Elyose - Theogyne 4.5/5

Reviewed: 4-1-13





Tracklist:

1. Intro
2. Le liberateur
3. L'Orientale
4. Derive
5. Incandescence
6. Theogyne
7. Elevation
8. Mirry dancers
9. Wine from the sick
10. Overload
11. Je tempeste
12. Les artisans du chaos


Elyose is an industrial gothic metal band from France and this is their debut studio CD. Although ‘Theogyne’ is solidly in gothic metal territory the song structures are fairly non-traditional for that genre. The arrangements tend to be a thunderously heavy, stompingly rhythmic, high-energy tapestry of power metal and aggressive nu-metal riffs; the guitars are hard and crunchy, the rhythms are dense, busy and varied, and there is a frequent interplay with spacey, swishy, sometimes quirky atmospheric industrial electronica. Although there are no conventional choruses, nearly all the melodies are provided by the female vocal arrangements, though there are occasional short key-driven instrumentals. There is a noticeable increase in the speed, hardness and aggressiveness of the music as the CD progresses.

Their female singer, Justine Daaé, is a classically trained vocalist and she sings most of the songs in French. She has a strong and smooth soaring style of singing that puts her way in front of the busy arrangements, and, as mentioned earlier, she provides nearly all of the melody for the music. Her delivery is very expressive and enchanting with frequent variation in tone and mood; she has just a slight poppy edge that complements the nu-metal riffing perfectly. There are occasional fierce death vocals, usually in the more intense songs.

Elyose represent the pinnacle of what appears to me to be a growing new French tradition of extremely percussive gothic metal overlaid with female vocal melodies. The most well-known bands in this genre are Whyzdom, Kells and Eths, though Kells and Eths are closer to nu-metal than gothic metal. ‘Theogyne’ is more accessible than Whyzdom, and Justine avoids their sometimes overly-adventurous vocal excursions, but ‘Theogyne’ is definitely more complex and varied than Kells or Eths. It seems to me that Eloyse has really hit the “sweet spot” for this new genre with their mix of heavy, rocking and often aggressive percussion combined with winsome and extremely engaging female vocals.



CHRIS




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