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Album Review

A decided improvement over the lackluster 1996 live date, thanks in part to the presence of drummer Daniel Denis, arguably the soul of Univers Zero and certainly its most constant member. The participation of Guy Segers on bass is also a plus, as Segers appeared on three of the five Univers Zero recordings and obviously knows the routine. The band's original keyboardist, Alain Rochette, is also here to lay down some relentless and highly effective rhythmic patterns, giving the Trigaux father-and-son team a nice foundation for some searing guitar work. On the minus side, there are some relatively brief vocals (in English), which are distinguished mainly by a woolly pretentiousness and a wordy, pseudo-poetic style, sounding a lot like a resurrection of the old prog rock ghosts of early King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, and a host of other earnest '70s bands that strove to make significant pronouncements about the meaning of life and all that. It probably doesn't help that Trigaux's first language is French, which means that the lyrics are not only pompous but at times totally inscrutable. The best parts of this CD are clearly the extended instrumental breaks, and like it or not, Present needs to recognize that it is their musical connection with Univers Zero, and their interpretation and extension of the Univers Zero sensibility, which makes their music special. Hopefully, the next time out Present will temper their poetic impulses, and focus even more intensely on their instrumental and compositional talents.


Formed: 1979 in Belgium

Genre: Rock

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

Present are a Belgian ensemble formed by guitarist/composer Roger Trigaux. In 1974 Trigaux co-founded the chamber rock group Univers Zero with drummer Daniel Denis. Trigaux left Univers Zero in 1979 to form Present with pianist Alain Rochette. Denis played in both Univers Zero and Present. Bassist Christian Genet played on the band's first LP, Triskaïdékaphobie (fear of the number 13), recorded and mixed between January and May 1980 and released later that year by the Atem label. Ferdinand Philippot...
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Certitudes, Present
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