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Join the Hypochondrium Forces ! - 80%

Edgecrusher, February 13th, 2003

Good god, now this is a leap forward ! This is the album that got me hooked on Misanthrope. After an innovative but somewhat lackluster "1666...", the band returns with full force ! The band sees the welcomed addition of Jean-Baptiste Boitel on the guitars. His guitar work really add a new dimension to the band, and there's no doubt he was a driving force behind the writing on this record.

Another high point is the production. Misanthrope got some help from long-time friends In Flames, and finally recorded in a decent studio (namely the Friedman). Don't worry though, this doesn't mean Misanthrope turned into a swedish melodic death metal band ! "Visionnaire" picks up where "1666..." left off. The songs still have that baroque feel, but are more focused. Each part of the songs fit together well, and don't have that disorganized feeling they had on "1666...".

Musically, the band remains the same. The song writing got better, and Misanthrope dropped that "elitist" schtick that plagued "1666...". They also lean towards a more extreme style, with songs like "Le Silence des Grottes" or "Irrévérencieux" being almost black metal. Songs like "Futur Futile", "Hyponchondrium Forces" and "Bâtisseur de Cathédrales" are more mainstream, but fully demonstrate both the skills of the band and the way following albums were to take.

Songs are once again driven by Moréac's amazing bass playing, and S.A.S. growling and weeping. Boitel's guitar work alternates from death / black riffs to more eloquent riffs and patterns close to early Dark Tranquillity. Keyboards are mainly used as a background element, like a shroud giving the record a slight gothic feel. Unfortunately, S.A.S. still sings sometimes in english, and hasn't done anything to improve his accent.

To sum it up, this is the album I would recommend to anyone who wants to discover Misanthrope. The fans of extreme music should enjoy this very much.