|Review: Auspex - Resolutio|
Label: Thundering Records
Year released: 2007
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: December 15, 2008
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Resolutio is a very flashy album. I would liken it to a Christmas tree, adorned with bits and pieces of gold and silver and everything in between, shining with radiance and thousands of little multi-colored lightbulbs, and for a debut album, France's Auspex have done a smash-up job at creating some of the more creative music I've heard this year. This is their only album right now, but you can be relatively assured that we'll be hearing from this talented group again in the near future. Now, there are two different ways you can look at this multi-feathered musical peacock; from an artistic point of view and a more grounded musical one:
Now, from a strictly musical standpoint, Resolutio is not a very metal sounding album. It can be most likened to bands like Rhapsody, Dark Moor and older Kamelot, with speedy tempos (and not much emphasis on the guitars), fluffy orchestrations, a generally pompous, larger-than-life air and a million things going on all at once. This is very complex and layered music, all without really transpiring into the Prog realm, without a lot of real hooks, and it might not be something you would want to show someone who is just getting into the Power Metal genre. The vocals are the biggest oddity here, as they are not at the forefront at all, and they are handled by the quite competent and lovely Elodie Buchonnet - although the rest of the band chimes in with backing vocals that tend to make Miss Buchonnet sound as if she is standing in the middle of a whirling hurricane of wailing ghosts. And yet, this still isn't that hard to appreciate. It is layered and complex, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't that diverse and it has an amiable sort of mood to it that will not drive any perspective listeners away, should they come upon this with an open mind and curious ears. What a curious case this is!
As for the other half of the spectrum - the artistic side of this album's appeal - well, this album has a very dense atmosphere that I find myself liking a lot. I mentioned that this isn't very diverse, and it isn't. The songs here fit together like a good puzzle, with no holes or outliers or anything of the sort. Right from the opening "Time to Make a Stand," Auspex's Resolutio sweeps and wails and dives and draws you in hook, line and sinker into a ghostly, ethereal, magical atmosphere shining bright, blinding the listener with out-of-this-world colors. Everything on this album sounds calculated and tweaked, almost eerily so, to perfection, and while I may usually prefer a more raw, heartfelt line of music, I can't deny the majesty of Resolutio. Auspex weave complex, kingly melodies and compositions that all seem to have a real purpose to them, as if this were the band's swan song. But it isn't; it's a debut, and it's almost frightening to think of the things this band could accomplish later in their career if they can make something this pristine as a fucking debut.
Auspex's Resolutio is an album that, with its deep-running symphonics and erudite melody lines, seems to put my existence into perspective, making me see how small I really am in comparison to the universe around me, and with big, booming, otherworldly compositions like "King's Crown for a Wealthy Weak," "Phantoms," the jaw-dropping "Celestia" and especially the monumental 11-minute "Rise," they have crafted an album that will reveal new fruits with each listen. This might not appeal to all Metal fans, but it's well worth a listen if you're looking for something that will make you think. Recommended.
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