AKROMA - Sept
Akroma are the new black metal sensation from France. The five musicians have been together since September 2003 and they needed three years for their first CD which is a mature concept album about the seven deadly sins (lust, gluttony, greed, laziness, wrath, envy, pride). The same idea had been the subject on the second CD by German gothic metal band Bloodflowerz, but Akroma's approach is however on a higher musical level.
Symphonic black metal as we know it from Cradle Of Filth is the foundation Akroma's music is built on. But their sound is enriched with many other styles like death metal, progressive rock, gothic and even folk. As the main man behind Akroma is Matthieu Morand from French prog metal band Elvaron, it's not a too big surprise that the album has become such a diverse masterpiece of contemporary metal.
The number 7 plays an important part on this record about the 7 deadly sins. It contains 7 songs and each one is running for exactly 7 minutes. Each song contains one guitar solo by Matthieu Morand and one by guest musicians coming from 7 different bands (Syrena Call, Outcast, Nightmare, Resilence, Carcariass, Mortuary, Inner Chaos).
The opener L'orgueil (pride) has a Dream Theater like progressive start, but it soon turns into a classic black metal track with folk parts (flutes, violins) which shows some parallels to Haggard. La luxure (lust) is the album's most progressive track and contains bizarre and complex structures sounding like a Mike Patton work. La gourmandise (gluttony) is mid-paced with an unusual confrontation of hectic male and clean female vocals. L'envie (envy) is a melodic black metal track played at average speed. L'avarice (greed) has its hectic moments, but the wonderfully arranged female vocals make this a must for gothic metal fans. Fans of cruder black metal will enjoy La colère (wrath). And finally there is La paresse (laziness), a pure symphonic black metal track full of interesting breaks.
In the past, I was not too fond of the French metal scene. But the latest releases by Elvaron, Manigance, Akroma and many other bands have surprised me so much that I hope to hear in future even more interesting metal from Europe's second biggest country.