Eclectika - Dazzling Down
Asylum Ruins
Atmospheric Black Metal and so much more
10 songs (49'00")
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Alex

We have a tradition here at Metal Reviews to try and provide some continuity reviewing albums from underground up-and-coming bands. Less known, these acts may have their own unique sense of style, and once a reviewer gets introduced to a band, he is most likely to be the best choice to provide coverage for the band’s continuing output.

I am happy to report that Dijon, France Eclectika could care less about my patronizing comments reviewing their 2007 album The Last Blue Bird. The trio of Sebastien Regnier, Aurelien Pers and Alexandra Lemoine is still together, Dazzling Down is now the second release (after The Last Blue Bird) on Seb’s Asylum Ruins label, and Eclectika continues living true to its band’s moniker mixing, matching and mashing all possible metal genres.

One could think at first that after the monumental intro The End, the band settles into atmospheric black metal popular these days in France. Call it shoegaze, think of it as influenced by more commercial Alcest and Les Discrets or more underground Celestia, but the title track and Sophist Revenge brings out the slightly detuned fuzzy riffs and overlaid heartfelt melodies, especially pronounced on Sophist Revenge in an excellent melodic progression. Aurelien Pers continues to rip his throat apart, and overall I am pleased to see Eclectika taking on more of their own, more French, face, where my earlier Cradle of Filth comparisons are no longer valid. At the same time Eclectika atmospheric shoegaze is definitely not nature walk-in-the-forest oriented. If anything, the feeling is more futuristic, that of apocalyptic sci-fi, providing a different narrative to the album. When Alexandra is allowed in, her voice provides a gothic touch to the material, but she is still lost in the mix, her part not making a believer out of me in the black metal format Eclectika-style.

Alexandra has a chance to shine and redeem herself just as soon as Eclectika starts being … Eclectika. From Les Demons Obsedants du Regret on the proverbial kitchen sink is unleashed again, the band morphing and changing colors faster than a chameleon sitting in a tree. Les Demons … is The Gathering style trip rock where Alexandra feels at home. Cold spring keys of There is no Daylight in the Darkest Paradise yield to the mechanized industrial riffs, Experience 835 is a horror flick soundtrack in the vein of Dismal Euphony’s Splendid Horror, with Marble Altar and Stockholm Syndrome finally returning things into the blackened metal realm, only now pushing for the more deliriously hymnical riffs reminding me of Limbonic Art. How is that for a jambalaya? Oh, and if that was not enough The Next Blue Exoplanet is a fine synth track in the great French tradition of Space, Ecama (Didier Marouani) and Jean-Michel Jarre. The closer 11 Corps Decharnes, in correlation to the closer track on The Last Blue Bird, is nothing like anything else on the album, again, it is pretty much a noise experimentation, but my mind felt completely at ease floating away on the solar wind flow in the latter part of the track.

Did my review of Dazzling Down seem to you like a pathetic track-by-track recitation I personally despise and find boring to read? I tried not to make my review sound as such, but the sheer palette breadth of Eclectika makes you spend the time listing the experimental metal genres they touch. Suffice it to say that Eclectika research continues and the band lives on, probably more so to their own satisfaction than the ability to attract a legion of fans and sell a ton of CDs. The fiery Phoenix bird on the back cover of Dazzling Down personifies Eclectika best.

Killing Songs :
Sophist Revenge, The Next Blue Exoplanet
Alex quoted 72 / 100
Other albums by Eclectika that we have reviewed:
Eclectika - The Last Blue Bird reviewed by Alex and quoted 65 / 100
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