Release DetailsLABEL Listenable
RELEASED ON 10/17/2006
posted on 10/2006 By:
Lyzanxia are relatively new to me as this is my first brush with this French quartet that is clearly driven by pure blood, a trusting compatibility and a dedicated work ethic. The brothers Potvin have been on a mission since 1996, leisurely building up this melodic death-thrash monster that, at least in 2006, owes a lot to a band like Soilwork (post-Chainheart Machine) and the more aggressive metal leanings of modern day In Flames. Unsu is a twelve song venture into that polished and more accessible ear candy that has catapulted the two afore-mentioned influences into metal stardom over recent years. Though both bands have witnessed some of their fanbase gawk at their so called evolution, it’s a good guess that twice as many fans have climbed aboard, and those same fans are gonna love Lyzanxia.
With the help of Fredrik Nordström of the renowned Studio Fredman, the band’s sound slices through with clean precision and a razor sharp edge. The guitars are down-tuned and mixed with enough low end to crush but still maintain a clearly remarkable vibrancy that matches the enthusiasm and zeal of the riffs themselves. Songs like "Wise Counselor" and "Path Blade" rattle along with deepened death tones that move onward to groove laden, ear perking riffs that get the interest flowing. The riffage in "Ache Power Control" and "Early Phases" spider webs along with head bobbing catchiness while the illusory, radio ready hook of "Answer Fields", "Strength Core", "X-Modification" and the album’s title track would surely suck in the attention of a whole slew of listeners here in the States if it weren’t for the misguided market stooges in those lavish high rise executive suites.
There is some filler to wade through, as heard in songs like "Bled Out", "Tedium", "Ascension" and closer "Defensive Hear", that to my ear lack the urgency of the above-mentioned tracks and get caught up in the mistake of having too many songs on an album for the listener to digest. With twelve songs soaking up this 49 minute stretch I feel it would have been more beneficial to keep that total running time roughly the same but with more effort tossed into eight or nine really great songs versus six or seven out of twelve.
The mix on the album as a whole is nothing short of precise, as would be expected for any product coming out of Studio Fredman (Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, The Fifth Sun). The kicks and toms are semi-triggered and the snare cuts through with plenty of pop, ultimately capturing the solid work of skinsman Clément Decrock. Bassist Vins Perdicaro gets the short end of the stick here and is really lost in the mix, but that is certainly part in fact to his unwillingness to experiment outside the main guitar riffs throughout most of the album. If you want to be heard you have to go out of your way to make yourself heard.
The vocals embody growling screams mixed with some cleanly sung passages that are complemented by the band’s dual delivery, again courtesy of the brothers Potvin, but they’re hit or miss for the most part and will vary in their effect from listener to listener. Nevertheless, they are at their best when the brothers go back and forth at each other as if this is their way to vent life’s frustrations and still exist as family, friends and co-workers. Although mixed just fine overall, sometimes the constant hardcore-esque rantings can be overbearing and a bit much, but the nod to "Speed" Strid’s cleaner and more melodic style comes across beautifully with confidence and strong overall presence.
At the end of the day Lyzanxia has put together an album that is definitely worthy of the attention of fans of modern day sounding melodic death metal bands like In Flames, Dark Tranquility, Soilwork, and Scar Symmetry to a slightly lesser degree. You can check out the song "Path Blade" courtesy of Listenable Records and hear for yourself. This track will offer you a brief glimpse into what you can expect to hear from this confident and hard working contender. Though Unsu is sure to get the group some attention within the underground, the future will tell the story and show how strong the force is within this solid and energetic French act.
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