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Exanimis - Marionnettiste Award winner

by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 14 March 2021, 5:24 PM

It’s clear that Metalheads (especially the older ones) have problems to deal with the conception that is called ‘state-of-the-art’, or in other words, the highest level that some bands imposes to work, develop and work their music, never caring for previous conceptions and daring to break boundaries and go to explore the unknown. It explains in many ways the Old School Metal tendency that exists, and one of the reasons is simple: the refusal to recognize new trends as a reliable genre of Metal (sorry, but ‘I don’t like it’ doesn’t mean that something isn’t good). And from France comes EXANIMIS unleashing an storm of creativity called “Marionnetiste”.

They’re a Symphonic Death Metal act that works with conceptions that are linked to Victorian poetry/art and Steampunk, and even to Baroque classical music. Such words can point that they’re in a similar way to FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, what’s not a lie, but they do it in their own way, creating a symphonic and technical form of Death Metal that keeps a strong appeal, with choirs, fine orchestrations and with grandiose parts contrasting with brutality. And it sounds so good to the ears…

“Marionnetiste” was mixed and mastered by Flavien Morel (keyboardist and vocalist of FIRST AID and LOGRUSS), who gave the band an extreme sonority that allows the symphonic elements of their musical work appear. It sounds brutal, grandiose and defined for the ears, and all in a way that is easy to understand for every listener, even those that are experienced in extreme Metal genres. It’s not perfect for their music, but’s very good. And to create such piece of grandiose music, there are some guests: Clément Denys (from FRACTAL UNIVERSE playing drums), Morgan Koch (of SWARMAGEDDON on lead guitar), Nathalie Theveny (piano), Flavien Morel on additional vocals, Raphaël Jeandenand (on Hammond organ) and Lorine Pauget (on the vocals on additional choirs).

Their musical work is excellent and creative, and songs as “The Wrathful Beast” (the contrasts between extreme parts with orchestrations from keyboards is amazing, and what great guitar riffs and arrangements), the catchy tempos of “Throne of Thorns” (great work on bass guitar and drums, indeed), the brutal Classic/Baroque appeal of “Stampede of the 10000” (the contrasts between grunts and some narrative voices is really amazing), the chaotic classical catharsis shown on “Cogs, Gears & Clockworks” and “The Slow Flow of the Spume on the Shore” (what lovely orchestrations contrasting with oppressive Death Metal elements can be heard on both), and the long and multifaceted jewel called “Cathedral” are songs that make the heart beats faster and really happier. And even the instrumental songs “Prélude Du Songe Avant Le Cauchemar”, “Entracte Du Sommeil Pendant Le Cauchemar” and “Épilogue Du Songe Après Le Cauchemar” play an important role on the structural conception of thee album.

It can be said that “Marionnettiste” comes to defy rules and show more musical possibilities into Symphonic Death Metal. And EXANIMIS for sure has their space in the heart of those that aren’t living on the past.

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

5 Star Rating

1. Prélude Du Songe Avant Le Cauchemar
2. The Wrathful Beast
3. Throne of Thorns
4. Stampede of the 10000
5. Entracte Du Sommeil Pendant Le Cauchemar
6. Cogs, Gears & Clockworks
7. The Slow Flow of the Spume on the Shore
8. Cathedral
9. Épilogue Du Songe Après Le Cauchemar
Alexandre Dervieux - Vocals, Guitars
Julien Marzano - Guitars
Julien Prost - Bass
Clément Denys - Drums (session)
Record Label: Klonosphere Records


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Edited 26 November 2022

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