Release DetailsLABEL Adipocere
RELEASED ON 5/1/2004
posted on 2/2005 By:
Adipocere Records certainly has increased their stature in my opinion over the two years that I’ve been writing for MetalReview. Following on the heels of some very decent albums by Forgotten Tomb and Blodsrit comes the first full-length from the French act Aquilon. They are a six-piece band, including a male and female vocalist (who also plays the keyboards) and a pair of guitarists.
When they all get together, they end up producing an intriguing style of dark metal, rooted in mid-paced thrashy or melodic riffs, backed up nicely by electronic elements, and accented by a number of different vocal styles. Alexandre, the male vocalist, handles the bulk of the singing. He uses a raspy, black metalish snarling delivery slightly more than a clean style that brings to mind Andrea of Lacuna Coil. What’s really funny is that Anne’s singing sounds like Christina Scabbia, so this sounds at times like an effort by Lacuna Coil to work in death metal influences. Fittingly, they bear most resemblance to the Italians on their lighter, more synth-loaded tracks. When they get heavier, it results in a more unique sound.
The production on Intramedia is rather unremarkable, but it meshes well with their style. The drums are not very prominent, while the guitar tone is distorted but it sounds “smoothed over” – no bite. The clarity comes through on the more sparse pieces of music, such as when the synths are dominating, or when Anne is singing in the spotlight.
The first two songs are sufficiently arranged, but there really isn’t much to latch onto. On the next three tracks (“ABC of Time” through “Témoins de l'Aube”) Aquilon hit their stride, successfully meshing angelic female vocals with songs that trace a path of changing intensities and moods. “Univers” is an enjoyable melodic death song that takes a lengthy piano detour short after it begins. Intramedia ends on a classy note with a solitary acoustic affair, while only accompanied by Anne’s singing.
Aquilon display a mature sense of melody and arrange many musical components into enjoyable songs, making this a laudable debut. While I find their harder tracks to be somewhat hit-or-miss, there are more than enough quality tracks on this release to merit a listen, if you enjoy dark female-fronted metal.
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