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Review: Nebuleyes - The Universal Being
The Universal Being

Label: Orfeo'lab
Year released: 2009
Duration: 58:40
Tracks: 12
Genre: Symphonic Metal


Review online: October 21, 2009
Reviewed by: MetalMike
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Rated 3.29/5 (65.71%) (14 Votes)

The Universal Being is the latest full-length from French Melodic/Symphonic band Nebuleyes. Sort of a "project" band by Xavier Boscher (vocals, synthesizers, guitars, and bass) and Benjamin Masson (guitars), the operatic vocals on The Universal Being are provided by Drama Elfamorta. But don't think that Nebuleyes are anything like a typical female-fronted Symphonic Metal band, like Nightwish or After Forever. Nope, Drama Elfamorta injects very little rock-style vocals into her performance. She is opera all the way. That, along with the synth heavy compositions, puts The Universal Being firmly on the lighter side of the metal spectrum. The story of The Universal Being takes place in the future with a clash between new and old gods and, near as I can tell, is more convoluted than Tolkien's Silmarillion.

As stated, this is light progressive metal, with emphasis on "light." Nebuleyes rely more on keyboards than guitars to provide melody and this saps any heaviness from the performance. Lead guitarist Masson does his best Joe Satriani on some of the solos, nudging The Universal Being even further away from metal. Drama Elfamorta's vocals, as fine as they are, she is clearly talented, sometimes seem as though they were added as an afterthought. The vocals and music often sound out of sync and disjointed, possibly a pitfall of trying to combine metal and true opera. Every now and then Boscher adds a heavily distorted vocal ("The Universal Being"), but the effects he uses give him a crummy electronica/dance sound. Tracks like "Korzum, Inc." and "Clash of the Titans" are some of the heavier offerings, but that, again, is a relative term on The Universal Being.

The Universal Being didn't work for me on most levels. The production is a little muddy and none of the songs have much replay value. It feels like the band tried to mix too many disparate elements into one album and nothing gelled. All the individuals involved are talented but their performances aren't cohesive. Steer clear.

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