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Altesia: Embryo

French prog-metal act Altesia return with their sophomore album Embryo, which comes just about two years after their debut Paragon Circus. The band consists of:

Hugo Bernart-Bass
Henri Bordillon-Keyboards
Alexis "Idler" Casanova-Lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Clément Darrieu-Vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitar
Yann Ménage- Drums, backing vocals, growls
plus guests:
Thibault Malon-Violin (on "Micromegas")
Julien Deforges-Saxophone (on "Exit Initia - II. Guidance")

One thing the band has going for them is a pretty unique sound, which we heard on the debut and it's pretty clear here again on the follow-up. Sure, references do pop up to Dream Theater, Haken, and perhaps Opeth in spots, but that's pretty common for most bands to show influences from time to time and Altesia are no different. After the fairly lush & melodic opener "Micromegas", the band burst into action with the exciting "Mount of the Sky", chock full of dramatic swells of keys, blistering solos, pummeling drums, lilting guitar chords, and Darrieu's highly expressive lead vocals. He's even more forceful on the bombastic "The Remedial Sentence", alongside a wealth of synths and heavy riffs, while the frenetic "Sleep Paralysis" is everything a fan of progressive metal could ever ask for, including nimble drums and shredding bass & guitar lines. "A Liar's Oath" delivers hooks alongside some splendid arrangements, and the album closes with the minute epic "Exit Initia", a must hear for any fan of the above mentioned Dream Theater & Haken. Crunchy riffs, blazing lead synth & guitar solos, atmosphere, melody, and stellar's all here folks.

Drop in a slight amount of extreme metal in a couple spots (blast beats & growls) but never enough to be distracting if you don't like that sort of thing (works fine for me!) as well as the odd sax & violin solo for a sprinkle of jazz, and you have a very well rounded and fun platter of progressive metal from Altesia. Check it out, and don't miss out on their debut either if you didn't catch it the first time around.

Track Listing
1. Micromegas 04:41
2. Mouth Of The Sky 05:57
3. The Remedial Sentence 06:46
4. Autumn Colossus 03:52
5. Sleep Paralysis 09:23
6. A Liar's Oath 05:16
7. Exit Initia 21:31

Added: April 8th 2022
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 429
Language: english

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