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Asylum Pyre - N4

Asylum Pyre
by Rachel Montgomery at 04 May 2019, 1:46 PM

Founded in 2006, French Melodic Metal band ASYLUM PYRE’s latest album, N°4 (a tongue-in-cheek reference to Chanel N°5), moves symphonic metal into the twenty-first century. Part of a growing trend in music, to rely on synthetic instrumentals and ambiance more than classic instrumentals, creates a post-apocalyptic scene of space wars, insanity, and futuristic visions. However, I have to wonder if the techno elements are there to compensate for the band’s weaknesses, rather than enhancing the band’s overall sound.

Lullaby for the Clairvoyant” is a solid intro which gave me a feel for the concept, vocals, and melodic stylings of the album from the get-go. Continuing into the techno-heavy second track, “One Day,” features intense, electronic instrumentals and a duet which makes the first two tracks great hooks for the album as a whole. The third track, “Sex, Drugs and Scars” (featuring BEAST IN BLACK) continue the same techno elements as the last two songs. The guitar solo was enjoyable. However, this was where I realized that the techno-heavy aspects mask a similar mid-tempo 4/4 foundation throughout the entire album.

Lady Ivy,” the next track, is a more traditional power metal song which relies less on electronic elements than the last three. While it was a solid song, it sounded like so many other songs in the genre, it was underwhelming. When the next track came on, “On First Earth,” and the synthesizers and techno elements were back, I noticed how much stronger the song was. The rest of the album went the same way. On songs that heavily emphasized techno, like “Dearth” and “Into the Wild,” the electronic elements were unique and enhanced the song. On more traditional power metal songs where the techno elements were downplayed, like “Broken Flame” and “Borderline,” the songs ranged from hit-or-miss to solid, but same-old, same-old. The final song, “The Cemetery Road” featured the best of both. The vocalist is at her best when she sticks to her lower register and the instrumentals shine when the tracks are anthemic.

Overall, the techno elements make the album great and unique. However, it’s clear that the band depends on them for this album. If you’re OK with electronica in your power metal (and honestly, that’s the way I see European Power Metal going), you’re going to love this album. If not, find something else.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Lullaby for the Clairvoyant
2. One Day
3. Sex, Drugs and Scars
4. Lady Ivy
5. On First Earth
6. Dearth
7. Into the Wild
8. MCQ Drama
9. Borderline
10. The Right To
11. The Broken
12. The Cemetery
Ombeline "OXY" Duprat - Vocals
Johann "JAE" Cadot - Guitars, Vocals, Programming
Pierre-Emmanuel "WIK" Pélisson - Guitars
Fabien "HED" Mira - Bass
Thomas "KAS" Calegari - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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