Symbyosis - Crisis

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Listenable Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 52:10:00


What is it supposed to be?

The libretto and photos suggest, no?, shout, black or death metal.

The song titles read like comic book captions, and are framed by the digitally enhanced, salaciously posed cast of characters ? the cover depicts a demonic creature, gasping or exhaling, as though dealt a savage blow forcing the expulsion of its soul ... inside, a nubile woman, with horns and serpentine tongue, contorts and cavorts amongst the equally tormented-looking band-members, replete with pseudonyms and sporting their groomed psychoses?.

The entire package portends yet another morose encounter of the infernal kind?.


What it is:

This is progressive metal of the highest order ? instrumentally adept, compositionally challenging, aggressive, yet lyrical and devoid of cliché (well, almost?).

Counterpoint, grooves that breathe, harmonic movement with purpose, resolutions that are challenging but not unattractive, and solos that display prowess without resorting to mindless repetition ... technical music played with passion and intent?

Vocals: My complaints lie solely herein. I've asked it before and I'll ask it again: why do talented bands defile their handiwork with guttural, growled or shrieked vocals? I contend that aggression comes from INTENT NOT UNINTELLIGIBILITY!!

I understand that death/black vocals are meant to convey the demonic, the utterly hopeless and so on, ad infinitum, but they are hopelessly passé and do nothing to make the music palatable for the great unwashed.

But, Jan-Mikael, you protest, "we're not in it for the money ... we are making art for art's sake and presenting our vision ? we don't care what anyone thinks ? we're doing this for ourselves??

If this adage were even partially true, the bands that spout this drivel would GIVE THEIR CDs AWAY and come and play your backyard barbeque for free...

Guitars: Marvelously executed, deft rhythm work, creative arrangement of distorted and clean lines, meticulously layered and superbly played-hallmarks of trained, transcendent musicians, evident throughout the LP. Solos that enhance the aggressive or lyrical portions of the pieces and feature sweep arpeggios, intervallic scalar runs and a mean vibrato... not a note wasted or gratuitously bandied about. Exceptional.

Bass: Unfortunately the bass is buried in the mix somewhat, and plays a supportive role rather than an integral one. Nonetheless the bass is in lock-step with the drums and provides a muscular underpinning to the rhythm section, occasionally moving in lyrical counterpoint to the guitars.

Keyboards: Creatively used throughout and, thankfully, mercifully, not given to soloing but rather to textural and mood enhancement. The symphonic orchestrations add a laudable degree of sophistication.

Drums: There are none. Incredibly, these are programmed/sequenced drums, articulated expertly, no, mind-bogglingly...

Production: Clear, well-balanced and detailed with the exception of the bass as noted above.


These Frenchmen have managed to create a truly magnificent LP that transcends the arcane concept and adolescent, agita-inducing vocal treatment.

Rating: Superb. 5-/5 (The minus is for the vocals)

Standout tracks: "Triton (The Light Guide)," "Quest Of The Dolphin," "Ephemeral The Conductor."

NOTE: The band is unsigned and is looking for a distribution deal. Snap these guys up while you can. Not only are they talented, they're an enterprising bunch ? they financed the production of their double CD by offering subscriptions to it!

Opening Act (1:15) / To Decant Souls (2:17) / Quest Of The Dolphin (5:51) / Ephemeral Life Conductor (3:21) / Self Mutation (4:46) / Kahi Palyn (3:36) / Acrid Nebula (4:26) / Triton (The Light Guide) (5:34) / The Obscure Periplus Of Thanos (5:06) / Der Waltz Von Gehangen (2:35) / The Epileptic Modern Artistic Non-Believer (4:36) / Little Princess (3:11) / Synthesis (5:36)

Corrosive Bob - vocals
Nikos Kevorkian - guitar
Franck Kobolt - guitar
Antoine Veidt - bass
Tarik Zulificar - drums

The Fluid (ep) (2000)
Crisis (2000)
Life Is A Phoenix (ep) (2002)
On The Wings Of Phoenix (2005)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin FR

Added: January 5th 2006
Reviewer: Jan-Mikael Erakare
Artist website:
Hits: 919
Language: english


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