Sunday, March 16, 2008

Epic Fantasy Metal For The Progressive Metal Crowd

Anthropia are a french progressive metal band in the vein of Dream Theater and Pagan's Mind. The difference here is the fantasy concept. If (early) Freedom Call or Rhapsody (Of Fire) played progressive metal then we'd have Anthropia.

I gave this album a spin simply because of "Part 1: Journey of the Beginnings" section of the title. I love concept albums and more so fantasy based concept albums. Of course, I was expecting to hear a Rhapsody clone, but what I got was a progressive metal gem.

"The Ereyn Chronicles" starts with the Rhapsody style operatic opening fueling my assumption that Anthropia would be a clone. "Welcome To Ereyn"s orchestral choirs are soon joined by heavy guitars and transition seamlessly into "Question Of Honour". "Question Of Honour" is a progressive metal gem styled after Pagan's Mind, but whose vocals sound more like Drakkar's lead singer. It's a mid-paced cruncher with a nice heavy breakdown.

"Lords Of A World" mixes up the tempo with a heavy, airy sound and starts/stops with great ease. "Through The Sleeping Seaweed" and "Where Secrets Lie" carry an air of Dream Theater influence mostly in the riffs and switch back and forth through chunky heaviness and melodic interludes.

"Lion-Snake" continues the heaviness and introduces some female vocals into the mix as well as some narration. It's melodic and moving. "The Walk Among The Ruins" is a light keyboard piece with a narrative feel and female vocals that transitions into the chaotic progressive epic "In The Maze Of A Nightmare".

My favourite track is probably "Forgotten". The acoustic opening is super catchy with a beautiful melody that is allowed to carry out to completion and not feel cut short before the song moves into more epic metal proportions. The album closer "The Desert Of Jewels" opens acoustically before switching it up into a grandiose mid-paced cruncher ending with a little narrative.

Overall Anthropia's "The Ereyn Chronicles Part 1" can be considered formulaic, but it is performed wonderfully and with conviction. The songs are memorable and although the influences are apparent, they aren't exploited or copycat.

Anthropia's sound is unique and I look forward to future chapters in the Ereyn chronicles.


Post a Comment

<< Home