Eclectika - The Last Blue Bird
Asylum Ruins
Black Thrash/Ambient
10 songs (47'52")
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Alex

Never has the band’s name sounded so appropriate. Sebastien Regnier, the leader of Eclectika, a young French band, is indeed a jack-of-all-trades. He composes and plays all instruments for Eclectika, provides it with measured deeper growls and also runs Asylum Ruins, a label from Dijon, France, whose first, and so far only, signing is … Eclectika. The Last Blue Bird is the first release from Asylum Ruins and the band’s first full-length.

The simplest definition of “eclectic” for any work of art means a combination of a variety of influences pulling together to create a single cohesive piece. In music then, eclecticism may mean that the album showcases a combination of musical styles/genres. For The Last Blue Bird black metal, thrash, some traditional metal, gothic and triprock, as well as ambient post-rock gamish was culled together by Sebastien.

Within the songs themselves the boundaries are more or less delineated. Guitars can go from tremolo to playful thrash to machine gun downtunage on Like a Scarecrow in a Humans Field, but this song, along with the title track, Freezing Feelings and Pets of the Hysterical Lord, the latter with some atmospheric influences, are impossible to like if you can’t stand Cradle of Filthian vocals. Aurelien Pers, the band’s other vocalist, is ripping his throat off for his screams to emulate Dani’s the best he can. Sebastien’s and Aurelien’s vocalizing is often overlaid, and effects are often brought to the fore, yet Aurelien’s presence is often obnoxiously overwhelming without an obvious necessity.

Not to miss on any of the possible vocal styles, Eclectika also features female vocals by Alexandra Lemoine. Earlier in the album she is relegated to an operatic support, attenuating the blackened bursts, but on Shibuya she is given a leading role carrying the song in The Gathering melancholic trippy rocking style.

I was impressed, however, by Sebastian’s forays into ambient post-rock compositions which basically split the album along its fault-lines, further exposing more-or-less standard and not-so-exciting Filth-like material. Les Arcanes du Bien-etre is both gothic and celestial, its guitars played on the fattest brooding strings possible. Underhand Sophist has romantic lead-off solo, before it succumbs to traditional riffs. The song’s outro is bordering on religious cathedral experience. The closer Behind Antares is astral synthesizer all the way after some low frequency experimentation, we are dealing with a red star giant after all.

The Last Blue Bird has superb clear production for a young band and Vincent Valenti contributes considerable skillful leads on the title track and Equarrissage. Yet the band’s downfall seems to be its very premise to exist. The eclecticism of these French borders on identity crisis. There is way too much to process with the album, the ideas flying around randomly and off the handle, making it very difficult to grasp the flow.

I do not see Eclectika going into the direction of swirling tremolo and blastbeat chaos of Equarissage, those moments are minor on the album. However, I strongly suggest reconsidering using the above mentioned Brits for the source of inspiration. On the other hand, I would not mind at all to listen to the full album of post-rock compositions penned by Sebastien Regnier, those are sure to be full of depth. And if somewhere he finds room for Alexandra to contribute a vocal line or a verse, the overall result may be profound.

Killing Songs :
Les Arcanes du Bien-etre, Asylum 835, Shibuya
Alex quoted 65 / 100
Other albums by Eclectika that we have reviewed:
Eclectika - Dazzling Down reviewed by Alex and quoted 72 / 100
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