Eclectika - The Last Blue Bird review
|Album:||The Last Blue Bird|
|Release date:||July 2007|
01. Like A Scarecrow In A Humans Field
02. The Last Blue Bird
03. Les Arcanes Du Bien-Etre
04. Freezing Feelings
06. Asylum 835
08. Underhand Sophist
09. Pets Of The Hysterical Lord
10. Behind Antares
ec-lec-tic (i klek'tik), adj. not following any one system, but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.*
What stands out from this definition, beside the very positive meaning, is the idea of excellence. You take the best elements out of all systems and blend them together to achieve superior quality. What seemed to be an innocuous little word becomes a notion that is hard to fulfil. Unfortunately, "The Last Blue Bird" does not live up to the band name.
"The Last Blue Bird" is one versatile piece of music. The band indeed picked up elements from many genres and tried to create a personal album. Although the idea to mix extreme metal with female operatic vocals and non-metal elements is not exactly new (Hollenthon, Augury anyone?) it is still rare enough to be encouraged. So why isn't it working? Mainly because Eclectika, out of haste or maybe because of the will to do something too different, rushed headlong into the most obvious pitfalls that await young avant-gardists: instead of really thinking songs through and then removing the parts that didn't really work out, they apparently threw every single idea they had into the album without really digging any of them further. The consequence is one big jumble of prog rock influences, spatial sounds and extreme metal riffs, all of which are stuck one after the other with no coherence at all, and none of which manage to be interesting for even only a few seconds.
The content is flawed, and the form does not really have any redeeming qualities. The production is terrible and leaves the music powerless - that might be due to the fact that you just cannot hear the rhythm section. The female vocals are ok, but the black metal screams are ridiculous and the growls are mixed so low that they merely sound like an annoying background noise.
"The Last Blue Bird" is not really a complete failure: the two ambient tracks are fine, the two interventions of solo guitarist Vincent Valenti are really great (especially the solo at the end of the title track), "The Last Blue Bird", "Equarrissage" and "Shibuya" are decent songs. But this is not enough to save this album. Eclectika still have a lot of work ahead, but there's a couple of factors that can stir up hope for a brighter future. For now, the intent is praiseworthy but the music isn't.
*definition taken from The Random House College Dictionary 2002
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