Whispering Tales – “Mechanism” (2014)

Independent Release

Review by Mimi Robins

Whispering Tales is a female fronted symphonic band from Marseilles, France who have here presented an album based off of a novel, “Pièces Manquants”, which I’d hoped to be able to read prior to making this review (parce que je parle français aussi!) but, alas, I have yet to get around to it. One day! It’s waiting for me on my computer. The novel is also the band’s work, by bass player Stephanie Castelli and is available to download on their website. This is all produced independently, as well! I have a feeling the listening process would have gone better had I actually been able to read the novel – books are my life and I too sometimes make playlists to go along with things I’m writing so this is a process I understand as a writer. But the album alone is perfectly lovely, so those of you who don’t read French, fear not! Now, as to the album itself – we have a lot of unique features throughout the entirety of the album but let me highlight some of my favorites for you. The album starts out with an old school record sound (did I mention the novel is set in the 20s?) which quickly cuts out and is replaced with something heavier. I love the unexpected nature of this, definitely reminiscent of telling a story. “Shattered” is definitely my favorite track from this album, but it’s got some stiff competition! “To Come Full Circle” starts with a choir, reminiscent of Gregorian chanting, but in Italian. I love the bass part of the choir – it’s a part I don’t often notice, but it comes through well and adds a good undertone to the rest of the choir. It fades to spoken word, also in Italian, which sounds lovely. I’m not usually a fan of spoken word in songs, but this works quite well! Lots of unique touches throughout this album that really make it stand out from a lot of other things out there. “The Code” is exactly what you would expect from a symphonic metal band, with varying harsh and operatic vocals, but it’s far from boring. The track closes with more of that record music, which is symbolic of something happening in the novel, I just know it. I love the variation the album has – perfectly balanced without being too predictable or repetitive, which is saying something given the length of some of these songs! “Tempus Fugit” is another favorite of mine. The first minute or so is haunting piano that sounds like a music box, the kind of thing I fawn over in any kind of music. There are mechanical sounds to accompany it until the song really gets started, creating a kind of steampunk feeling that further sets the scene for those of us who haven’t read the novel. “La Garde”, the last song, is a huge wakeup call, in part due to it being a heavy juxtaposition to the previous song which had been much lighter. This is the perfect productivity song. What have you been putting off lately? Have you been procrastinating? Do you have a suitcase to pack for a whole year? Put this song on repeat and get it done! Yes, I have been listening to this song on repeat while packing a suitcase, so take it from someone who knows!

Rating – 90/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Shattered
  2. Broken Expectations
  3. To Come Full Circle
  4. Incomplete
  5. The Code
  6. Tempus Fugit
  7. The Descartes Syndrome
  8. To Die a Second Time
  9. La Garde

 

Line Up

  • Lucie Vételé – Vocals, flute
  • Jérémie Chabod – Guitar
  • Steph Castelli – Bass
  • Stephy Fenu – Keyboards
  • Bruno Stagliano – Drums

 

Links

facebook.com/WhisperingTalesmetal

twitter.com/whisperingtales

whisperingtales.com