This week: UNIVERS ZERO - HERESIE (1979)
This album is basically the Holy Grail of my recent obsession with Zeuhl, RIO, and trippy prog bands from the 70's. It's difficult to describe Univers Zero's unique sound, but for some reason Enemy of the Sun/tribal drum circle-era Neurosis comes to mind, along with heaping helpings of the tarantulas-in-the-string-section skitterings of Krzysztof Penderecki. Hailing from Belgium, Univers Zero formed back in 1973 and remained active until 1987. They re-formed in 1999 and have released three albums since, but Heresie is generally regarded as their swan song. Containing some of the darkest, creepiest, and most evil dirges ever put on tape, this full-length album is composed of only three songs, the 25-minute-plus epic "Le Faulx" on side A and "Jack The Ripper" and "Vous le saurez en temps voulu" on side B.
I really can't do this album justice within the confines of human language. Full of eerie chanting, trance-like bass and drum patterns, and minor-key dissonance from the wind and string sections, the abject dread, depression, and horror summoned by this album are enough to cause one to question their own sanity. If you dig Satanic incantations, virgin sacrifice, or slowly suffocating to death while frantically scratching at the lid of your own coffin, Univers Zero may just be your new favorite band.