2014 was a defining year for quite a few of the local French bands that I have been keeping track of for a while, with debut releases coming left and right. One of the bands stepping up to bat is the unpredictable modern prog group Metropolis Child, who released an EP “As Dreams Make Us Live” last September.
“As Dreams Make Us Live” casts the Tours-based quartet as a band whose inspirations range from the weighty progressive metal champions Dream Theater, through both classic and modern prog virtues. Abrupt guitar and bass patterns churn heavily in the bottom of their sound, always in exotic yet headbang-friendly rhythms.
Despite the progressive trappings of Metropolis Child’s overall sound, the band has opted for a nice compromise in their songwriting, carefully establishing recognisable signature riffs and an engaging verse/chorus format to start their songs off, only then veering of into extended guitar shenanigans and bridges in the last halves of the tracks, which tend to clock in around five minutes. Opener “Fire!” is the first example of this, moving aggressively fast to begin with, only to pull up and offer a more soaring chorus. “L’eclosion” follows a similar design, leaping from heavy, riff-driven cannonade up to a melody-filled passages. As its title suggests, the song comes with lyrics in French.
“Dreamt Life” is far more intricate in arrangements, it changes the tempo towards more technical death metal territory minus the vocals. The band offers a change of pace via a more sinister, dry sound, and as singer Will Raux keeps his singing in mid range, the song fluctuates between threatening gloom and a more beautiful sense of danger, as if observing some destructive force of nature. The following “Those XII Shades” guides the listener through some properly hard-hitting and unpredictable passages, before a breakdown leads into a mean slow-paced tunnel which throws a gloomy atmosphere to top Raux’ singing. The closing piece “Noir Zero” is another song with lyrics in French which takes some time to open through a riff that breaks into dozens of others.
All things considered, Metropolis Child’s debut EP is a very pleasant release that hints a huge potential behind these new progsters. Keep them under your radar, you never know who is the next big thing.