Amphitryon - Drama

CD: 10 / DVD: 11 songs
CD: 57:21 / DVD: 63:37 minutes
CD: ***** **** / DVD: ***** **


About two years ago, I was thoroughly fascinated by Sumphokeras, a CD by French avant-garde metal band Amphitryon. Since then they have been working busily on their live project Drama. Progress reports came by newsletter and made me really anticipate this dual DVD/CD experience. Once I held it in my hands, I decided to start with the CD.

A short Gregorian intro is followed by the same high standards we came to expect from the band. The male vocals are absolutely unpolished and remind of death and doom metal bands. They are joined by a mixed choir that draw already parallels to Zeuhl instigators Magma in the past and made my spine shiver. Amphitryon take care to provide enough variety throughout the album, creating atmospheres that go from dark to threatening and from dramatic to scary. Their compositions are full of suspense and have the gift to capture your attention from the start. Fans of more experimental metal bands like Celtic Frost (Into The Pandemonium phase) and My Dying Bride should definitely lend this ambitious band their ears.

Amphytryon’s entire live show is repeated on the DVD which is five minutes longer because of the longer intro and outro. They start a little slowly, but once you get past an early image problem, you can enjoy perfect image and sound quality all over. The light show is rather basic but used with maximum skill. The band is acting rather statically though. Especially the two female vocalists stand still like statues. A little more dramatic gestures and pantomime would have livened the visuals up. The DVD is filmed alright, but the lack of movement makes me prefer the CD. The DVD contains some bonus features like a making-of slideshow plus data files with band members biographies and an elaboration of their artistic concept.

Although the audio disc works better than the video part, Amphitryon deserve respect for their ambitious project. Drama is a great live album!

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