Concept-album, Epic, Technical
"The rock/metal prog revelation of the end of the year !"
NEWF (24.12.2019)  
(0) opinions (1) comment(s)

My friends, if ever a reviewer assures you to be wholly objective, you can smile ironically. Because by nature, a review is never objective. Music reviewers are first of all music enthusiasts, they have their own influences, their preferred genres, their own worlds, their tastes and their ears (di)formed by many years spent listening to innumerable albums with the goal of satisfying their love of music and its transmission. That being said, subjectivity doesn't prevent professionalism. And if this review is inevitably subjective, I can guarantee you it isn't more so than any other one. Therefore don't tax me of cronyism as, despite the links that unite Altesia and Music Waves, "Paragon Circus" benefitted from no preferential treatment, other than playing on repeat in my speakers, almost as surprised as me to hear what has to be the revelation of the end of this year.

In the music community, there is this persistent cliché : the reviewers are frustrated musicians, reduced to judge the work of others, not being talented enough to take the leap of creating an album themselves. Altesia, like many other bands before, demolishes this assumption in the best possible way.

The Bordeaux band is the project of Clément Darrieu. Clément is a reviewer for Music Waves and given the quality of "Paragon Circus", we are more than a little proud. Singer, multi-instrumentalist and meticulous composer, Clément is first of all a passionate musician. For two years he perfected this first album's composition, before assembling the line-up that would know how to accompany him and realize his vision of a rich, intense and always melodic progressive music, at the boundary between rock and metal.

Altesia's music is nourished by many influences, the main ones amongst them being without a doubt Opeth ('Pandora'), Haken ('Amidst The Smoke') and to a lesser degree Dream Theater ('Reminiscence'). Through the prism of Clément Darrieu's talent, they are above all an inspiration in the service of his affirmed artistic personality, that brilliantly allies freshness and maturity through delightful and eclectic compositions.

A concept album dealing with Man's self-destruction in our modern society, "Paragon Circus" constantly surprises the listener with its pertinent transitions and the variety of ambiances within the same song, as in the fabulous 'Cassandra's Prophecy', an almost 18 minutes long epic, where the most melodic progressive rock mixes with the power of metal as atmospheres change thrillingly. This eclecticism is sustained through the original use of instruments, like the violin ('The Prison Child', 'Cassandra's Prophecy') and the saxophone ('Reminiscence'), and with discreet growling vocals in the background that judiciously spice things up in certain vocal passages ('Hex Reverse', 'Cassandra's Prophecy').

All of Clément Darrieu's talent expresses itself in his clear singing, warm and captivating, and in his beautiful head voice (‘Hex Reverse’), that knows when to leave room for particularly inspired long instrumental sequences, where the musicians of Altesia can express all of their talent. From the precise keyboards of Henri Bordillon to the rigorous (poly)rhythmic work of Yann Ménage, and the technical and inspired guitar solos by Alexis Casanova, all of them contribute to the impressive richness of the compositions in "Paragon Circus".

With this first album that has everything of a masterstroke, Altesia will satisfy all rock and progressive metal enthusiasts. Already, "Paragon Circus" reveals its creator Clément Darrieu's great talent. Way to go, kid ! I encourage you to blow me away like this many more times !

- Official website

01. Pandora
02. Reminiscence
03. Amidst the smoke
04. The prison child
05. Hex reverse
06. Cassandra's prophecy

Alexis Casanova: Guitares / Choeurs
Antoine Pirog: Basse / Choeurs
Clément Darrieu: Chant / Guitares
Henri Bordillon: Claviers
Yann Ménage: Batterie
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(1) COMMENT(S)    
Très (trop ?) inspiré de Opeth. Malgré de bons moments d'une sensualité pétillante et, à aura sombre ou plus lumineuse ; malgré une jolie qualité musicale ; le disque pêche par une production qui ne lui rend pas justice. A mon sens il manque de la lourdeur et de l'épaisseur des médiums et des graves propre au metal (progressif à tendance death). La rondelle penche vers un Pain Of Salvation contemplatif... Mais plus gênant, il manque à mon sens, des instants émouvants qui transpercent le cœur et laissent de traces sombres, des jets qui maculent de boue et de terreur les âmes.
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