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Eternal Flight: Retrofuture
Eternal Flight - Retrofuture CD Album Review

Eternal Flight: Retrofuture

Progressive Power Metal

Here's another band that's been missing in action for some time, at least from the studio, France's Eternal Flight. Led by founder, songwriter, and vocalist Gerard Fois, Eternal Flight's recordings have been sporadic since its formation in 2001. Additionally, the band has been plagued by a revolving door of personnel changes. Nevertheless, Fois and Eternal Flight return with their fourth album, Retrofuture, the first in six years.

Eternal Flight Band Photo

Eternal Flight

For myself, and maybe for some readers, this is my first experience with Eternal Flight, which also means some initial description of their musical style is necessary. Eternal Flight's metal is a three-legged stool of traditional heavy metal, then informed by mid-Nineties power and progressive metal. The two legs of traditional and power metal allows Eternal Flight focus on melody, sway tempos, and offer guitar centricity. The "progressive" metal leg of the band isn't something that is grossly technical. Eternal Flight isn't trying to mesmerize you with complicated arrangements that have, for example, ever-twisting time signatures. The emphasis is more upon melody, harmony, and groove, yet with a penchant to be somewhat bombastic and epic.

Being led by a prominent singer-songwriter, Fois' vocals take some precedence, and so deserve, perhaps, a larger amount of attention than other parts. Suffice to say, to these ears, Fois is an acquired taste. While singing clean and melodic, with some range and strength, Fois seems intent on proving that he can offer a plethora of voices throughout the album, sometimes even in the same song. Succubus is a good example of this. Other times when his range goes screamo and pitched, Fois sounds strained and sour, as within Poison, The Journey, or Retrofuture. Alternatively, within Routine Of Darkness, where he sings mostly with the melody of the piano, you discover the power of his voice, but not so much the clarity of it. Nevertheless, Fois is vocal force to be reckoned with and, over time, you ears will settle into his style.

In the end, I was impressed mostly with the depth of the musical arrangements. There's plenty of melody and harmony in the guitar lines, especially from the twin guitar harmony. The same guitar lines can provide dense heaviness through a wall of riffage. Combined with the strong and dense rhythm section, many songs have a powerful and epic feeling. By example, with a song like Danger Calling, the combination of guitars and rhythm section create a power metal song with thrash metal intensity. Returning to the guitar parts, the bristling solos only add more kindling and so flaming fire to the songs. Which is to say, the guitar solos are killer throughout this album. Drawing these parts together, besides Fois' significant vocal presence, Retrofuture is an intensely guitar-centered album. So then, if you like your progressive power metal with a strong guitar-forward attitude, an ambitious vocal presence, and then wrapped in lightly complex, yet provocative, arrangements, you will enjoy Eternal Flight's Retrofuture. Some top song picks would include The Journey, Angels Of Violence, Succubus, and Danger Calling. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

You will enjoy Eternal Flight's Retrofuture if you like your progressive power metal with a strong guitar-forward attitude, an ambitious vocal presence, and then wrapped in lightly complex, yet provocative, arrangements. Recommended.

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