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Archaeopteris – Visions Chaotique D'un Songe Halluciné Award winner

Archaeopteris
Visions Chaotique D'un Songe Halluciné
by Paul LaPlaca at 21 September 2021, 8:22 AM

This debut EP from the French black metal trio, ARCHAEOPTERIS clocks in at nearly 17 minutes with only two song titles. At first glance, one might assume that’s its too short but this album presents as a complete musical statement. It is an absolute masterwork in ambience, tone, texture, density, and dissonance. There are clearly defined sections of absolute chaos that move seamlessly into a riff-driven SABBATH style, goth-tinged delayed and chorused bass awash in reverb while sheets of squealing, feedback-laden guitar lines move through the stereoscape. There is a satisfying deliberateness to the dissonant tones used in the chord voicings, moving beyond sheer noise for the sake of noise to subtle melodicism in those same notes as the chords progress. The guitars stay within a very limited mid-range of the instrument, freeing melodic and harmonic space for the bass to come up and take a prominent role with heavy distortion at times and the clear attack of a pick instead of fingers. Adding to this foundation is the judicious and tasteful use of choir voices for texture, a clean acoustic flamenco/ gyspy style break, and the beautiful outro of organic, analog synths with sweeping filters that bring back the main melody of the final piece.

Much has been said about the unique interpretation the French have regarding black metal and this album relects a deep, thoughtful approach to this form with elements of avant-gaurd, progressive, and noise combined to create a cohesive and immersive experience. While the band name is new, individual band members hail from Croc Noir, Supertzar, and Toward. The only area I would suggest a change in would be the vocal treatment. Stylistically it may be appropriate to bury the vocals in the mix and soak them in reverb but this feels so unique they could have brought them up slightly and made them drier. Minor adjustment that I think would have given the mix an anchor to focus on while the density of the rest of the band roared below.

This is an extremely interesting project, deceptive in it’s simplicity as the tones and melodies stick with you in a  very memorable way. Looking forward to hearing more from them.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 10
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Visions Chaotiques
2. Songe Halluciné
Lineup:
Nils – Vocals
Morgan – Guitar
Jules  – Bass, Drums
Record Label: Personal Records
     


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Edited 26 October 2021
 

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