Love love love Archaia

Holy WOW I love this album!

ARCHAÏA were formed in the mid-seventies by MAGMA fans who wanted to do something different: play music using percussion only (no drums) and make full use of the guitar. They have alternately been compared to JADE WARRIOR, ARACHNOID, HELDON, MAHAVISHNU, KING CRIMSON (circa “Red”), UNIVERS ZERO and of course, MAGMA. But their material is totally unique, even by today’s standards. Their only album, a self-titled LP released in 1976, is now a hot collectors’ item that sells for over $300 US. At the time, however, it sold very poorly – most sales being made by the band themselves after their concerts. They went on making tapes for a while and gathered enough material for a second LP. But in the early 80’s, vocalist Pierrick Lebras sold the tapes in a flea market and ARCHAÏA then simply decided to disband. As none of the other members had kept any copies, this tape is probably lost forever.

We’re spurred on by a pulsating bass.  This self titled album is fast moving and features varied tempos and very dark themes. The music is characterized by a vitriolic fuzz guitar, droning keyboards, synths that have an eerie Twilight Zone quality, and by portentous, creepy, spooky pagan vocals. If that’s not enough prepare yourself for haunted house screams and creaking doors as the album moves in and through you to take you to the edge of your soul. Here is an album that gets oh-so-nasty nasty nasty in that deliciously good way.

Here is a great quote by Lise HIBOU from Prog Archives blog:

“the ominous organ … zeroing in on your third eye with laser-like precision. This is tensely suspenseful material, sinister, unnerving, not to mention disorienting. Perfectly suited to meditating on Hades, tales of the Dark Lord and stories from the underworld. Amateurs of Zeuhl and the avant-garde will have a field day with this cd. Not for the faint of heart but very well done and totally convincing.”

Its my favourite album this week so far – one of my all time favorites. I’m loving the listen-again experience i’m having with it.

Check out track one and get ready to have your mind officially blown:

Heavy duty prog rock vinyl collectors think nothing of handing over $600 and higher for this legendary LP. And you can hear why can’t you? There is something so dark about this, so slippery, so seductively subtle. It slides up behind you and worms its way the darker reaches of your soul. This is no Euro Krautrock inspired love fest. This is pure originality, wild and unfetterd and completely unapologetic.

I’m going to copy what Mutant Sounds have to say here, because its just so excellent. Read the full article here:

Right from the start, thick billowing tides of analog warmth cocoon the listener in amniotic suspension as a huge phased subaquatic bass rises from the depths to the tolling of a bell. This is followed by the emergence of a haunting, ghostly synth line with a spooky “singing” tone that never fails to send shivers down my spine. Suddenly, Pierrick Le Bras & Phillipe Bersan’s choral voices of doom enter. Soleil Zeuhl’s press release for Archaia’s CD reissue would lead you to believe these are zeuhl voices (i.e. repetitious, incantory and bombastically operatic, a hallmark of the zeuhl school of Orff-ian jazz-prog that emerged in the wake of the mighty Magma.) Perhaps they are, but in the context of this music’s framework, the result feels like something else entirely. It’s just that what that something is remains utterly elusive, but damned if it isn’t creepy as all hell anyway. What follows next is simply the sickest, most flawlessly acidic wiry phased guitar tone imaginable. All of this is par for the course, as Archaia delve ever deeper into the abyss, zeroing in with laser-like precision on your third eye and not relenting no matter how many times you cry uncle.
Completely unyielding in its will to have its way with your mind, this is literally too much of a good thing, and too much of a good thing is always a good thing.
(Originally published in Alternative Press #131, p.82)

Here is the lineup and track list:

– Pierrick Lebras / guitar, keyboards, vocals
– Michel Munier / bass
– Philippe Bersan / vocals, keyboards, percussion (1-8)
– Alain Evrard / percussion, keyboards (10, 11)
– Patrick Renard / drums (10, 11)

Track List:
01. Soleil Noir – 4:39
02. L’Arche Des Mutations – 9:38
03. Sur Les Traces Du Vieux Roy – 5:06
04. La Roue – 2:37
05. Le Festin Du Lion Vert – 4:49
06. Massa Confusa – 3:24
07. Le Grand Secret – 4:25
08. Vol Du Phenix – 4:02
09. Armageddon (Bonus) – 4:26
10. Robots Dans Le Formol (Bonus) – 4:16
11. Chthonos (Bonus) – 3:23

Lucky lucky lucky followers / readers of my blog can get the full album here.