EllipseWhen I started writing about music all those years ago Metalcore was all de rigueur and discs came flying in from all angles. Although I was not a particular fan of the genre I certainly built up a tolerance for it and a bit of an appreciation. At least it was solid and well played on the whole and lacked the crass commercialism of the dreaded nu-metal that it had pretty much overtaken in popularity at the time. Now we don’t get anywhere near as much of it coming in and although as far as I’m concerned it’s not particularly missed that much but sometimes the odd disc does rejuvenate the senses and reminds why this sort of music should not be entirely written off and be sent down to the grave never to be heard of again. Much of what does arrive comes from France and Ellipse from Nantes are no exception from the rule. The other thing they have in common with bands such as Eths and Kells is that they have a veritable lioness on vocals. Claire from Ellipse gives the impression that she would happily bite off your neck and shit down the stump, do not expect anything in the way of mercy from her, no dulcet tones or clean harmonies here thank you very much, just one powerful god-almighty roar!The quartet of accompanying musicians are none too shoddy either but at least they do allow the music to breathe a bit here especially around four instrumental bridges splitting up the deluge. On tracks like Calvaire (great film that) though they tumble, judder and quake around the ferocious barking and bellowing vocals giving you a particularly brutal ride. Technical and involving the music has a choppy-ever fluid dynamic that certainly keeps you on your toes. Others may look at this as melodic death, or even modern metal, hardcore and indeed at the occasional down-tempered moments there’s even a casual post-rock flair about it all.

Lyrically and title wise everything is in French here but the impression it gives is universal and one of anger with a side-dish of unbridled energy backing it all up. There’s plenty to head-bang along to as well as get yourself tied in knots air-guitaring to the dextrous riffage on display. You can imagine this lot going down a storm live and sparking up a fiery circle pit as they tear things up. Occasional gang shouts bristling away in the background just get the adrenaline levels sparking all the more volatile as this charges around like a bull in a china shop.

Keeping this one shot, not a stack more to say about it other than if you like the genre and have not heard of Ellipse, get them on your radar and be prepared to rage. This is a bit of a beast!

(7/10 Pete Woods)