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Dystopie – Uprising

Dystopie
Uprising
by Joseph Brewer at 08 July 2020, 12:17 AM

Formed in 2016, French melodic rockers DYSTOPIE are out with their second independently produced album, “Uprising”. The album cover gives you a tangible taste of what the album itself contains. Night fallen on a dirty cityscape, vibrant teal and fuchsia suffuse the buildings and the steam that rises from the street, a tattered flag standing upright while planted in a pile of rubble. This quintet of musicians were aiming to deliver a complex tale of unrest and rebellion, filled with hope as well as dread, and thus “Uprising” was born. An interesting mix of gothic, symphonic, and electro-modern metal, DYSTOPIE flex their creative strings on this sophomore effort and deliver an engaging and thoughtful album.

Title track “Uprising” kicks off the album and you are immediately immersed in a saturated, obscure environment as the subdued keyboards map out an eclectic synth-driven beat. Restraint is found throughout the album; slow, careful control over each element instead of brazen, reckless noise. When the rest of the band comes in, you get a true understanding of DYSTOPIE: one part EVANESCENCE, one part Blade Runner, equally enchanting.

Storm Of Dust” is up next and is a bit more of an upbeat, dynamic song. While the tone is still centered around saturated synth-driven ambience, there is a quicker tempo which lets the song come through as brighter. Emma Piconnet on vocals does a terrific job on this song and all throughout the album as well. Her voice can be energetic and driving, soaring and carrying the melody in a track like “Storm Of Dust”. But I noticed that DYSTOPIE leans more towards a softer, bleaker sound found in tracks like “Otherside” and “Ascending”. In these tracks, Piconnet spends more time in her lower register, brooding and delivering a more sorrowful performance. Overall, her voice is lovely and works perfectly for their sound.

Jeremy Belmain on lead guitars and Adrien Polocastro on keys share the musical spotlight equally. On an album like this, the keys can carry as much of the melody throughout each song as the guitar. Moreover, they are able to utilize the keyboards to create little accents that fill out the ambiance of a given track, whether it be a bright, moving line or a darker and more thoughtful sustained note. Valentin Bouvier on bass and Kevin Koglin on drums fill out the band nicely. Bouvier is felt throughout in the strong bass line that compliments the ambiance and Koglin on drums does enough interesting things in every song to elevate the overall performance.

I think my only real critique of the album is that as short as it is (7 songs, 33 minute total runtime), it spends a bit too much time on the slow, dark tracks and there’s not enough brightness to counter it. The album doesn’t feel balanced and an addition of maybe one or two more catchy, melodic tracks, done in the electro-gothic DYSTOPIE style, would have really made the album feel more memorable. For me, after a strong 1-2 song intro, it isn’t until “Surrender” that I connect to a song that has a bit more energy and style to it. That being said, this was a very enjoyable album and I think the members of DYSTOPIE have a good musical sense and style.

Favorite Songs: “Frozen Tears”, “Surrender

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Uprising
2. Storm Of Dust
3. Frozen Tears
4. Otherside
5. Ascending
6. Surrender
7. The Awakening
Lineup:
Jeremy Belmain – Guitars
Emma Piconnet – Vocals
Kévin Koglin – Drums
Adrien Policastro – Keyboards
Valentin Bouvier – Bass
Record Label: Independent
     


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Edited 14 August 2020
 

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