Exposé Online banner

Runaway Totem — Le Roi du Monde
(Lizard CD 0075, 2011, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Le Roi du Monde Cover art

After close to twenty years on the scene, this Italian band continues to evolve and surprise, providing something new and unique with each new release. Le Roi du Monde (King of the World) is their ninth release overall and the third part of the trilogy 4 Elementi 5, which began with Esameron (2007), and continued with Manu Menes in 2009. The basic lineup of Cahål de Bêtêl (guitars, keys), Tipheret (drums), and Dauno (bass) is now joined by three new members: Issirias Moira Ducatti and Rafaello Re-Tuz Regoli (female and male vocals, respectively), and keyboardist Anbis-Ur Marco Zanfei. Augmenting this basic lineup is the twelve-piece ‘Modern Totem Ensemble,’ consisting of orchestral players, visual artists, and a poet / narrator. The album consists of only three tracks – the first and last are extended multi-part suites that approach or break the half-hour mark, with a shorter seven-minute piece in between them. The longer pieces evolve through numerous labyrinthine developments – each with several extended instrumental passages for the band, the orchestra, and both, as well as powerful multi-part vocal sections and some occasional Arabic narration. While there are some symphonic elements, as well as hints of jazz, their combination of instrumentation and voices is very unusual, tending to have a more dark and sinister character intertwined with volumes of mystery. The overall effect is extremely intense, occasionally reminiscent of some of the epic length pieces by Magma or early Art Zoyd, but more than anything their music refuses to be categorized.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Runaway Totem

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Slivovitz - Hubris – Here’s one of those hard to classify albums that covers a lot of ground but is generally centered in a sort of ethnic area of the jazzosphere, with some nods to Zappa as well as middle-eastern...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues