The Bridal Procession

Astronomical Dimensions

01. Overactive Minds
02. Flesh to Flesh
03. Shroud of The End
04. Atypical Pestilence
05. Astronomical Dimensions
06. Pillage The Scavenger
07. Diminishing Lungs
08. Obsolete Machines
09. Patrons of Humanity

[02/07/11]
[Siege of Amida]

 

I discovered The Bridal Procession while stumbling around the internet, and in spite of the silly name, I decided to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised to hear something genuinely good, so allow me to share.

The Bridal Procession are a newish symphonic death metal band from France that basically sound like Behemoth backed by an orchestra. Apparently they used to be a deathcore band, but changed styles (thankfully). Now I know some of you might cringe at the mention of the words ‘symphonic’ or ‘deathcore’, but let me ease your fears by making something clear; this isn’t your average run-of-the-mill terrible chugging with ill-fitting keyboards randomly thrown on top – this is actually really, really good. After listening to this album, I went back and checked out the previous works of the band, and I have to admit that some of it was pretty terrible generic deathcore and some of it was okay deathcore, but not this one. This is full on, top-notch death metal. It’s probably because the band replaced three of its four members before this release, and after hearing the full album, I’m so glad that they did. There’s awesome orchestral keyboards, vocals that sound like Nergal, Behemoth-inspired riffs, and blissfully no bad breakdowns. Still not sold? Keep reading.

The album opens with an instrumental section that sounds like something from the soundtrack of 300 or any medieval war movie. Shortly after that, the first actual track “Flesh To Flesh” kicks in, and at first I frown because I feel like it’s going to go into a breakdown or something, because I thought these guys were supposed to be deathcore, but actually sounds like Behemoth’s “Slaves Shall Serve” with a brutal vocal line being uttered and the rest of the band coming in with crushing force. It doesn’t fit in with the intro, but the song is so good that I don’t really care.

The composition in this album is quite interesting. It’s not the best out there, but it’s certainly above average and they’ve definitely tried a few interesting things, such as a somewhat European synth sound on Shroud Of The End”. Title track title track “Astronomical Dimensions” is an instrumental, and a really solid one at that. The track builds up to a heavier section with a tasty solo, and then blasts its way through solid riff after solid riff. “Diminishing Lungs” opens sounding like a cross between Dominate-era Morbid Angel and Malice-era (their best phase in my opinion) Through the Eyes of The Dead. This song isn’t as heavy as the other ones, but it’s clear that it’s not meant to be.

Obsolete Machines” starts slower, with a short solo in the beginning, but then it gets into gear and here we see The Bridal Procession doing what they do best again: crushing death metal backed by majestic sounding keyboards. This is a really good track, and halfway through it slows down and becomes a bit more interesting, giving room for the instrumentation to breathe and build up.

Overall, this is an album full of really good songs. The playing is top notch, the production is crisp and full-sounding, the orchestration makes you genuinely want to grab a sword and jump to battle, and the vocals are almost up there with Nergal in terms of quality. I’ve been listening to this non-stop for a while now. The first few songs are amazing, and the rest of the album is pretty good too. Normally I’d give this a slightly lower score because the album gets drawn out near the end, but the instrumentation, composition and vocals are so good that I won’t. I hope the band keeps pursuing this direction, further improving upon their sound. I’ll definitely be following their work, and I definitely will keep coming back to listen to this again and again. In fact, this is probably my favorite release of the year right now, despite a few minor faults.

 

– NT

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