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Elyose - Ipso Facto (2015) - Review

Band: Elyose
Album title: Ipso Facto
Release date: 15 June 2015
Label: Self-Release

01. Fragrances
02. Femme De Verre
03. De Guerre Lasse
04. L'Animal-aimé
05. Plus qu'Humain (feat. Florent Jannier)
06. Chronocide
07. Mon Charme
08. Rédemption
09. Pour Un Écu
10. Droit Dans Les Yeux
11. Contretemps

When it comes to classifications as "modern electro metal" or "electro gothic metal" and similar descriptions, I'm always a bit suspicious, and that's the thing with this French outfit named Elyose. I must admit that I wasn't familiar with this name before the release of this album, even though they were formed in 2009 and since then released one EP and one album. Ipso Facto is their sophomore full-lenght and if we believe to their words, it's heavier and more focused on energy than were their previous releases. It's interesting to see that the main member and composer here is their attractive vocalist Justine Daaé, and not only that she's good looking, the girl is also trained classical vocalist and she proves that on every single track up here. Well, like in many cases before, even though the quality of music on Ipso Facto is above average, it somehow doesn't have enough of that little something to reach a bit higher and most of the time it just sounds too mellow. Let me explain...

All of the ten tracks and the dark intro in the beginning are done without doubt with a lot of devotion and professionalism, everything is so very well produced and believe me or not I enjoyed much more when being concetrated on each single instrument or vocals than on the whole thing put together. Beside before mentioned great vocal performance by Justine, who serves with some trully impressive vocal variations, from operatic vocals, to blooming soprano and mezzo soprano, yet often heading to typical pop/gothic/alternative directions (note also that lyrics are in French language and this gives to their output kind of an exotic charm), the band unites pop/rock and metal with modern sparkly cyber electronics with some gothy synths and industrial sequences, everything strenghtened up with quite technical hard hitting drum beats, driving guitar riffs which are often extended by some almost progressive elements and noticeable solos, and I can't forget about the technical, strong and almost bouncy haunting bass lines. Use of some symphonic elements here and there makes the certain songs more spacious, but the band in my opinion ruined the ambiance with use of mediocre male growls on otherwise good piece named "Plus qu'Humain". I don't understand why almost every single band playing this or similar kind of genre feels the need to make their music more extreme with those growling additions, though it's clear since the beginning that this kind of music will never be accepted by fans of extreme and death metal, there are many other ways to make it deeper, heavier or more dynamic.

One of the highlights up here is certainly "Chronocide". Starting with some almost danceable beats, the track soon offers a catchy melody in the vein similar to Within Temptation, but are the vocals and kind of gothy metal compositions which is backened with gloomy experimental electronics that makes it so very appealing. The very next one, "Mon Charme", is another outstanding track. By being quite heavy and progressive in its essence it offers a captivating driving melody and kind of a dark vibe within the chorus that is then extended with use of some flamboyant vocoded vocals is truly amazing. There are still some interesting ideas implemented into the sound of Elyose, for example use of rather oriental vibe in "Rédemption", or kind of a theatrical vibe on "Pour un écu" mixed with symphonic metal elements, then also acoustic guitar lines in the conclusive "Contretemps" and still many other things are all very well thought out and gives much needed dynamics to the sound.

So, Elyose did some interesting and worth checking out things, but majority of tracks doesn't offer anything that much enthusing and even though everything is quite modern sounding the listener is left with some kind of familiar feeling that you've heard all of it before, most of the songs are not trying to get out of the delineated directives. I believe that the band tried to avoid that but in reality they've missed the creative and compositional spark which distinguishes masterpieces from mellow releases. Nevertheless, Elyose's Ipso Facto has many qualities, it's a nice representative of modern alternative electronic gothic and yet something metal, it offers a fine listening experience especially when you go deeper into details and if judging by the talent of involved musicians I believe that these guys and the girl can make some pretty unique and diverse stuff in the future, they certainly have all nozzles necessary for that, and yet we must consider that this album is completely self released, so thumbs up.

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 7/10