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Univers Zero - Phosphorescent Dreams CD (album) cover

PHOSPHORESCENT DREAMS

Univers Zero

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.94 | 151 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I must admit I was shocked when I heard that Berckmans, Chevalier and Kirk were not going to be on this album but then UNIVERS ZERO has always seemed to be a band in constant change. I read an interview with band leader Daniel Denis who said the lineup had to change for this album or he would have stopped the band because it was time for a change. The biggest difference in UZ's sound on this latest record is the guitar, not that there hasn't been guitar on previous albums because there has, but not like this where it's such a big part of the sound. It's odd that there is no accordion, aboe, english horn, strings of any kind, glockenspiel or bassoon. The music is what i'd describe as melancholic and Chamber-like but it's certainly not without the darkness and powerful sections. Lots of horns as we get clarinet and sax along with some guest trombone and trumpet. This has been a huge surprise for me because I rate this in my top three already behind "Heatwave" and "Uzed".

"Shaking Hats" has this determined beat of drums bass and piano as the clarinet plays over top. It turns dark before 2 minutes with some inventive guitar expressions. Great section! A calm with piano only follows then the clarinet and more join in. More guitar 4 1/2 minutes in as it becomes more powerful and it's quite dark here. Back to that opening sound after 7 minutes followed by a silent calm before sparse piano then clarinet arrive quietly to end it. "Reve Mecanique" is led by piano and horns early on in this mid-paced beauty. It turns fuller before 3 minutes but then calms right down and some marching styled drums join in as it builds. It's heavier 4 1/2 minutes in and I like the trumpet 5 minutes in. Back to the piano and clarinet then sax at 8 1/2 minutes as it continues to plod along, love this stuff. "Tres Affables" is melancholic with piano and clarinet to start. It picks up some and it's a little fuller too. A lighter sound takes over after a minute but those melancholic sections will come and go as well. Some nice piano melodies after 4 1/2 minutes. It's cool the way themes are repeated in this one.

"Vocation" has this piano intro with cymbals as affects and more slowly join in as it builds. It's quiet again after a minute as deep sounds come and go then some evil sounding guitar arrives after 2 1/2 minutes. It lightens up again late. "Les Voleurs D'ombre" and the title track are my favourites. This one has this rhythm that sort of sways as the clarinet plays over top, very cool. Guitar before 2 minutes and it's in the angular style. It will come and go and man this sounds so good. Lots of intrcate sounds 4 minutes in and some dissonant horns as well will follow. A change 5 minutes in as it becomes dark and quiet then it kicks in before 6 1/2 minutes and again I love the guitar. It's intense 8 1/2 minutes in to the end. "Lespoir Perdu" is mainly relaxed horns and marching styled drums. "Phosphorescent Dreams" features horns that blast away then some guitar joins in before 1 1/2 minutes. We get horns and guitar only then the horns stop blasting before 3 minutes as the keyboards and guitar lead the way. Horns are back before 4 1/2 minutes. It turns dark before 7 minutes with piano only then bass clarinet and drums take over. It's still dark. Guitar before 9 1/2 minutes as it's turning brighter, piano too. It's dark and heavy before 10 1/2 minutes again.

I am so impressed not only with this recording but with Daniel Denis and all the music this band has created since the seventies. Not worthy!

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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