Review Summary: Beautiful melodic vocals, dueling guitars, and overwhelming classical influences make for a nonstop thrill ride of an album
It’s not very often that you have a band who successfully juxtaposes classical arrangements with their music to the point where it’s a driving force and not a gimmick or just a background addition, but Versailles have nailed it right on the head. Everything in this album works in perfect synchronization; Versailles has crafted a superb debut album that stands out amongst the crowd as energetic, passionate and melodic.
The main attraction that pushes this album to great heights is the well placed classical compositions that are riddled throughout each of the songs. Whether said compositions are soaring choir vocals, fast violin build ups or dashes of intricate piano pieces, this album has them all. The verses of songs such as “The Revenant Choir” and “History of the Other Side” are all elevated to greater heights by the choir arrangements. Every song is extremely busy but not in a distracting or chaotic way, everything amalgamates quite nicely. That’s not to say there aren’t stand out moments in the classical compositions however; the piano ballad “Episode” shows off the craftsmanship this band is able to put into their piano pieces. That level of skill is well prevalent throughout the entirety of the album.
That’s not to say the other instrumentals lag behind, quite the opposite actually. The guitars take center stage here, dueling and riffing away at breakneck speed. Every guitar solo on this album is varied, unique and well structured, notably the solos on “Aristocrat’s Symphony”, “Suzerain” and “The Revenant Choir.” The bass is rather silent on this album, but it follows the guitar nicely and occasionally has some stand out moments where a groovy bass line leads you into a solo or another verse such as in “Suzerain.” The drums utilize double bass rather well and the fill work is spot on. It has no problem keeping up or even standing out from the rest of the album’s material.
The clean vocals are deep, melodic and are only made to soar higher from the fantastic instrumental accompaniments. His style is very soft and intimate but at the same time he commands such force with his voice that you’d feel more captivated by the strength in his performance than anything else, it’s almost contradictory. The harsh vocals unfortunately feel a little shoehorned into the mix and thus lack impact. The production style is crisp and well mixed, however the drums could have had a tad bit more impact.
In short, this is a fantastic and well composed debut album that had me impressed almost instantly. For those who have been missing classical influence in your music, this album is most certainly worth checking out.
“Aristocrat’s Symphony”, “The Revenant Choir”, “Suzerain”, “History of the Other Side”, “Episode.”
“Antique in the Future.”