C are from the Czech Republic, and play what they call "compost rock". I'm not quite sure what that means, but the intrumental collection of songs on Universum sound somewhat like a head on collision between math rock and King Crimson, although I wouldn't call it as focused as that. There are some neat grooves and fiery playing here, like the fuzzy and muscular bass lines on "Ichtriol", or the manic guitar chords of "Rhodamine". However, in many instances the band just seems too reliant on repetitive rhythms and melodies that never really go anywhere. Like the opening "Le Grand Wazoo", a song that starts off promising with some nice guitar and keyboard tectures, but then meanders, as does the gentle "Sixplusone". The latter has a smooth jazz feel to it, but then loses steam with an overly long passage on the vibraphone. The band does crush though on the exhuberant "Lyrics Are Never More Important Than the Music", a complex and heavy slice of brutal math rock at its finest. This is the style I'd like to hear more from this band, although they also do the avant-prog thing pretty well on the psychedelic "Hymen".
Not enough meat, and too many potatoes, but there is still some promise on Universum. If C is looking to expand on their instrumental prowess, they have taken some baby steps here that should see some growth on their next release.
1. Le grand wazoo
6. Lyrics are never more important than the music
7. Route 27