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Deluxe 6-panel Digipack CD with Slipcase, 12-page booklet with lyrics and extra art. Strictly limited to 300 copies.
Hailing from France, EPECTASE is the formidable duo of Vague and Avitus, talented musicians with a unique approach to the metal genre, true believers in the superiority of artistic vision and expression over stylistic boundaries.
Despite being their first opus, “Astres” is a surprisingly mature effort. Revolving around the concepts of human mortality, space and out-of-body experiences, it lives up to the band's name (épectase means the moving of man towards god) and follows the journey of an individual dwelling into the depths of his own consciousness. Music-wise, EPECTASE skilfully alternates ominous, frantic black metal riffs with hypnotic and groovy mid-sections typical of 70's prog, often leading to epic finales where the intensity never ceases to rise up until it reaches an exploding breaking point. It's the case of the monumental “Enter the Domain of the Solar Sovereign”, which propels the listener into outer space, to face the mysteries of creation.
The vocal performances from Avitus and Vague range from raspy, stinging screeches to funereal gurgling growls, enigmatic clean singing and operatic vocals reminiscent of those from URFAUST. Around them, the duo builds impressive architectures of cosmic scale, fluidly moving from dark ambient landscapes of electronic beauty to cascades of guitar leads, luminous melodies, meditative atmospheres and pummeling rhythms.
The heart of the album is in the last two tracks, “La Dédale des Astres et des Âmes” and “La Mer Pourpre”, over 30 minutes of deflagrating black metal crescendo conjuring up the waves of anxiety and the sense of madness intrinsic to the ideas of mortality and human finitude in an entropic and stagnating universe. It's the final disintegration of the self, the certainty that nobody can escape death, and that the void awaits us all.
“Astres” comes as a luxurious and limited Digipack CD wrapped in a slipcase, with a booklet featuring Avitus' drawings to accompany each stage of EPECTASE's spiritual -yet bitter- journey.