French band XCIII present their latest album Like a Fiend in a Cloud. Opening with the piano led Rêverie Nocturne’ the album sets out to immerse you in its atmosphere which the band describe as a way to depict the tormented feelings of love and hate, metal for Twilight fans if you like. ‘Bal Macabre’ begins like a sad love song but fury soon rears its head with frontman Guillaume Beringer swiftly turning on the screaming with gusto, which carries into ‘Hibernal Sadness’ a near nine minute track with some impressive and snarling riffs. A few of these tracks bear a similarity to the older Cradle of Filth Material (the slower melodic stuff like ‘Her Ghost in the Fog’) another artist that XCIII remind me of is Swiss one man act Mirrorthrone, who also creates atmospheric music. ‘Perpetual Place’ sounds more melodic and reserved than the aggressive ‘Hibernal Sadness’. ‘Bal Macabre-Epilogue’ emanates a more hopeful sound, whereas the final title track ‘Like a Fiend in a Cloud’ is a slow symphonic track that ties the album together. This is an impressive release from the French group, their use of Piano’s and an ear for almost classical tune making helps to set them apart from others in the atmospheric metal scene, giving them a sound that is uniquely their own. How many bands have you heard lately that has a cuckoo clock incorporated into one of their songs? (Track 4 Feathers) Yeah thought not.
Guillaume (Vocals, Guitars), Jonathan (Guitars), Mathieu (Pianos)