Rating:
8.0
Asylum Pyre - Natural Instinct?
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.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 9


Band profile: Asylum Pyre
Album: Natural Instinct?


 


written by Ernis | 10.12.2009



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Dark Cornatus - 11.12.2009 at 01:10  
Visions of Atlantis were just plain bad though, that Mario guy in the band needed to be removed a long time ago! Nightwish were at least good.

Good review mate, though i doubt ill give it a go, i cant really handle the generic unoriginal bands anymore.
Ernis - 11.12.2009 at 01:37  
Written by Dark Cornatus on 11.12.2009 at 01:10

Visions of Atlantis were just plain bad though, that Mario guy in the band needed to be removed a long time ago! Nightwish were at least good.

Good review mate, though i doubt ill give it a go, i cant really handle the generic unoriginal bands anymore.

Try'em...they are actually a lot better than Visions Of Atlantis...
silenius - 11.12.2009 at 03:59  
Im usually not a big fan of female-fronted symphonic metal bands, but this is very enyojable id have to say, love that its proggy and a bit more complex^^
Scream8tor - 11.12.2009 at 22:36  
"Don't waste it" - I agree! Save your money and don't waste it on this album. The vocals were not up to snuff and at times were laughable. And somehow those complex textures mentioned in the review were lost on me - it all sounded quite simple actually.

From the review I had pretty high expectations, but they were shattered once I heard the first song - if you can call it a song. The rest of the album was more diverse, but overall the sound is quite thin. The guitars come off weak, and if I have to listen to that lead guitar anymore, I'll be going to an insane asylum.

On the flip side, I did hear some creative elements. They didn't always work out for the best, but I do see some potential here. I can only rate this album a 5. But I will be happy to give their next album a listen to see if they can evolve.

For now, if I desire to hear powerful and beautifully complex tunes from France, I'll stick to Fairyland, "Score to a New Beginning".
Chaos Heidi - 27.06.2012 at 11:20  
Hi guys,

I introduce myself : I'm Chaos Heidi, Asylum Pyre's new singer, since Carole Alcantara left the band in 2011.

We recorded our second album "Fifty Years Later" this year and it will be released on November, 23rd 2012 through the german label Massacre Records.

We just put online the first extracts of the album, here, on Youtube : http://youtu.be/rDNatz7_1NI

Don't hesitate to leave us your comments. I can read here that some of you expected more from the 1st album, I just hope the second one will give them satisfaction

Thanx for watching!

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