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AWAX: Les Larmes Du Monde

French progressive metallers A.W.A.X. (Aquitaine Wizards After Xperience) started life as W.A.X. back in 2002, releasing a couple of demos before evolving their sound and adding orchestration to complement the four piece line-up of Olivier Legoff (guitars), Christophe Sarrazin (drums), JF Peyroux (vocals) and Toskidus (bass, synths). As you will have guessed from the song titles the vocals are all sung in French but are accessible enough and showcase a variety of ranges from the opening harmonies of "Meadow Cottage" to the occasional deviation into Bruce Dickenson-esque screams. The artwork, themes and regular spoken word interjections all suggest some sort of concept is going on here but this is not explained in the minimal press sheet that accompanies this release.

Musically there is something of a mix of genres that suggests AWAX are still struggling to really define their identity; at times they seem to have a lot in common with the European Power and Folk Metal scene, galloping riffs and some creative instrumental passages but at eight songs in just short of an hour they come with significant prog elements. After the dramatic burst of the opening "Les Liquidateurs" the pick of the tracks is the well structured "Faux Martyrs", a sweeping epic that stretches out to more than seven minutes and highlights their technical abilities and effectively breaks down mid-section. The jaunty piano intro of careworn ballad "Noir De Sang" works well and Peyroux's impassioned vocal performance also impresses.

Overall this is something of a mixed bag and A.W.A.X. are perhaps trying too hard to find a style that really suits their varied influences.

Track Listing
1. Les Liquidateurs (8:35)
2. Les Larmes Du Monde (6:51)
3. Meadow Cottage (6:11)
4. Faux Martyrs (7:27)
5. Noir De Sang (5:06)
6. Phare Ouest (8:03)
7. Karmasutra (8:11)
8. Wax Attaque (8:50)

Added: September 16th 2009
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band MySpace
Hits: 1851
Language: english

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