Saturday, May 07, 2022

Heldon - Antelast [Bam Balam Records 091]

Put out on the circuit via Bordeaux-based label Bam Balam Records on April 23rd, 2k22 is "Antelast", the latest album outing by long standing French Experimental / Avantgarde Rock outfit Heldon. With their first longplay release going way back to 1974 the project founded by Richard Pinhas presents a five part session with its individual pieces, all of them recorded live at the Lieu Unique venue in Nantes in 2k19, aptly titled "Antelast One - Five" subsequently. The trio comprised of founder Richard Pinhas alongside Arthur Nancy and Florian Tatard starts off with a combination of droning guitar feedbacks and electronic atmospheres in a truly (Neo)Cosmic fashion soon met with a loose, yet thundering continuous build up of ever more complex drum layers slowly falling into place over the course of minutes, partly bringing to mind a picture of an occult and twisted version of Magma existing somewhere in a parallel dimension seamlessly transferring into fever'ish, animalistic drum excesses of ever growing intensity, endless rides through heavy Psychedelic and Progressive Rock realms as well as slightly krautsy variations which are especially prevalent in the almost militant "Antelast Four" before the concluding feedback madness of "Antelast Five" comes to an abrupt and somewhat unsatisfying halt and leaves the listener on cliffhanger without a proper denouement. Defo a heavy listening experience, this, which probably needs more than one dedicated session to fully unfold.


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