With tracks providing maze like soundscapes as easy to explore as they are easy to get lost in and emotionally derailed by, the debut album from French metallers Eyes Front North is one attention grabbing proposal. It is as challenging as it is fascinating, as ravenous as it is invigorating, and as punishing as it is seductive. From Shape to Name, with its maelstrom of post, sludge, and progressive metal within doom fuelled atmospheres, is not going to be for all; at times it is sure to push the limits of comfort for committed fans too, but only for all the right and enjoyable reasons.
Paris hailing Eyes Front North began in 2010; formed by vocalist/guitarist Lionel Forest, guitarist Nicolas Simon, and bassist Victor Turhan after several years playing in French metal band Ambryo. Created by the trio to explore new musical directions, they worked with Conny Petterson from Swedish death metallers Anata as session drummer for the first couple of years, releasing a well-received self-titled EP and a split 7” with French progressive metal band The Black Noodle Project in that period. Breaking into the live scene in 2013, the band permanently recruited drummer Xavier Domergue into the fold. Now the band are setting sights on broader attention with the Jack Shirley mixed and mastered and Argonauta Records released From Shape to Name; a success not too far-fetched to see swiftly arriving.
As much as it impresses on the first listen, From Shape to Name needs time to really reveal its might, and indeed for ears and imagination to get a handle on its invasive drama and riveting kaleidoscope of sound, invention, and emotional turbulence. As shown by opener I Know The Acronym, You Don’t, the band weaves a broad palette of flavours and styles into the exhaustingly dark and psyche trespassing landscapes band and album thrusts the listener into, a diversity far outstretching those core few previously mentioned. It ensures every moment is impacting, every twist and turn unpredictable, and each proposal to use the word again, simply fascinating. The first track opens with a melancholic caress of discord kissed keys, its solemnity a potent coaxing leading ears into a sudden wall of ravenous riffs and hefty beats, each carrying predacious drama in their touch. Within a minute, band and song is drifting off into mellower climes and softer emotional confrontation but with a courting edge and darkness which soon erupts into a blackened infestation of sonic and emotive fury. The track epitomises what is to come across From Shape to Name, the seamless and rousing expectations squashing twists and turns as much as the create mastery shaping each unique animus and seduction of emotion and imagination.
Each melodic passage of calm is a sultry and suggestive oasis in a torrent of storms, every tempest a tsunami of sonic and emotional psychosis, with plenty of passages entwining both extremes in new and striking incitements as feely shown by the following Axis. The track snarls and writhes with undiluted hostility from the start but each subsequent venomous groove it uncages has an increasingly alluring toxicity that draws in morose yet elegant hugs of melodic exploration. Words only suggest some of the creative turbulence and alchemy at work within the album; the often startling endeavour and boldness which helps the likes of Voids Beneath and A Huit Heures Seize match their predecessors in unpredictability and craft whilst creating their own enthralling emprises of sound and emotional sufferance.
The vocals of Forest across the album are just as multi-faceted and dynamic as the sonic wars around him, similarly as unpredictable and transfixing as emotion pours from every harmonic syllable and throat scraping roar. Tomorrow Left Unborn perfectly illustrates that, one moment he croons within a romance of bluesy tempting then further along unleashes vocal ire within a punishing blaze of sound and impassioned fire before subsequently becoming a predator within music that simply stalks the senses. The track itself is irresistible, taking favourite honours as the band cast another web of raw and compelling flavours which alone paint a fearsome yet hypnotic picture of persuasion.
Closing with the emotional dissonance and sonic pestilence of Catching Polaris B and the calmer yet even darker reflective exploration of The Eye, both tracks as bruising and distressing as they are captivatingly seductive, From Shape to Name leaves ears sore, thoughts raw, and pleasure thick. There are times within the album where you almost wonder if you are enjoying the moment, but the answer is shown by its close and the swift want to leap back into the tempest again.
As suggested, From Shape to Name will suit some more than others but to use the press release recommendations, if the likes of Cult Of Luna, Altar Of Plagues, and Ghost Brigade appeal than Eyes Front North has an experience waiting that deserves attention.
From Shape to Name is released April 8th via Argonauta Records on download @ https://eyesfrontnorth.bandcamp.com/ and physically @ http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/music-/108-eyes-front-north-from-shape-to-name-cd.html
Pete RingMaster 08/04/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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