The debut album from this great Italian zeuhl band. A band who unfortunate has only released two albums.
To say that the music on this album is complex is an understatement. The music style is symphonic somewhere between fusion, avant-garde and zeuhl. The Magma influences are many. But Universal Totem Orchestra is much more varied and playful than Magma has ever been. Universal Totem Orchestra is all over the place with their toys on this album.
Universal Totem Orchestra is an offshoot project from the Italian Zeuhl band RUNAWAY TOTEM and this album appeared between their second Zed and the third album Andromeda. As Runaway Totem is generally not regarded as Zeuhl leading band, often gathering unfavourable critics by specialist and buyers, it was somewhat surprising that UTO 's sole album Rituale Alieno was such a success (relatively speaking). Where RT was dry, square, heavy, uninventive and uninspired, UTO's Rituale Alieno is much lighter, fun, even a tad inventive, and enthralling. However, there is a gothic side to UTO, in great part due to the vocals, which range from the Gregorian chants to other choirs and operatic vocals, often soprano female and male baritone
In 1967, a young Beijing student, Chen Zhen, is sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia.