Is Magna Carta diving back into the world of progressive metal once again? One listen to the debut from Hugo Lefebvre's project Anthropia will have you thinking the answer to that questions is a resounding yes. The Ereyn Chronicles-Part 1: The Journey of Beginnings is a sprawling prog-metal concept opus, featuring the multi-talented Hugo on vocals, guitars, bass, and keyboards, with help from drummer Damian Rainaud, bass from Thomas Letscher, and female vocals from Marie Eve-Orengo. Hugo, who hails from France, studied classical guitar from the early age of of six, and you can tell, as his dexterious solos permeate the entire album alongside some pretty intricate and symphonic arrangements. You can hear influences ranging from Dream Theater, Symphony X, Yngwie Malmsteen, Rhapsody of Fire, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, and even a little 70's styled prog rock, but for the most part this is epic fanstasy progressive metal all the way.
The story revolves around the fictional universe of Ereyn, which has sunk into chaos and disaray, and the main character Amryl, who attempts to save his world by tracking down an all-knowing Oracle. Sound like something for all those fantasy metal freaks? You bet. Amidst all the lyrics of barbarians, dragons, Dwarves, spirits, witches, etc., there's some pretty wild arrangements here, led by the commanding guitar and keyboard work of Hugo, who also has a pretty good voice as well. It's all heavily layered stuff, and the ten lengthy parts play like one long song, so picking apart individual highlights is tough. Things range from bombastic prog metal, to symphonic, almost classical inspired sections, to some melodic metal that is quite catchy, as on "Forgotten". At times things get pretty heavy with some thick riffs and sweeping keyboards, sort of like early Shadows Gallery. While the lyrics can keep you pretty busy reading along, the music is pretty complex and demands attention as well, and there's plenty of solo spots to amaze those looking for some serious chops.
There's a new player on the progressive metal scene folks. Anthropia have churned out a real winner here that reeks of promise, and it will be interesting to see how Part 2 of this storyline unfolds.
1. Welcome To Ereyn
2. Question Of Honour
3. Lords Of A World
4. Through The Sleeping Seaweed
7. Where The Secrets Lie
8. The Walk Among The Ruins
9. In The Maze Of A Nigtmare
10. The Desert Of Jewels