with a structure.

Of course, this isn't music for everyone, but mostly those that have a love for avant-garde style classical music or for those that love adventurous music of any genre. Highly recommended to RIO/Avant Prog lovers as an essential album.

TCat | 5/5 |

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