Auspex - Resolutio 4/5

Reviewed: 9-26-08





Tracklist:

1. Subjective architecture
2. Time to make a stand
3. Theater of pain
4. Lost academy
5. Mysteries of the stars
6. Phantoms
7. Celestia
8. A king's crown for a wealthy weak
9. Rise


Since there are so many bands and so many different metal styles in today's massive metal world, it's extremely important for a band to correctly portray what they're all about, especially regarding the cover-artwork they choose for their CDs. Looking at the artwork for Auspex's full-length debut 'Resolutio', I would think they were some kind of progressive or experimental metal (or even rock) band, but this is not the case at all, as they're a symphonic power metal band. So unfortunately, I think the CD's cover-artwork is misleading, and I hope the right metal fans look beyond the artwork and don't let the band pass by their radar, like they did mine for about a year...

Auspex is a French band that formed in 2001 and after getting the right line-up in place, they recorded and distributed a very successful demo 'Mysteries of the stars' (in 2005), which eventually led to the signing and release of their debut 'Resolutio' (in 2007) through Thundering Records, who I'm familiar with because they released the Kerion debut 'Holy creatures quest', which I reviewed earlier this year. What's very interesting though, is that the cover-artwork for their demo does correctly portray the band's musical style, and I really wish they would have done something similar to that with 'Resolutio', as I truly fear many symphonic power metal fans are going to miss out on hearing the CD.

Anyway, enough about the cover-artwork (hehehe), which has nothing to do with the CD's quality or my rating. Simply put, Auspex is an awesome symphonic power metal band, which is female fronted and there is a lot of speed, so the band comparisons that have come to mind are early Nightwish, early Dark Moor, Arya and Fading Starlight (when they're at their fastest), the aforementioned Kerion, and especially Wildpath. Really, this CD could be mistaken for the 2nd Wildpath CD (following their fantastic debut 'Nyx secrets'), though I do like Wildpath's debut a bit more than 'Resolutio'.

Vocally, Elodie Buchonnet has an enjoyable voice in the higher range, that sometimes enters operatic territory. There is a good amount of backing vocals, which many times sound like a small choir, similar to what's heard on the earliest Dark Moor CDs. Both the music and the vocals flow very well, and the CD is quite consistent regarding quality, though I do like the 2nd half of the CD (beginning with track 5 "Mysteries of the stars") slightly more than the first half. For fans of female fronted symphonic power metal, there is plenty to enjoy here, and while there are a few parts on the CD that have a progressive feel (which brings in a little diversity), the CD features excellent lead guitar work, high-quality vocals, sweet guitar solos, the right amount of symphonic elements, and is very close in many ways to CDs from the previously mentioned bands.

But although Auspex is playing a style that was heard with the earliest CDs from Nightwish and Dark Moor, and therefore they lack originality to a degree, when you think about it, there aren't a lot of CDs out there like this one (mostly just Wildpath's), so I greatly welcome this band to the metal world and I hope they continue on, especially if they're going to maintain the high amount of speed (ultimately, the speed factor won me over). So if you're into female fronted symphonic power metal, please look beyond the misleading cover-artwork and pick this up right away, as it's definitely recommended.



CLINT




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