This was also reviewed by Tom here.
Today's post is once again courtesy of the AC. A very interesting album. Many of my initial thoughts were the same as AC's, so let's get his take first this time: "Hailing from Reims, this duo's lone LP, a private press released in micro quantities, is seemingly all but forgotten by time, representing perhaps the deepest, darkest recesses of the old French underground scene. In the unlikely scenario that you were to happen upon this relic collecting dust in some tiny French record store, your first thought might be that it's an unknown Venom style proto-black metal record, what with its ultra-primitive hand drawn cover that looks like something straight out of an old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module, and track titles like "Medieval Holocaust", "Shaking the Gates of Hell" and "Black Witch". But what a shock you would be in for as the needle drops, revealing a shadowy aural landscape that would serve as the perfect soundtrack to some weird 70s horror film. Haunting, folky acoustic guitar passages blend into classic French electronic prog, with gurgling analog synths, bass, electric guitar, and occasional vocals, creating a strange, occult atmosphere that will stay with you long after the music has stopped. Admittedly, the execution is a bit amateurish at times (these guys were probably mere teenagers when this was recorded), but in a way that only adds to the charm. Definitely worth hunting down for fans of French deep underground sounds and experimental krautrock."
Haha - that was my first thought too: "Black Metal" by Venom. As an old metal head from back in the day (as in 1979-1983), I can only imagine my look of horror as I dropped the needle on this album, thinking I'd uncovered an underground metal masterpiece.
Demon & Wizard fall in line with many of the obscure acts of the French underground of the late 70s and early 80s. I would have expected this to be released on the D.I.Y. FLVM label, as it has that vibe. Or perhaps Disjuncta. The sparseness created by the acoustic guitars and synthesizers had me thinking at once of Images, Kennlisch, Lourival Silvestre, Flamen Dialis and even early Richard Pinhas circa "Rhizosphere".
Again, I have to state my opinion (with apologies to Tom) which is the same as the previous, that the case was overstated a bit. Yes, there is a dark and haunting quality to the music, which, if you're seeking this you will be satisfied, kind of, however if you are looking for original, complex, or new and progressive material, you are sure to be disappointed as I was. In particular, comparing this to anything at all by Richard Pinhas / Heldon seems to me mildly ludicrous due to its inferiority.
Note the price on discogs. I think the title, not mentioned above, is clearly from the classic Uriah Heep album by the same name.
Here is the first track for sample: