Misanthrope - _Visionnaire_
(Holy Records, 1997)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Since it is produced by Fredrik Nordstrom at the Fredman Studio in Gothenburg, Sweden, and features guest work from vocalist Anders Friden and guitarist Jesper Stromblad (both from In Flames) on two tracks, _Visionnaire_ does have a Gothenburg feel to it despite the fact that Misanthrope is French. _Visionnaire_ is also somewhat similar to Dark Tranquillity, but, ultimately, it's the mix of all these Swedish influences with Misanthrope's very own sound that makes this album what it is -- out of the ordinary, and with a lot of creativity and musical flair. Weighing in at nearly 64 minutes, _Visionnaire_ seems to make a point out of surprising the listener every once in a while, through sudden (and extreme) changes of pace or style. I like this album best during the fastest parts -- blast beat double-bass drumming and extremely fast, wild, yet melodic keyboards while the guitars and bass hold on very well. But then Misanthrope will go back to a slower melodic passage, chorus, doomy sequence, instrumental part, or whatever might be next... _Visionnaire_ never ceases to surprise you, and seldom does any of this seem out of place. The vocals are similar to the Swedish metal bands mentioned above; however, while half the tracks are sung in French, the vocals sung in English sound like French as well... _Visionnaire_ seems to break with at least some of Misanthrope's past (of which I know little), and everything seems to have been well planned and executed.

(article published 17/11/1997)

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