Within every genre are a fair share of obscure bands/albums, zeuhl not excluded. In some cases, it's impossible to understand why these bands are obscure given the high quality of the music. In other cases, it's not hard whatsoever to see the (admittedly cruel) logic behind the obscurity. Honeyelk, sadly, is one of the latter. While certainly not bad, their music is really only for the decided zeuhl fanatic.
For one thing, the music itself is only okay at best. While it has some nice keyboard work, even that is overshadowed by the far more exquisite work in that regard by Magma, Koenjihyakkei, Weidorje, Eider Stellaire, Eskaton, and just about any other well-regarded zeuhl band you can name. The keys mostly consist of jazzy chords, leaving some sort of jazz instrument to play the leading melodies, which are mostly decent but not entirely interesting or timeworthy. That's not to say they're bad, just unengaging. I will point out, however, that the drumming throughout Stoyz Vi Dozeveloy is top-notch, giving the music life where it would otherwise have none. Accompanying this is some wonderful driving bass guitar that makes for a killer rhythm section. Unfortunately, just a rhythm section is not enough in the world of zeuhl, and the other instruments fail to live up (except for the vocals). In addition, the songwriting is only decent, with several points where the music stops in order to transition to another section, rather than actually transitioning musically.
The music is not the biggest problem with this CD, however. In fact, I find it quite enjoyable from time to time. The real killer for this album is the sound quality. While I normally don't care too much about sound quality, it's poor enough here that even I take notice. For a true audiophile, I could see it as a huge inhibition to enjoying the album.
That aside, this album really does have some moments of brilliance, particularly during the instrumental sections where the rhythm section is dominant. This one is really only for the zeuhl completionist, but it's a good album nonetheless. Or, I should say, it's a decent album nonetheless. All-around, it really comes across as average, and thus the obscurity is understandable, what with all the really good music coming out almost every day (or so it seems).
Stoyz Vi Dozeveloy