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Eskaton - 4 Visions (rateyourmusic - 2006/2011) (2006)

antonbildern - 10/6/2011

The masterpiece I was expecting. And finally the new reissue (by the magnificent Soleil Zeuhl label) makes justice to a long lost forgotten gem. Each track (not counting the four bonus included in this edition, which are also terrific) is outstanding in its frontiers. Four visions in the shape of songs about the future of mankind according to the band’s epithet : "Post-Atomic Music". The opener track has those kind of vicious keyboards, exhilarating progressions and haunting lyrics. "Attente" is a little lighter but it is only the first impression. "Ê’coute" is just deep, fearsome yet ecstatic music : Zeuhl with a human heart, prog-rock with a new-wavish feel. Again the double keyboard players (as brothers) give the heavenly touch the band needs providing the balance between the tragic female voices (sometimes even desperate) and the rhythmic forces of the unrest bass player and the drummer. "Pitié", in its calm atmosphere is the perfect epilogue to the album.
Soleil Zeuhl added to this reissue other four tracks, also excellent in my point of view. Not necessarily linked to the previous four, but with the same intensity of all work done by Eskaton : "the worst attempt is to call them messianic"...

acknowledge101 - 9/6/2011

holy shit

herkyjerky - 11/8/2010

I’ve been on a big Eskaton kick lately now that I finally started checking out their later work, so I might as well at least say something about this album and add a rating, but when music reaches this level there’s really no point in saying much. It’s just completely essential listening for anyone remotely tuned into the aesthetics at hand. I will note that on the Gnosis scale I rate this 14/15. 13/15, 14/15, and 15/15 all translate into 5 stars, so this is one of those "better than 5 stars" type albums, coming close to the ultimate transcendental state of listening. There are only two Magma albums I’m currently rating at 14/15, Wurdah Itah and Kohntarkosz, but of course it’s a close call with some of the others. The distinctions are very tiny. But the key point is that there is nothing by Magma that I rate higher than this Eskaton album. They really took the sound into a slightly different direction and created some of the greatest music of all-time, and probably the greatest Zeuhl album of all-time.

wizardjoe - 24/7/2010

On first listen, a definite 4.5 - there is enough going to maintain [more than a little] interest all the way through, and it’s clear that there is more to be discovered. Intriguing, winding and unpretentious, this is zeuhl as restrained as I’ve heard, which isn’t saying much COZ IT’S STILL FUCKIN’ NUTZ OOOOOOL. Mysterious and interesting.

dnieper111 - 4/6/2010

The bonus tracks on the 2010 Soleil Zeuhl reissue are pretty boring, especially compared to the album itself. They’re not bad, but I was hoping for way more intensity.

Jazzis - 7/4/2010

1st album of the fantastic French Zeuhl band Eskaton, which finally gets the long overdue reissue treatment (remastered by the Israeli sound wizard Udi Koomran) with the addition of some great bonus tracks. This is another great release by the tiny, but consistently superb Soleil Zeuhl label. Eskaton continues and expands the music of Magma, the precursor / inventor of the Zeuhl movement, but adds a distinctive style of its own and eschews many of the elements (like droning and endless repetition) that make Magma often difficult to swallow. Led by pianist Marc Rozenberg, who also composed all of the band’s music, and featuring a double female vocals chants by Paule Kleynnaert and Amara Tahir, the band managed to create a remarkable body of music as documented on their three albums (and a fourth unreleased one). Both Prog and Zeuhl fans will find this album indispensible, since no other band ever managed to achieve the same level of excellence and execution in that particular niche, although the album should be of interest to all open-minded music enthusiasts, especially those interested in Jazzy improvisations and complex Fusion. Brilliant stuff !

Amarelo - 3/12/2009

What a pleasure...

4 visions, builds itself in a very original way, magma influenced but unique.

Great vocal lines that really have an important role in the music. Superb instrumentation. Along with Kohntarkosz and 1001 cetigrades the best of french musica space voyage called zeuhl.

Like every extreme music adventure don’t expect to love it at the first listen, it took a few listens for me too.

stealingfrom - 9/8/2009

As solid as most Magma outings. Guitar reminds me of John McLaughlin at times.

Fastro - 17/10/2008

great dark party music, shivering, powerful, floating, and keeps your attention, makes you burst while waiting for the danger whole the time

Tropylium - 3/9/2008

I have little idea how this fits into the greiter Zeuhl canon, but here’s one random observation : at its most hypnotic moments, the music oddly resembles Oldfield’s Incantations. Track 3 especially.

Lilleboll - 27/3/2008

Great Zeuhl ! It sounds like Magma with french female vocals, and that’s what it is ! Damn good !

herrahuu - 11/1/2008

So the base here is the very loose strings that’s it’s tickled in right way with fast fingers to achieve very nice and zeulish vibration that goes through the body affecting very stimulative, great feeling. When getting faster, which is quite often the case... eventually, the vibrational hypnosis gets stronger raising the stimulation even more. It gets occationally here really fast, even voluptuous and result is the great pleasure ! Praise for loose strings !

When this fast fingerin’ is accompanied by excited screaming of two woman you’re in heaven ! For gods name two women ! Thats’s true, I swear ! These women are really something, fast, talented, soft, gentle, rough... And they scream ! They scream so passionalely, so joyfully, so sensually, so... Uh ! Praise for screaming women ! Praise for loose strings !

The sticks are also here in main role, like always in zeulish ceremonies, banging and bashing the loose head here in so passionately, so voluptuously that it gets easily anybody into trance shouting in pleasure. The sounds are great like the skin was kinda very wet and loose ! When this is added to effects of previously mentioned fast fingering and screaming of two women in lustful trance, you cannot hold on but gotta move it ! Praise for sticks ! Praise for screaming women ! Praise for loose strings !

Four times ten minutes it will be experienced ! Four times ten minutes of ecstasy, of thrilling carnal hypnosy you’ll be exhausted but still begging for more ! Praise for more ! Praise for sticks ! Praise for screaming women ! Praise for loose strings ! Praise for Zeuhl !

oracus - 27/9/2007

I totally agree with the review of fellow progarchives reviewer and I am going to rate it with 5 stars whereas I am picky too. This record is the epitome of the zeuhl genre ! Get it !

Tovan - 1/9/2007

Well played, interesting zeuhl compositions. Unfortunately, it’s more about form than substance.

trickpascheri - 26/7/2007

Une incroyable galette ressuscitée grâce au grand Dus devant l’éternel, et sans qui ce CD n’aurait pu être possible. Au même moment où Charlemagne Palestine nous offrait son sublime "Golden Mean" à la Chapelle de la Sorbonne, dans le cadre du Festival d’Automne de Paris, ces citoyens kobaïens venaient nous livrer, en novembre 1979, cette merveille musicale. Dans les équipementiers de la "Zeuhl tendance Canterbury et sans trop de jazz", Eskaton est certainement notre leader français incontesté. A mettre en parallèle du très grand Kultivator suédois, avec parfois un zeste des belges d’Univers Zéro. Bravo, on ne peut s’en passer !

chamberry - 26/5/2007

Eskaton’s 4 Visions shows us a lighter and less imposing sound from the Zeuhl bands. The music here resembles that of Weidorje a year earlier, but this one sounds more active, funkier and ultimately more enjoyable. That being said they don’t deviate that far from the common Zeuhl sound as much as they make it more rewarding, and accessible than the rest. Part of this is due to their roots being closer to that of popular music (funk, prog, rock) and not opera or the avant-garde, the other part is due to their great songwriting abilities that pulls you in from that first bass note heard on the opener Eskaton.

Taking all said into consideration this is a great album for those who want to know what Zeuhl’s about and not get freaked out by the bizarreness of other bands like Magma, which is what most people recommend when talking about Zeuhl. 4 Visions can be just as enthralling as the best albums this odd french genres has to offer if by any odd chance still isn’t.

Edited - 1/22/09

dnieper111 - 23/4/2006

Monstrous, epic, and brilliant in every possible way. Probably better than almost anything Magma ever did too.

Eskaton - 4 Visions (rateyourmusic - 2006/2011)

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