Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 10/26/2004
The Pax Cecilia
Nouveau: A Theatre of the Air
posted on 12/2004 By:
It’s rare I get too excited about a band submission, as only The Living Fields has been an unsigned band I truly enjoyed, but after peddling their wares at this very website's message board and promoting a free CD, what’s to lose?
I’m glad I did request a copy of this; a superbly put together digipack CD with 8 tracks of artful, orchestrated and adventurous metalcore. I use the term ‘metalcore’ loosely as The Pax Cecilia are rather hard to pigeonhole as their guitar work and screamed vocals instantly placed them in the metalcore pack, but their avantgarde orchestration, lengthy interludes and ambitious approach clearly makes them far more than just your everyday metalcore. For those that have heard Fear My Thoughts' first album V.I.T.R.I.O.L, that might be a good starting reference point, as The Pax Cecilia have the same sort of structures and ambient flourishes.
Some may see The Pax Cecilia as pretentious with their moniker, the band's “cast”, the album split into “acts”, and their overall italic and Latin heavy presentation, and along with the statement that comes with the album (“In requesting this CD….your actions thus far have already proved you have the capability to stand apart from the herd and that deserves praise….”), but when actually confronted by the music with its heartfelt conviction and genuine sense of artistic prose, you cant help but be impressed.
The Pax Cecilia isn’t an easy listen as it’s often overwrought with tense acoustics and lengthy ambient interludes that break up the more direct yet still terse metalcore. The actual ‘metal’ side of The Pax Cecilia as heard on “Beneath Every Powerline There Is Still A Graveyard”, “Act 2 Scene 1: Fluorescence A.D. 1429 Burning the Body of Joan of Arc” or “England; Theatre of Air” is rather epic and travels the realms of Shai Hulud-ish melodics and dramatics of The Bled and is tempered even more so by the use of sobering strings, acoustics, female vocals, piano and even a flute - not just piecemeal injections, but full on moments of incredibly detailed and atmospheric, emotion draining gossamer. The haunting guitar/orchestra duet of “An Aurora: The Crux Candide” mid album bridge “MDCCLXXV” and piano heavy dramatic album closer "A Denouement” all will make most hardcore metal fans cringe with their emo heavy leanings, but I found them to be perfectly balanced and rendered.
Lyrically, it tries to be the metalcore version of Shakespeare: “The Moon and the Sand, we clutched bottles and we lulled to the sad sound of alone guitar. We traveled so far, and the lights in the sky were obviously ours. We had given up so much, yet we were the bearers of happiness, of optimism” (From “An Aurora: The Crux Candide”). Hokey but imaginative, but I’ll admit also striking.
While the whole lyrical theme, orchestral contrivances and almost pompous approach seems way over the top, The Pax Cecilia pull it off very well. Their songs are varied, emotive and rending, while still managing to be somewhat original. Throw is a very competent production and you can go no wrong with this FREE CD. If you enjoy slightly more progressive, artistic metalcore along the lines of Dead Blue Sky or With Passion this FREE album is highly recommended and you labels out there looking for something that breaks the mold, sign this band now.
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