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Well, this is another of those self-financed releases I´d like to praise. Music journalists do know how much love, work and money is put into any CD release. Still, flaws need to be mentioned, not only to be fair towards potential customers, but also to give the band some clues what they could improve next time.
The French trio Eclectika (voc: Noemie Sirandre, Aurelien Pers, voc+instruments Sebastien Reignier) start off with a bombastic instrumental intro, therefore you expect a symphonic-epic Dimmu Borgir-meets-Manowar album – which is basically the case, unfortunately the sound quality goes down to “home-studio” level with the second track. Meaning, everything is a bit too “thin” or clinical, the balance isn´t right, e.g. cymbals too loud, bass drum too low and “synthetic” sounding. The guitars could have been louder and clearer, the massive bass sound seems to strangle them. Vocals – well, the male growls/Black Metal screams are Ok, could even be louder. The opera soprano startles you first as way too intense, only when listening a bit longer you realize that the pitch isn´t really “off”...
Musically – as mentioned – it´s a mix of Black Metal bombast with atmospheric-epic melodies and some blast beats plus the occasional Power Metal element (Sophist`s Death) – unfortunately, it´s a genre that requires much more attention to the overall sound than e.g. a garage punk band. In this case a proper production might have supported a better impression because the songs are quite OK, maybe some of the compositions could have been less “done by numbers” and there could have been less repetitions (e.g. the instrumental Outro Aokigahara).
Trauma 835 has the sinister appeal of a fantasy movie/computer game soundtrack. The pretty symphonic Sweet Melancholia features much better clean vocals because they rather stick to the lower registers (just like in two other songs) – therefore the questions, is this opera thing really necessary? The mentioned track has some touch of Wagner and shows the potential of this band and the music. Therefore I really don´t enjoy the fact I cannot give a higher rating.
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