Review Summary: L'ALBUM MONSTRE starts off pretty well.
Martin-Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
Exterio is a mix of punk-rock and alternative-metal. They have been popular in Quebec since 2003 with their first hit WHIPPET, a really enjoyable punk-rock song that unfortunately has stupid lyrics that cannot really be considered funny. Their first album, VOUS ÊTES ICI, had a few gems (BONHOMME 7 HEURES, LOUIS LE LUTTEUR…) but was inconsistent overall (and had mainly awful lyrical content). The sophomore album, LE DÉLIRE DU SAVANT FOU, is a personal favorite of mine.
The lyrics -while still not serious- were at times funny or clever, the riffs were heavier, the melodies catchier, the production better and the change of singer seemed like a breath of fresh air.
In 2008, Exterio began to write songs for their new album. With 35 songs in their hands, they decided to put out a really innovative and risky concept album to be divided in 3 parts called L'ALBUM MONSTRE. The first part would be available in music stores, the second one on iTunes and the last one in their shows. Each album has 11 songs and a distinct feel to it. LE COMPLOT is a blend of everything they can do, LA TRAPPE is their punk-rock side and FEU-VOL-VANDALISME is their heavier side.
This one is my favourite out of the three, and here’s why.
This is still Exterio. The riffs are recognizable, the voice is not always completely on key but overall has a great tone, the bass is the highlight with bass lines that tie everything together and the drum keeps everything very simple without being too boring or repetitive.
The album cover is beautiful and gives you the feeling that the album might not be as stupid as their past material. And then, you hear the production, and it is HUGE for a band coming from Quebec. I must say it’s a bit too much. Too much bass kills bass. It’s heavy as hell, yes, but it’s also a bit unclear in some busy moments (L’HEURE DU LUNCH comes to mind). If you can, put a lot of treble in the sound of your speakers, sounds a lot better that way. Then, the lyrics confirm the impressions you had with the album cover. Exterio are great writers, and there is no such thing as a fun punk-rock song on this album in the lyrical department (beside MR.BIG maybe). Everything means something (SEIGNEUR DES AGNEAUX talks about the horrible Robert Pickton story and BLUFF about poker addiction).
Beside the production and the lyrics, the band also likes to experiment more on this album. There are some acoustic moments, little solos and an instrumental (L’HEURE DU LUNCH) for the first time in one of their cds. The songs structures are also slightly unusual. Many songs do not follow the usual intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus formula. Some just flow between sections (SQUARE-VICTORIA, L’HEURE DU LUNCH, BLUFF) and others have an epic ending (LA CITÉ D’OR, SEIGNEUR DES AGNEAUX, LA SECONDE).
Some highlights (I could pick a lot of them):
LE COMPLOT: The first single of the album. Everything in this song is well written and executed. The chorus in particular is insanely catchy and the instrumental section uses both guitars to create a wonderful harmony.
SEIGNEUR DES AGNEAUX: This song has 4 genres of music in it with everything flowing perfectly. Let’s start from the second verse.
1. The drum beat is a standard PUNK beat.
2. The part where he counts has a SKA guitar fill.
3. The part where the bassist sings reminds a lot of Quebec’s FOLKLORE.
4. The chorus is their typical ALTERNATIVE METAL.
While it could sounds tedious or self-indulgent, the song feels completely natural and is a beast of a song really. The ambient moment followed by the epic ending is also very good.
L’OMERTA: The main riff, the vocal harmonies in the chorus, the ‘’godfather’’ part in the bridge… Everything in this song is perfectly done, so it is why I consider it to be the best song on this record.
I think you’ve understood that I LOVE this album. It is ambient, slightly experimental, clever, heavy and catchy all the way through. Two songs do not really stand out (Mr.BIG and C’QUI VIENT D’SE PASSER) but as a whole it is very consistent and enjoyable. Only real down point? It’s way too short