Asylum Pyre - Natural Instinct? review
|Release date:||September 2009|
01. Taken Away To The Asylum
02. The Asylum Pyre
03. Laughing With The Stars
04. Coral's Riff (Now Hell)
05. Don't Waste It
06. Love Extasy
07. Different Sides, Same Thoughts
08. Jester Of The Power
09. Whispers Of The Jester
10. W.W.A.W. [when we are wolves extracted from demo 2008]
Natural Instinct? is the first full-length album by Asylum Pyre, a French ensemble whose style is mild power metal with progressive and symphonic elements. There is a striking resemblance with symphonic Nightwish metal band Visions Of Atlantis and of course with the infamous Nightwish themselves. However, I am glad to say that whereas Visions Of Atlantis had the problem of being a pale satellite of the Finnish symphonic power giant, Asylum Pyre has got some considerable characteristics that make them distinct and special in the field of this genre.
This album is rather rich in layers. The guitars, drums and percussions, keyboards, vocals, all the melodies and riffs are clearly structured and well arranged. Keyboard melodies are especially well written and performed. Nightwish listeners may notice a nod towards Angels Fall First in some places of the album. The progressive elements similar to those of Ayreon create a very nice blend and keep it present throughout all the songs. The frontwoman Carole Alcantara is brilliant in her role. Her classical voice is somewhat similar to Tarja Turunen's on her early recordings and to Nicole Bogner's but has a lighter and slightly more flexible features. The male singer Johann Cadot supports her with his mellow and varied use of vocals from silent and low to harsh singing. In general the pleasant voices of the two singers make a very enjoyable blend of vocals.
A slightly negative side of the album may be the fact that the songs are rather complex and the good and enjoyable riffs are woven into the musical texture so that they may not emerge clearly enough. Thus the album requires a bit more effort from those who are unfamiliar to the band or style. On the other hand, I am sure that when the listeners have got familiar with the songs and have found what this band has to offer, they will be very delighted to have discovered a band who creates music of very good quality. The songs that will surely catch the hearts of the audiences are "The Asylum Pyre" and "Laughing With The Stars" which display the fine vocal abilities of the singers, "Don't Waste It" and "Love Extasy" as thoughtful and passionate songs and "Jester Of The Power" which is one of the catchiest tracks. Alongside this another brilliant song is "When We Are Wolves" extracted from the demo of the band from 2008 featuring the vocals of the first frontwoman Elodie Desbarbieux.
Asylum Pyre is, for sure, a new and promising group who will hopefully create lots of good music and contribute to the evolution of atmospheric/symphonic/power metal. May this album be a cornerstone for a strong and fruitful musical career.
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