Shub-Niggurath
Les Morts Vont Vite


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (181 Reviews)
November 15th, 2021 | 31 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A dark brooding Zeuhl influenced music. An intriguing album with an intriguing compositional style.

“Les Morts Vont Vite” is the debut studio album of Shub-Niggurath and was released in 1986. The line up on the album is Ann Stewart, Franck W. Fromy, Jean-Luc Hervé, Véronique Verdier, Alain Ballaud and Franck Coulaud.


Shub-Niggurath is a progressive avant-guard rock/zeuhl band from France founded in 1983 by Allain Ballaud. The band is named after one of the deities in Cthulhu Mythos created by the famous American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft.

Shub-Niggurath originated playing dark and intense expressionist music influenced by the legendary progressive French rock band Magma and the contemporary classical music. Aside the members of the band being fans of Magma, the pianist Jean-Luc Hérve had studied composition. After the first album the band started developing towards structured improvisation and electro-acoustic experiments. The band was dissolved in 1995 following the death of their leader, their bassist Alain Ballaud. They released two proper albums in their lifetime, their debut “Les Morts Vont Vite”, in 1986 and their second “C’Étaient De Très Grands Vents”, in 1991, later followed by their third “Testament”, released in 1994, which is nothing more than a compilation of unreleased material from the 90’s. Besides these, there exist two highly rare cassettes, only releases, a self-titled demo anteceding the first album and a live recording released in 1989 by Auricle. Plus later, in 2009, the band also released a fourth studio album named “Introduction”. But “Introduction” is in effect nothing more than their debut demo tracks of Shub-Niggurath cleaned up and released on the CD format.

Their debut studio album “Les Morts Vont Vite”, received critical acclaim for its innovative avant-garde inclinations, and major developments over the Magma’s sound. The album is very dark and is very close to the RIO/Avant-Prog style.

“Les Morts Vont Vite” has four tracks, plus two bonus tracks on the 1997 CD release. The main melodic thing is the harrowing soprano vocals of Ann Stewart. The music is developed in an expressionist landscape of ascending and descending chromatic chord progressions on electric guitar, piano and trombone. The music is channeled through the utter darkness and evil. The guitar solos here are more like tortured and primal sounds than anything from jazz or rock or fusion. The percussion owes more to the modern classical than jazz as well. The music here is generally dark and ugly. We can say that it has a deep darkness, and a very interesting ugliness. For the most part, “Les Morts Vont Vite” is made of the band’s improvisation and an overall mix of strange and varied sounds. “Les Morts Vont Vite” is, in my humble opinion, an album representative of the classic RIO/Avant, where its roots can be found in the early creations of Henry Cow, Univers Zero, and Magma. As for the latter band though I’ve mentioned, it’s especially because the amazing operatic vocals of Ann Stewart that reminds me a bit of those of Stella Vander of Magma, while any other parallels between the music of Shub-Niggurath and that of Magma can’t be clearly seen here. Another one of the most influential RIO/Avant bands that is often mentioned in the reviews of Shub-Niggurath is Art Zoyd. In my point of view however, any comparisons between these two bands can’t be clearly seen too. Art Zoyd’s music has a very strong classical feel to it and it’s light rather than dark, harmonious rather than dissonant. Quite the contrary, the creation of Shub-Niggurath is inspired by the Avant-garde Academic Music and has no much in common ground with the Classical Academic Music.

Returning to “Les Morts Vont Vite”, all the six compositions on “Les Morts Vont Vite” are about the classic RIO/Avant with pronounced elements of Avant-garde Academic Music and Zeuhl, though the structures of “Cabine 67” contains also quite a large quantity of very heavy musical elements. Of course, all the arrangements on the album are in the state of constant development and, thus, are completely unpredictable. Ann Stewart’s vocals are dramatic in character and are very charming. They’re present on all of the tracks on the album but the aforementioned “Cabine 67”. By the way, this is also the only composition on the album, where all the arrangements on which are exclusively fast and intensive.


Conclusion: I’m deeply impressed with the music on “Les Morts Vont Vite”. The music here is admirably dense with a kind of a method of madness as opposed to something more varied. Still, their persistence and talent for molding a small array of timbres into almost symphonic mass is really very impressive. But, its music isn’t that too much like Magma, lacking to it the energy, repetition, and funk that suffuse Magma’s work. Instead, this is music of brooding intensity punctuated by glorious frenzy. This is the best Shub-Niggurath’s albums and it’s the most approachable too. But it’s not exactly an easy listening album, though. I really hope you have already this album, otherwise, you are maybe simply too frightened to face this awesome nightmare. Still, I think you must have to listen to this album, and then, maybe you will like it too. Then, you'll have found the dark heart of Shub-Niggurath, and Lovecraft will be proud.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (25)
4.1
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
November 15th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And after two very special and unique albums in the French prog scene, let's go to a very special, unique, and above all, one of the most weird and bizarre French prog albums. I'm talking bout the debut studio album of Shub-Niggurath, Les Morts Vont Vite, almost a malignant album. Why is it so malignant? It's very simple. First, due to the name of the band Shub-Niggurath. Shub-Niggurath is one of the deities in Cthulhu Mythos created by H. P. Lovecraft. Second, the name of the album. Les Morts Vont Vite means in English The Dead Go Fast. Third, the cover of the album. It has a very dark cover, in terms of coulours and meaning, faithful to the name of the album. Finally, in the fourth and last place, but not the least, the music on the album. It's beauty in darkness. This is a very intriguing album in terms of composition. It's probably one of the finest examples of the chamber rock music, with a dark, brooding mix of RIO and Zeuhl.

So, this is a very strange work, one of the most baizarre albums that I've heard. This is especial indicated to all people that like avant-garde music and don't be afraid to discover new horizons. Still, and all in all, this isn't an album to all kind of people, even when we are talking about the most prog hard fans.

So and concluding, especially in cases like these, I'm sincerelly waiting, very hard, that you have the guts to check it and tell me what are your feelings about a work like this.

Finally, and as a statement, prog is a very diversified, eclectic and unbounded world. It's more than a kind of music. It's more like a way of life. And, in my case, it's almost all my life.

arf
November 15th 2021


148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Zeuhl on the front page, love to see it

Digging: Pensees Nocturnes - Douce Fange

e210013
November 15th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, arf. It's true. From what I could see, when you wrote your comment about my previous review, you're a huge fan of Zeuhl, probably even more hard than I am.

And as Friday told me the same as you did (I love to see Zeuhl in the front page), I'm very gald and proud to do it, in time. I'm a man with very eclectic tastes in terms of prog and music in general, but always with the good one in my phocus. Lol.

So, I'll promise you to bring some more Zeuhl in the next year. You'll see it. I hope can count on you to check my next reviews.

Cheers my friend.

arf
November 15th 2021


148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ha, I am, but I also just happen to be in da zeuhl wörtz (translator's note: "da zeuhl wörtz" means "the celestial chant". I think.) phase right now. So my enthusiasm is currently doubled.

I will probably be assisting you on this quest.

Cheers.

e210013
November 15th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, pal. I also like the celestial chant. It's always a pleasure to know someone with the same tastes.

By the way, did you have checked already a modern Italian prog band strongly influenced by Zeuhl too, named Universal Totem Orchestra or simply known as UTO? Their three studio albums are all amazing. They have an amazing soprano Spanish female singer supported by an also amazing handful musicians and some amazing Gregorian chants. If you're intersted, and I think you should must be, I advise you to check first their debut or their third work. But, since I've already reviwed their third effort, Mathematical Mother, which is for many their best work, I advise you to read my review about that album and then check that album. Probably, it will be an amzing surprise to you, my friend.

arf
November 15th 2021


148 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

They're on my radar BUT I haven't checked them out yet. Thanks for the tip

e210013
November 15th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're welcome buddy.

brainmelter
November 15th 2021


7733 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yes finally

Digging: Vothana - Hnh ??ng By Gi?, T??ng Lai ??m B?o / Action Now,

kevbogz
November 15th 2021


3902 Comments


Shub-N***urath

kevbogz
November 15th 2021


3902 Comments


"The band is named after one of the deities in Cthulhu Mythos created by the famous American horror writer H. P. Lovecraft."

ah i understand now ty

Keyblade
November 15th 2021


30358 Comments


lol kev

there's a mexican dm band with the same name and they slap

kevbogz
November 15th 2021


3902 Comments


i can't help but fucking laugh but also question people who would name their band that, 1, the fucking name, 2, hp lovecraft

AnimalsAsSummit
November 15th 2021


5850 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Man this finally got a review. Many years late but glad it happened!

e210013
November 16th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"hell yes finally" Yeah, brain.

I also think that it deserves a review.

Thanks for commenting my review.

e210013
November 16th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, kev. There are very strange band names, indeed.

e210013
November 16th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice to know that are another band with the same strange name Key. Very curious and interesting.

e210013
November 16th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Man this finally got a review. Many years late but glad it happened!"

Yeah, it's true, pal. It's a pity that many bands and albums remain obscure for so many years. Thi is why I' trying to bring many of them to the light of the day here on Sput. But, it's impossible to bruing all because they're so many.

Casavir
November 16th 2021


4805 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my favorite prog albums. Absolute classic in every way.

e210013
November 16th 2021


3783 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the comment Casavir.

Lichtmensch
November 16th 2021


12 Comments


Oh, I need to check this out! Never heard of this band before but Lovecraft-inspired zeuhl sounds like something that should be right up my alley.



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