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Univers Zero: Heresie (remaster)

Heresie...it's an album, originally released in 1979 and long considered one of the albums that spearheaded the whole Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement, that still contains some of the most ominous and frightening sounds ever recorded, over 30 years since being thrust on the scene by its creator, Belgian band Univers Zero. Here in 2010, this chilling collection of songs that play like 'the sountrack to the apocalypse' has been remixed and remastered for your listening pleasure by Didier de Roos and reissued on Cuneiform Records.

Those who know Heresie well will be happy to know that the album has been given new life here, as the songs are even more menacing and powerful than before. For the few who might have never experienced Heresie previously, you are in for a treat. This happened to be the bands second album, and the line-up consisted of Michel Berckmans (oboe/bassoon), Daniel Denis (drums/percussion), Patrick Hanappier (violin/viola), Guy Segers (bass/voice), and Roger Trigaux (guitar/piano/organ/harmonium), with Vincent Motoulle on keyboards on the bonus track; more about that later.

The 25-minute "La Faulx" kicks things off in truly terrifying fashion, as Univers Zero weave an ominous instrumental tale here on this one, complete with foreboding passages that go from tranquil to bombastic, never once letting any of the musicians launch into solo mode. Frankly, the band do such as great job of weaving dark melodies and hitting fascinating crescendos, there's no reason or room for a solo of any kind. "Jack the Ripper" follows, and again, be prepared to be moved by the sheer drama that this music unfolds, as nightmarish melodies coming from the oboe, violin, basoon, and keyboards tell the story of one of the worlds most notorious serial killers as he silently prowls about London's dark streets in search of prey. The Trigaux piece "Vous Le Saurez En Temps Voulu" is a frightening rock meets classical number ('chamber rock' if you will) that again lets the oboe & bassoon from Berckmans really stand out and tell the story. As a bonus, you also get a very early version of "Chaos Hermetique", remastered from an old audio cassette copy, which adds Motoulle on keyboards to allow Trigaux to focus on guitar. The results are more 'rock' oriented, and the band has an almost King Crimson edge on this one. Trigaux would shortly leave the band to form Present, and this track would later become a regular part of their repertoire.

Cuneiform have done a great job as always with the packaging on this reissue, as you get a thick booklet with a nice essay about the album & time period in the bands history, plus a few of the chilling B&W photos from the album. It's all housed in a charming digipack, complete with additional artwork & vintage live photos. If you want the perfect snapshot of what the early RIO movement was all about, you've come to the right place.


1) La Faulx (25:03)
2) Jack the Ripper (13:20)
3) Vous Le Saurez En Temps Voulu (12:51)
4) Chaos Hermetique (11:52) -bonus track

Added: December 4th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1295
Language: english

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