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Album Review

Häxan is a soundtrack for a silent movie made in 1921 by B. Christensen. Art Zoyd's fascination with classic horror movies from the 1920s began with Faust (on the film by F.W. Murnau), a soundtrack released in 1996. A year later, they took the same ingredients and produced an album a notch above. The use of synthetic keyboards and samplers is better integrated and feels less erroneous to the fan of the band's early all-acoustic albums. While Faust was a continuous suite of pieces alternately written by founding members Gérard Hourbette and Thierry Zaboïtzeff, Häxan can be split in two independent parts. First is Hourbette's 30-minute piece "Glissements Progressifs du Plaisir," followed by six shorter pieces penned by Zaboïtzeff. Atmospheric moments are more blurred, less descriptive of the scenes they relate to, while the aggressive passages tend to be more complex (especially "Épreuves d'Acier"). Faust had a theatrical let's-give-you-a-scare feel. This one is subtler, more textural, and mature. It may be less striking upon first listen (less percussion and grandeur), but in the long run its more mysterious side will win you over. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Formed: 1969 in Valenciennes, France

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The French avant-prog unit (with no member actually named Art Zoyd) formed around the core of bassist Thierry Zaboitzeff, percussionist Jean-Pierre Soarez, and violin player Gerard Hourbette, with guitarist Rocco Fernandez, pianist Patricia Dallio, percussionist Daniel Denis (who later formed Univers Zero) and a changing lineup of half-a-dozen additional instrumentalists. The group's first album, Symphonie Pour le Jour Ou Bruleront les Cités, was self-released in 1976, followed by albums for Recommended...
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Häxan, Art Zoyd
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