Hailing from Compiegne in France, Either Way is a melodic death metal proposition which makes a rather appetising introduction to itself with Behind The Light. The band is the solo adventure of Ludovic Ciszewski, a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist who after playing in an array of bands, including Scythians, Osm’oz, Dead N Crazy and currently Monolyth, decided to start his own project to undertake dark melodic explorations inspired by the likes of Before The Dawn and Dark Tranquillity. Behind The Light is the debut release from Ciszewski, with just solo guitar contributions from Mich alongside his own sole endeavours recorded in his home studio.
The album opens with Across the Light, and a beacon of crystalline keys and floating harmonies which just reflects on the imagination like the sun on water. Subsequently dark tones of bass and slow but strong beats join the brewing shadows spread by the guitar, the emerging atmosphere only growing until its brief body evolves into the following Redemption. Swiftly sonic and rhythmic drama is striding purposefully through ears, an early gothic climate initially smothered but reappearing in equal tempting as the raw vocal tones of Ciszewski come forward. Personal tastes took time to come to terms with his certainly accomplished but distinctive and generally samey delivery, a wish for more variation the main lingering request as when he does expand his vocal presence within the album, it brings a new light to songs. Nevertheless it is a raw texture which does work well with the aggressive nature of the song and against the melodic radiance lining the enjoyable start to Behind The Light.
Phoenix comes next, it too opening with a classical caress of keys before being joined by more robust and rugged lures spawned by riffs and punchy beats. Though not intimidating, there is immediately a dark air to the song which breeds a rousing and commanding canter lit by the still bewitching keys and the aggressive nature of the guitars and voice. Progressive enterprise mingles with death bred malevolence perfectly, the track like a dangerous but alluring flame just getting more intensive and compelling with every passing minute before making way for the similarly enticing Always Look To The Star and in turn the darkly reflective Evil In Me. The first of the two is a rousing fusion of symphonic and melodic expression with a predatory turbulence guided by the caustic tones of Ciszewski. The track borders on spellbinding, the guitars a riveting persuasion merging numerous styles and ideation and the keys just emotive beauty on the senses. Its successor from a melodically hued and vigorous entrance slips into darker depths of emotion amidst a threatening atmosphere, Ciszewski ‘s voice early on pushes its diversity a little for the first time and to great effect, though it is the guitars which steal the plaudits within the provocative and intensive embrace of ears.
The opening bass welcome is the first irresistible temptation in the outstanding Red Eyes, a track which has a touch of Type O Negative to its emotive outpouring and roaming shadows. Once more keys and guitars entwine for a sonic narrative to spark the imagination and excite ears whilst the rhythms create a commanding skeleton as ripe with contagion as the fiery sounds around them. The best track upon Behind The Light it carries a catchy swagger but loses none of the inciting theatre and dark creative flesh which colours all songs on the album.
The jagged riff built scenery of Faces leads into an equally riveting and highly imaginative landscape of melodic intimacy and at times bruising ferociousness, though this time it is magnetically tempered by the warmer and colourful exploits of keys and for once clean vocals. Generally the impassioned energy and aggressive urgency of tracks overshadows the melancholic beauty to great effect but this time it is the other way round, and followed by a more equal union within the relatively lighter body and funkiness of Trouble In My Mind. There is a noir bred intrigue and sinister resonance to the melodic sky of the song, a haunting beauty which coats its hearty stroll whilst after it, Scarecrow takes its dark edge into stronger ravenous depths for an encounter which takes time to come alive in thoughts but impresses more with every listen.
The release is completed by Black Soul, its first touch a mesmeric piano bred hug full of emotion and elegance. It is accompanied a little further in by a physical narrative of footsteps on crunchy stone before blossoming into another theatre of craft and invention with returning clean vocals as appealing as the ever evocative keys and guitar imagination, not forgetting spirit arousing rhythms.
Creatively and musically, Behind The Light is thorough pleasure, a release continually revealing more with every play, and it is only to our ear’s loss that the vocals do not hit the same spot, something which will not apply to most enjoying our recommendation to treat yourself with the first Either Way album.
Behind The Light is available now from online stores.
Pete RingMaster 17/09/2015
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