Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Cracked Brains Only Produce Misanthropic Visions - 87%

bayern, November 6th, 2017

This band were the early incarnation of the progressive death metal masters Misanthrope who showed a fascination with the classic thrash canons at this early stage. The demo was a rough, intense affair with shades of proto-death even, and with a couple of more interesting avantgarde decisions (sudden balladic idylls, brilliantly executed virtuoso leads, etc.). Not bad by any stretch, but not containing much to suggest the much more engaging technical direction witnessed on this 4-tracker here.

Thrash was pretty much a foregone conclusion in France at the time with almost every practitioner having jumped on the death (Loudblast, Agressor) metal or the groovy post-thrash/post-death (Massacra, Mercyless) wagon. Our friends didn’t waste much time in this nomansland at the time, but these 18.5-min of weird, outlandish intricacies created in it remain a highlight on the French metal arena all these years.

The guys’ inordinate musical proficiency, later fully exhibited on the Misanthrope works, shines bright from the get-go with leads and bass duelling dexterously on “No Way”, the shouty death metal vocals providing the obligatory rude awakening although they’re missing from the breath-taking lyrical digressions, this gimmick a staple one for the band; a constant supply of perplexing time-signatures will keep the fans entertained as there are quite a few direct headbanging sections roaming around as well, trying to breathe amidst the unorthodox decisions some of which come served with astounding melodic licks. “Life’s Just a Dream” is an excellent jumpy nervy shredder its eccentricity later enhanced by weird cleaner vocals and more bizarre melodic “excursions”; dazzling leads, straight-forward bashing and stunning technical Coroner-esque pirouettes constitute the rest which carries on full-throttle on “Soul in My Mind”, a more pounding, less chaotic proposition the traditional melodic tunes interlacing with dramatic riffy accumulations the show stolen near the end by a twisted atonal vortex in the vein of Mekong Delta. “Winter, Illusion?” moshes with vigour initially, but the more intricate developments are just around the corner although reflected in less ordinary melodic hooks those overcome by the dominant fast-paced “skirmishes”.

The visionary musicianship displayed on the Misanthrope outings boldly shows its head above ground here, quite boldly at times at that, and one could only speculate how much damage the guys would have done if having stayed within the thrash confines having in mind that they never got tempted, not even by a single note, to test the dominant music vogues of the 90’s. The time for shooting technical/progressive thrashisms was also quite right with the Dutch, German, Polish and Russian scenes amply contributing to the more thought-out side of the genre, and although the share from France (also Threshold, Aleister, and Droys later) was never the most voluminous, it’s by all means worth mentioning, even more so for also being the strong backbone on which thrived its technical/progressive death and black metal movements later in the new millennium.

To put it short, cracked brains are not to be underestimated, especially if they bear some delightful misanthropic “fruit”. Cut!

Variation on Trash Theories - 89%

natrix, April 15th, 2004

I decided to update my review of this album after listening to it several times the past couple of days. Originally, its score was 75, but this is way too good of an album for such a score. I love thrash even more these days, and this is one kick ass slab of thrash, both original and well fucking executed.

The band is essentially the first line up of French band Misanthrope (ie: Variation on Inductive Theories and Miracles: Totem Taboo), but with a different singer and no Philippe Courtois. Overall, Krakkbrain plays thrash, no down tuned bullshit here, and it's rather technical and schizophrenic. Picks get shredded into dust as they plow through around a dozen riffs a song, shifting tempos and time signatures almost at random. If Terrorizer took a bunch of mushrooms and decided to play thrash, they probably would have sounded something like this.

The sound is nearly identical to the early Misanthrope albums, in terms of production and instrumental sounds. The dryness and lack of low end actually open up the sound spectrum a bit, allowing the instruments to shine. This is especially crucial in the guitar riffing, because a lot of it is rather technical. The music itself is certainly more focused than early Misanthrope, very much a metal and especially a thrash band, but that doesn't mean that there aren't strange breaks that even sound like some of the melodic stuff off of Visionaire.

Jean-Jacques Moreac deserves a mention here. His bass playing has always made Misanthrope special, and even on here, probably his first recording, it's amazing. It's kind of a cross between Cliff Burton, Jaco Pastorius, and Steve Harris, and it's always audible.

The vocals sound very much like John Tardy of Obituary. Almost all of the lyrics are totally indecipherable, but that's okay, because the vocal performance is incredibly strong. Once in a while there will be some clean talking, kind of similar to Misanthrope.

The real gripe is the short length of the material and the fact that with so many riffs, it's rather hard to pick a favourite song. It really surprises me that Misanthrope ended up surviving, and these guys disappearing, because this fucking destroys the rather misguided early efforts of those French masters.