Alongside the full enjoyment Infantile Vision offers one prominent thought is, if their debut is this good just how impressive and potent can French progressive metallers Amber Sea, become. The furiously gripping EP from the Lille band is not perfect, at times its tsunami of invention and imagination bordering on bedlamic tendencies, but for every minor niggle in its chaotic tenacity there is a maelstrom of appetite igniting ingenuity. The attention grabbing five track fury is mouth-watering, and the band’s future subsequently even more so, but right now with their turbulent take on progressive metalcore, Amber Sea have announced themselves as more than a cut above similar creatively driven bands.
The release opens with White Materia: Sideral, and an enchanting caress of piano within a shadowed ambience. Clean vocals add to the warmth of the song’s entrance, crisper heavier beats only enhancing the atmosphere as the song slowly steels itself for an impending tempest. Soon vocals squalls from Matt Rouland rage and the muscular swipes of drummer Guy Tornel assault, the eruption an instant intimidation. Just as pungent are the throaty tones of Axel Richet’s bass, its grouchy touch the perfect ally to the twisted enterprise and sonic invention of guitarist Kevin Chesnais. It is striking stuff, if not yet majorly surprising, though the already impressive and enjoyable diversity to and mix of vocals, clean and hostile, has thoughts and emotions absorbed by song and its blossoming originality. Comfortable raging and bruising the senses or serenading them, the track entangles djent ferocity and death metal viciousness with progressive and melodic toxicity, the result one heavily engaging and commanding song.
Things only grow bigger inventively and impress more as Deci (Mate) takes over, to be followed by the just as exciting Violette. The first of the two has no need of a gentle persuasion in its start, thumping beats and squirming sonic acidity surrounding ears as Rouland unleashes his guttural belligerent might. Featuring Chris Barretto of Monuments, the song proceeds to savage and charm with spurts of melodic calm and seduction amidst a hellacious landscape of riffs and rhythms. Enticing grooves and deeply rooting hooks are no strangers to the storm either, both offering tempering persuasion within the corrosive atmosphere. Eventually welcoming a wonderful passage of melodic mystique and eye of the storm beauty, the track emerges as the best of the EP, a destructive beast with at times the warmth and peace of a sunrise. Its outstanding successor also uncages venom dripping snarls and bewitching radiance, all within unpredictable and severely tempestuous scenery. As the previous track, it roars and blusters, smooches and prowls around the listener, coming at them from numerous angles and twists of ideation simultaneously. In the hands of another you imagine things would unravel and fall into that chaotic well of going too far, but Amber Sea hold everything which bursts from their minds and skills with superbly accomplishment and riveting craft.
The song’s at times poetic drama makes way for Shinigami, a serpentine trespass of ears and psyche but prone to lapses of melodic and exotic imagination. As proven by all songs, its deep avenues of ideas, sounds, and ferocious enterprise are not suited to one or two listens, but offers ever massing rewards for a concentrated attention whilst confirming Amber Sea as a band destined to and deserving now of enthused intrigue and full attention.
The release is brought to a close by Black Materia: Meteor. Including a guest appearance of Pierre Dane from Kadinja, the track rages and infests the senses with debilitating noise and vocal spite from its first breath. The ever pleasing vocal depth and diversity shines but is courted by the jagged surface of the riffs and the erosive intensity of the song in general, whilst keys paint a warmer hue to the forceful lyrical narrative and intent.
It is fair to say that every twist and turn, surface and corner of Infantile Vision is forcibly impressive, every listen ironing out more of the pernickety ‘issues’ which could be offered up. Such the pleasure and welcome surprise incited by Amber Sea and their introduction to the world, a full recommendation of they and their excellent debut is all that is left to say, especially to fans of bands such as Architects, Monuments, Periphery, and Gojira.
Infantile Vision is available from February 10th via Famined Records @ http://www.victorymerch.com/merch/packages/56429/amber-sea-infantile-vision-shirt-free-download-package
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