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(57 min, Brennus)
TRACK LIST: 1. Prelude au Crime 6:39 2. Signe de Vie 4:44 3. Visionnaire 4:49 4. Devenir 4:32 5. Peur du Vide 5:06 6. Retour du Mal 5:12 7. Des Lignes et des Hommes 4:21 8. Que la Lumiere Soit 5:38 9. Viking 4:32 10. Dieu du Tonnerre 3:16 All music: by Mordiggan & M Perrin. All lyrics: by Mordiggan & M Aumont. Produced by Mordiggan. Engineered by Romano. LINEUP: Sophie - vocals; flute Jerome - vocals Mathieu - guitar Serge - guitar Pierric - bass Sandro - drums Loic - keyboards Mike - backing vocals
Prolusion. As far as I could understand from the CD press kit, French band MORDIGGAN has existed since 1997, and "Metamorphose" is their second album. The title of their debut CD is "Stiggma", but it's unclear when it was released.
Analysis. Unlike most of the Metal-related bands from France that I've heard, Mordiggan write lyrics in their native language, which I welcome. The band has two lead vocalists: Jerome, who is a chameleon singer, and Sophie, whose voice is kind of angelic. They usually alternate between each other behind the microphone, but sometimes they sing together and do a 3-voice choir when being joined by additional singer Mike. I don't know French, but there is no special need for me to understand words when a vocal palette is highly impressive and, moreover, finely harmonizes with music, just as it is in this case. There are no instrumentals on "Metamorphose", and the differences between the ten songs are determined mainly by the quantity of symphonic textures present, which, in its turn, is usually linked with their duration. The fundamental style is a synthesis of Techno Thrash and Cathedral Metal, which, in its more or less pure form, is presented on precisely half of the tracks: Signe de Vie, Visionnaire, Devenir, Des Lignes et des Hommes and Viking, each being 4+ minutes in length. This, however, doesn't mean that the shorter songs are much inferior to the others. They're harsher and are a bit less diverse indeed, but otherwise everything is well. Besides, the band's passion for complex meters and stop-to-play movements is more striking on these, as they use such almost at every step here. The music is abundant in unexpected changes of theme and tempo and is generally eventful enough to keep the initiated listener's attention. With the exception of Peur du Vide, which is a lush symphonic Cathedral Metal, the other of the remaining songs have much in common with those described first, at least basically. Nevertheless, being richer in classic progressive features, they portray the primary style in the more favorable light. So even if the matter of their particular attractiveness is just about a matter of taste that is the way it is from a classic progressive standpoint. The best songs take the opposite positions in the track list and the two located right in the middle: Prelude au Crime and Dieu du Tonnerre, Peur du Vide and Retour du Mal, respectively. Sophie plays flute on these, bringing a lot of symphonic warmth to their overall sound. It's regrettable that she didn't play it on the other tracks, though I think she probably wasn't allowed to play it everywhere on the album. The same remark would be topical regarding Loic, who contributed excellent synthesizer solos and ARP-like passages to those four, and also to Que la Lumiere Soit, but is silent on the others. The latter song and Peur du Vide are enriched by passages of acoustic guitar in addition. Generally, the presence of symphonic and related elements on the longer songs makes them sounding more diverse than the others.
Conclusion. I'll be concise and concrete at once. Mordiggan perform a high quality heavy music, very spirited, really mesmerizing. Feeling it's yours? Check them out. All in all, this is definitely a band that's going somewhere, instead of making no headway like many others working in this field, alas.
VM: February 3, 2005
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