Label : Thundering Records

Review by Lithium

It has been said that sometimes less is more. While this may be true in some areas of human endeavor, metal most definitely is not one of them. In metal less usually is less and more almost always means more. Such certainly is the case with Resolutio, the full-length debut from Auspex. Whatever else you might want to say about it, this is an album that has plenty of everything. “Resolutio” is symphonic progressive power metal of the highest order. During its 54-plus minutes of playing time we are taken on a winding journey with surprises around every turn, as its nine tracks weave for us a complex sonic tapestry that reveals new details upon every listen. Yet, despite everything that is going on, nothing seems the least bit forced or out of place. Each instrument, each voice, and in fact every sound has an uncanny way of somehow falling neatly into position within the overall soundscape. It is this tightness, maturity and relentless sense of purpose that set “Resolutio” apart from lesser works emanating from within the progressive ranks of the femme-metal scene. At its most basic, the music is built upon Germanic speedy-melodic power metal in the vein of Helloween, Blind Guardian and Gamma Ray. So, it should come as no surprise that we find the first-rate production and top-notch musicianship that are mainstays of the genre. The songs zip merrily along propelled by crisp power drumming and bass lines, as energetic keyboards and neo-classical guitar licks come at us from every angle and in just about every possible combination. But Resolutio offers much more than just typical power-metal fare. Most conspicuous is the strong symphonic presence, with sweeping orchestrations that at times evoke the epic feel of film-score metal. Bells, choirs, church organs and an assortment of other sounds are layered in to impart a rich texture and depth to the compositions but without the cheesiness or ostentation that symphonic metal often has come to typify. A moderate progressive influence manifests itself in a variety of ways, not the least of which is a persistent variation of tempo. Even when a piece seems to be moving along at a decent clip, occasionally things will suddenly kick into a much higher gear and only then begin to fully reveal the band’s considerable speed-metal prowess. There is also a discernable avant-goth element, though tasteful and not overbearing, and without the out-of-place excursions into jazz-based weirdness. All in all, the band does a good job of staying comfortably within the parameters they have staked out for themselves, while still managing to fully explore its rich terrain. Vocalist Elodie Buchonnet brings new meaning to the word ‘versatile.’ On “Time to Make a Stand” her voice reflects a clarity and richness befitting the laid-back, confident style of Sharon den Adel, while closing track “Rise” features Elodie in sweet soprano mode. Even during the lightning-fast segments Elodie does not miss a beat and always seems comfortable and entirely in command. Although she sings with no detectable accent, it nevertheless was difficult to figure out what she was saying. Still, even though I barely understood a word the entire album, her voice was so good that this did not matter. When the CD ended I felt like I had just dined upon a rich smorgasbord of metal’s finer delicacies. Though I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I had eaten, or at any rate could not remember, at least I knew that I had liked it. In fact, “Resolutio” brings so much to the table that it undoubtedly will appeal to symphonic-metal enthusiasts as well as to fans of Euro-melodic power metal. Progressive-metal aficionados also may find a lot to like within its metaphorical grooves. About the only thing missing here are the over-the-top soprano histrionics and growled male vocals that unfortunately have become all too much of a femme-metal cliché. And in that respect, at least, less really is more. Male Vocals: Clean and limited mostly to a few spoken parts and choirs. No growled male vocals.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Subjective Architecture
  2. Time to Make a Stand
  3. Theatre of Pain
  4. Lost Academy 
  5. Mysteries of Stars
  6. Phantoms
  7. Celestia
  8. All That’s In Me
  9. A King’s crown for a Wealthy Weak
  10. Rise

 

Line Up

  • Elodie Buchonnet – Vocals
  • Pierre-Yves Brun – Keyboards
  • Guillaume – Guitars
  • Jaroslaw “Jaro” Baran – Guitars
  • Alex Potié – Bass
  • Frédéric Hugenell – Drums 

 

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