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Un Festin Sagital: Epitafio a la Permanencia

Hailing from Chile, UFS state their credentials firmly at the opening of this album with the Magma-esque vocals and discordant organ and bass attack. Their style is somewhere between Zeuhl and RIO with hints of Art Zoyd and Univers Zero as well as Samla, Richard Pinhas and Thinking Plague. The first track is an impressive beast which starts aggressively as it exits Magma's spaceship but moves through multiple changes of tempo, meter and style with a smoothness that belies the complexity and variation involved. Use of electronic sound effects that disturbingly remind me of those clicking bones in Takashi Shimizu's scare-fest, "The Grudge" are juxtaposed with clashing vocals, pinpoints of percussive light and a bizarrely distorted sax in the central section. Things start to get really weird when what sounds like a bar-room singalong suddenly joins in, only to be trampled by wheezing sax and iconoclastic female voice. Gradually the melee fades back to a single acoustic guitar and short injections of keys and effects before an electric guitar rock figure takes over. A Samla Mammas Manna inspired ending of vocal acrobatics and violin ends this exceedingly good opener.

The second part of the 2-part epic suite starts with semitonal organ chords, eerie warbling synth and squirts of guitar, voice and percussion over a rumbling bass and piano motif. Violin precedes a blast of chaotic keyboard and guitar chords with insane vocals which give the impression of one of Goblin's soundtracks or a Devil Doll album with dampened piano and an eerie atmosphere closing out the track. "L'age Delicieux" is another long piece at 13 minutes which evokes an air of mystery and danger with its disconcerting mixture of synth, delicate percussion, gear-crunching guitar and menacing vocals. The closing arrangement has strong resonances with Univers Zero's "Heresie".

The almost Gregorian style of "No hay Coristas" is a short and very odd departure into choral, operatic territory. "La dignidad del espiritu bestia" however returns the band to its aggressive and adventurous writing in this creation of chanted vocals, wild guitar and violin and deep, throbbing bass and drum backing, interspersed with acoustic interludes, scraping violin and disturbed vocal effects. The final work, "Destierro", starts gently with acoustic guitar and electronics before vocals and viola join and the sound becomes gradually more distorted and twisted. Midway, hand drums and wah-wah guitar take over before the acoustic guitar returns and the song is recycled back into a repetitive vocal and eerie Fripp/Eno landscape.

Marcelo Rodriguez and Michael Leroy, the principal writers and producers, have done a remarkable job of the mostly home studio production with crystal clarity and well engineered mixing of the multitude of sounds and instruments poured into the pot. All in all this is a top notch album which will appeal to anyone who likes RIO or Zeuhl.


Track Listing
1. Epitafio al delirio de la permanencia Part 1
2. Epitafio al delirio de la permanencia Part 2
3. L'age delicieux (la revolucion perenne)
4. No hay Coristas!
5. La dignidad del espiritu bestia
6. Destierro

Added: February 2nd 2009
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Score:
Related Link: Bata-Lactam Ring Records
Hits: 1999
Language: english

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