Dazzling Dawn

Written by: PP on 27/07/2010 21:27:35

A dramatic, theatrical intro usually foreshadows great things to come, and that's how France's Eclectika opens their sophomore album "Dazzling Dawn". It's has a soothing mood to it, lulling the listener into expecting an explosion of symphonic metal to blast out as soon as it finishes, so imagine the surprise when the guitars drop down to a morbid level and a black metal shriekist starts dueling against an operatic femme metal singer. It's an interesting proposition that's offered to the listener on the title track, and one that continues with melodic tremolo shredding and more guttural shrieking on "Sophist Revenge", offering a fresh look at how black metal can also be done: with gothic undertones.

At this point you'll be intrigued and wonder how the band will push the envelope further as the record continues. "Experience 835" certainly takes the band outside of a box, depicting a chainsaw murder scene where women and children are screaming in pain and the purest form of fear, with gloomy feedback and industrial noises completing a terrifying soundscape that feels like it's straight out of a horror movie. I'm not sure what to really think of that, to be honest, as it's sure to make you feel really uncomfortable.

But then, like out of the blue, the band exchanges their black metal rooted sound with far too many gothic clichés than this scribe is willing to accept. Lets face it, Aurelien's vocals, albeit operatic, aren't exactly from the top of the league. So giving her more space instead of the gruff shrieks is a bad choice for the band, because by the time I reach the end of the album, the memory of "Dazzling Dawn" as a contemporary black metal album with avant-garde ideas has faded away, whilst the word 'generic' starts to cycle through my mind more and more. It would be incorrect to call Eclectika an entirely generic band, however, because they have some very good ideas on this record. They're just not executed with as much class, substance and style as I'd like them to be. So despite the foreshadowing intro passage, "Dazzling Dawn" falls into the average category, mostly because Aurelien's vocals, and also because the band needs to do some serious fine-tuning of their artistic vision before it'll start working better.


Download: Dazzling Dawn
For the fans of: black metal mixed with gothic, industrial, and ambient metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 25.02.2010
Asylum Ruins Records

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