Atropos - _Creature Chthonienne_
by: David Rocher (4 out of 5)
Atropos' second release, consecutive to their intriguing demo tape _La Fileuse de Mort_, is an intricate "progressive extreme heavy metal" deity, in which the black metal influences the French quintet displayed on their first production now only shine through in the guise of Gerald's seething blackened vocals and the occasional blasting segues interspersed throughout Atropos' eight-minute plus compositions. To clarify the obfuscous "progressive extreme heavy metal" denomination, is should suffice for me to mention that two essential references boldly spring to mind when listening to _Creature Chthonienne_: Iron Maiden's _Seventh Son of a Seventh Son_ -- for its intricate, melodic technicality and highly imaginative drum work -- and Edge of Sanity's _Crimson_, for its intense rhythmic structures and aggressive vocals. Featuring three lengthy epic, progressive and extreme metal soundscapes, a pleasant yet somewhat dispensable "classic" (i.e. keyboard only) track plus a live rendition of the first track on this MCD, _Creature Chthonienne_ literally teems with excellent ideas and flowing creativity, offering countless heavy riffs and melodic rhythmic lines, all backed up by a powerful, sharp and well-balanced production; the only mildly disturbing point is in fact Gerald's black metal vocals, which take a while to get used to, owing to the contrast they provide with Atropos' music. Although these turn out to be quite enjoyable once you get used to them, I believe that Atropos could successfully introduce a little more variety (a la Opeth or Edge of Sanity, precisely) in the vocal area, and thus add captivating new dimensions and atmospheres to their future material. These are promising auspices indeed.

Contact: Atropos c/o Geral Milani, 34 La Roque Courbiere,

(article published 3/7/2002)

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