Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Univers Zero - 1979 - Heresie

Univers Zero 

01. La Faulx (25:18)
02. Jack the Ripper (13:29)
03. Vous le Saurez en Temps Voulu (12:56)

04. Chaos Hermetique (11:51)

- Michel Berckmans – bassoon, oboe
- Daniel Denis – drums, percussion
- Patrick Hanappier – viola, violin
- Roger Trigaux – guitar, piano, organ, harmonium
- Guy Segers – bass, voice

If their debut album was a slap in the face, this second album can be assimilated to a kick in the arse coupled with an uppercut in the stomach. Univers Zero’s music was never designed for easy thrills and charming melodies to get cosy with a partner, but with this album, the music sinks to the lower instincts of the human mind, uncovering some rather macabre moods. By now, the group is down to a sextet, with Nicaise gone, Trigaux will take on the keyboard duties, while still working his guitars. Another change is the arrival of Guy Segers on bass, and some thirty years later, he is still around the scene, albeit not always as a musician.

As with the debut, the artwork is just as dark and sinister (do not be fooled by the heavy gothic feel, though), fitting the music marvellously well, but certainly not making it more accessible. The side-long “epic”, the 25-min Denis-penned La Faulx is a slow starter and newcomer Segers sings out chants that could easily be written by Vander. Quite a grandiose but doomed and gloomed moment, the track slowly picks up and peaks around the 11 to 13 minutes mark, and resumes a calmer (and repetitive) pace not far from Stravinsky’s most sombre works.

The second side starts off with a collaboration between Denis and Trigaux, the 15 min+ Jack The Ripper, with the harmonium dictating the slow and lugubrious ambiance, with Denis’s percussions providing most of the interest in the early part, before the violin first and the bassoon next bring the track to the next level of intensity. The albums wraps up on the Trigaux-penned En Temps Voulu track which brings many shivers of angst, which pretty well repeats what has been said before.

Hérésie is one of those albums that must be played only when the listener’s moods are suitably ready for it. Compared to the rather short 1313, this 50-minute monster is quite a step upwards and forward in their musical search, but can be a bit long at times. Not recommended for the faint-hearted.