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Francis - A Million Years of Loneliness Award winner

A Million Years of Loneliness
by Jon Conant at 07 May 2018, 9:32 PM

FRANCIS is a brand spankin' new melodic death/metalcore/synth/power/you name it metal band from Moldova. They are about as young as a young band gets, with little info being available aside from a bio page on the Sliptrick Records website, a Facebook page with 30 likes, and their second full length album we have in front of us today, "A Million Years of Loneliness."

The idea here is fairly obvious: create a band that blends a large variety of styles into one cohesive sound that is uniquely identifiable as their own, but also a clusterfuck of styles and sounds that prevents them from being pinned down to one genre. Their listed influences are AS I LAY DYING, ALL THAT REMAINS, ARCH ENEMY, and NIGHTWISH. Four bands that are very different, and very unique in their sound. It almost feels like a random list, but once you hear the music, it makes complete sense.

Against all odds, the boys in FRANCIS have successfully created a sound that blends all 4 of those distinct styles into one sound that is, well, FRANCIS. It really can’t be pinned down to one thing. From the classic death metal grunts, to the folksy cleans, the thrashy riffs, the metalcore breakdowns, the melodic synth providing atmosphere, it’s all there.

Opener “Blood On The Earth” sets the stage for it all, immediately. An epic lead guitar line to open it up, brutal death metal growls, followed by a classic metalcore groove and chunk, then synth in the chorus, clean vocals, it’s nearly impossible to describe in words. But it’s a hell of an opener, and the rest of the album follows suit. Track two, “Alien Sun,” lays down the brutal breakdowns and brings the intensity, but not without more epic synth over top. Another song that I think perfectly demonstrates what this album is about is track 5 “Almost Falll.” It demonstrates two things I love: the djent sound they bring, and the synth. The synth is proggy and gorgeous, providing a perfect level of atmosphere.

But the real treat is the how the rhythm and lead guitar lines work in tandem. A problem with so many bands who are bringing a djent sound to the table is they lay down a chunky guitar line, and then just plop down some generic melodic lead over top of it and expect everyone’s minds to be blown. But that doesn’t automatically make the writing feel cohesive, and can cause things to stagnate. Not FRANCIS. The lead and rhythm guitar lines were written to work together, when the groove and chunk is being blasted, the lead guitar works alongside it and follows it, creating an incredible mesh of sounds that would lead you to believe you’re listening to veterans of the genre, not newcomers.

And on that note, how about that production value? Usually when a band this young and small releases an early effort, there are issues with the production, but they are forgiven because the band is young. Again, not FRANCIS. There are no production issues here, everything sounds phenomenal. Especially how well they mix in the synth and bass, it’s truly masterful. If you love metal, you should listen to this album. It’s almost impossible to describe, and is absolutely necessary to hear. FRANCIS is the exact kind of fresh approach to metal the genre desperately needs. I hope to see them grow significantly in following, and I greatly look forward to their future efforts. But for now, enjoy “A Million Years of Loneliness,” it’s a tour de force of all things new and fresh, and I can’t get enough. FRANCIS has nowhere to go but up, the talent they possess is on full display.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Blood Of The Earth
2. Alien Sun
3. All Reborn In Ashes
4. Nothing Changed
5. Almsot Fall
6. I Will Do
7. Seeds Have Ground
8. Knife And Soul
9. The Ghost
10. Westeros (Instrumental)
Kirill Izhakovsky – Vocals
Alex Baboy – Guitars/Programming
Artemy Kessler – Bass/Extreme Vocals
Record Label: Sliptrick Records


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Edited 27 February 2021

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