Appearing from seemingly nowhere this Swiss band hits 2015 with an intriguing debut of predominantly death metal but offer some very interesting differences not least the addition of female vocals but also said lady plays a cello on this album and whilst that may make you think it’s going to sound like some pompous symphonic metal album then keep reading.
“Emergence” starts this album with a piano and cello setting a scene of unerring bleakness before a very subtle guitar hook gets involved and ends up pushing the tune into “Against Your Hold” and a roaring growl erupts from the speakers with double bass to back it up. The cello introduces itself and initially it will make you jump but once you take a breath and accept it within the bands song writing style you soon start to notice that it’s not there and you miss it within songs where it is less used. Dual vocals are nothing new to any form of metal and here the dulcet female tones are counterbalanced with the deep growls, by Jonathan, and whilst contrasting enormously they do work and reminded me of the duelling on the first two Theatre Of Tragedy albums but obviously the music is different. The whispered vocals that start the title track are unceremoniously brushed aside for the deeper vocals and a symphonic keyboard back drop. The vocals of Joëlle are very sweetly sang but not operatic in any form, they sit snugly in the songs even though the undercurrent is totally death metal. Even when the male vocals are bawled out Joëlle’s voice is also there like a ghostly image taunting the listener. A male spoken voice starts “Witness Our Fall” accompanied with synth effects and here I can say that the higher tone female vocals are a little too high for my liking but thankfully don’t last too long as the tune chops and changes regularly to keep the momentum flowing and leads into a traditional heavy metal styled lead.
“Story Of Power” has a sample start before the keyboards blow it aside for a catchy riff akin to the melodic death metal of Mors Principium Est but not as fast on the tempo. I did like “Blind Avengers” which starts with gentle guitar work and cello and a serenely played guitar solo. Joëlle’s vocals take centre stage and an immediate gothic tone is felt due to the ambience of the tune and the saturation of keyboards that eventually force their way through. The riff break is pure melodic death metal by numbers but it works when the keyboards join in offering a slightly different angle as the tune picks up the pace with the double bass leading the way before a blast is introduced. There is a theatrical element to this album due to the way the songs drift from one act to another with each taking a different guise and it is that that makes this album that more interesting than just having a female singer in the band because loads of other bands do it and it might help to sell records.
(8/10 Martin Harris)