I’ve been on a cosmic voyage of a band that knows the essence of King Crimson, Magma, and a dosage of the Zeuhl machine. That group is called Unit Wail. Unit Wail is the brain child of Shub-Niggurath guitarist Franck Fromy. Unit Wail launched back six years ago and their music is dark, sinister, heavy, and ominous that will send shivers down your spine. They have released three albums so far, and while this is my introduction to the band’s music, I have to say, they have me getting ready for an adventure of a life time that has a spirit about it.
That and their new album in which is their third album released on the Soleil Zeuhl label entitled, Beyond Space Edges is the journey into madness. It’s a concept sci-fi album that would have given Star Trek a big run for their money and show how a real story in different universes is done right. The story of the album is almost straight out of a story by filmmaker and spiritual guru Alejandro Jodorowsky.
It’s about a group of bizarre creatures leaving to prepare to go the moon and heading towards the womb of the Ziggurat (which resembles the Mayan Temples) and then sucked into the psychedelic tunnel and spat into an active atmosphere. In the dome, they are inside the utopian megalopolis as the wise man gives them a tour, his appearance of the master scares them, but he will take them on a course to an unknown planet.
This is where it gets bizarre. They land on planet X as it absorbs them into an interdimensional probe as their bodies are analyzed by a machine and mutated takes place as it lights up. At the end, the probe drops them on the moon as the earthrise enchants them. Even though the story is weird, twisted, and out of this world, the music is terrifying, but it’s staggering and getting you ready to set a course for an adventure into space that isn’t just a galaxy far, far away.
Not to mention the five highlights on the album. Imminent Take-Off begins with an ominous ambient/atmospheric introduction into madness that keyboardist Emmanuel Pothier does as he gives the listener a chance to imagine the weird creatures getting ready to embark on an adventure they will never forget before Franck and Phillippe Haxaire create the engines rolling on guitar and drums.
I really enjoyed Adrian Luna’s bass lines. Its jazz and rock in opposition mixed together in a blender. He has the combination between both Jannick Top and Stanley Clarke. And he shows his improvisations to the tunnels on Through the Wormhole. His fingers on the frets, takes him to higher places as it punches through the mirror like sharp objects in a faster tempo.
The Magma inspirations are in there which is evidential on Deep Inside Megalopolis. I can hear the sounds of the Udu Wudu and Attahk-era thrown in, followed by the Red-era of King Crimson thrown in there with Mellotron’s galore! The 6-minute D.N.A.A.T.M. (Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid Sychromous Transfer Mode) is where everything comes into the analyzation of mutation.
Swirling and sending signals to the Moog, Mellotron, Robert Fripp meets Roger Trigaux’s guitar techniques where it’s clean and crunchier of difficult time changes thanks to Phillippe’s drumming that he sends into pure momentum as he builds it up like a powder keg ready to erupt.
The guitar sounds almost like a roaring machine ready for the transformation as Adrian’s Bass increases the transformation for the creatures. The last track, I See Earth which features guest musician Ana Carla Maza on the violin, creates these rumbling metallic roars on her instruments, gives you a chilling vibration as Emmanuel does an electronic finale on what will happen next as the earth rise hypnotizes them to find out what the travelers will do next.
I have to say, I was completely blown away from the moment I’ve put on Unit Wail’s third album. This was out of the blue and the perfect momentum on how they aren’t just doing it for show, they are doing this because they have potential and grab the right exact moment on where they would take their music into other universes.
So if you love the Zeuhl genre, then dive deep into the ocean of Unit Wail’s Beyond Space Edges.