Review: Ellipse – 'A Nos Traîtres'

Ellipse are a 5 piece, female fronted, modern-hardcore band from Nantes, France. Ellipse formed in early 2008, and have released an EP “L’Ampleaur Du Vide” in 2012 and this, the album ‘A Nos Traîtres’ which dropped on the 12 of December this year. Ellipse are signed to French metal-label Finisterian Dead End. Ellipse have toured with Devil Sold His Soul, The Arrs, and As They Burn, to name a few…

Ellipse was a really interesting find. It’s not every day one comes across a female fronted, modern-hardcore band, let alone a French speaking, female fronted, modern-hardcore band… I was intrigued, to say the least.

Listening to the album, I heard a lot of inspiration coming from melodic hardcore bands like The Ghost Inside, Hundredth, Counterparts, and Close Your Eyes, but with a mixture of metalcore bands such as August Burns Red, and While She Sleeps…

‘A Nos Traîtres’, was an interesting listen at first, not just for how amazingly written it is, but because I don’t normally listen to bands that speak/sing/scream in a language other than English. Usually, I’ve tended to stay away because I can’t understand the language, but this album really dug it’s claws into me. I really respect Ellipse for sticking with their native tongue. The music is fantastic, and the vocals are great too. Even though I can’t understand what is being said, it almost felt like a romantic kind of interest of not knowing what is being said!

So, let’s get to the point, ‘A Nos Traîtres’ is a 12 track album, and the first two singles to be released from this are “Ruines” and”Ascension”. Since “Ruines” was the first single to be released from ‘A Nos Traîtres’, I gave this track a listen first, and what really drew me in was how clean cut they sounded. Absolutely everything drew me in – The guitars, the vocals, the bass, the drums, the melodies, the rhythm… They all just intertwined, the outcome was that I absolutely had to listen to the whole record. So I did… I carried onto their second single “Ascension”, and it did exactly the same thing. What I loved about these two tracks was not only are they the strongest tracks from ‘A Nos Traîtres’, but you can really feel the intensity of their passion for music. I totally dig anything I can connect to emotionally, and these two tracks did that for me.

‘A Nos Traîtres’ opens with “I” signifying the first chapter of this album. It has very mellowed out clean guitar melodies. For only 38 seconds long, it held a lot of musical pleasure… but served so well for opening “Calvaire”, the second track of this delightful piece of art, a mixture of melodic bass backing, traditional melodic-hardcore style vocals, a mash up of melodies and riffs from the guitars with uniquely different drum rhythms, which fit in really nicely.

Moving on to “Enseveli”, this track is their most jumpy number. Kicking off with some technical drum patterns, I can sense the smallest tiniest bit of djent influence Only very small influences though, which I thought was pretty cool. Definitely a party starter!

With “Epsilon”, heavy bass tones takes control from the very start,  and are heard through-out this absolute banger.

 “II” Signifies the second chapter of this incredible journey through ‘A Nos Traîtres’. An absolutely stunning piece of music lasting just over two minutes. It’s a very rich, clean melodic, peaceful piece of sheer genius. Then in the dying seconds, the peace is shattered… and the heaviness is ignited for the beginning of the title track, ‘A Nos Traîtres’. It is one of the heavier tracks off this album, but continues to hold the whole melodic presence that exists within. I really appreciated the slow breakdown two and a half minutes in. From there it fires into this almighty lead riff. Delightful! This different turn took the track in a whole different direction, with a good change of pace.

“Dans La Gueule Du Loup” gave me flashbacks of the English melodic-hardcore band Napoleon. The guitars at the beginning sounded very similar, but this is no bad thing. I loved their approach to this. Three minutes in, this track takes a whole new direction completely, with crazy riffs, subtle guitars, and all sorts of different drum sounds, almost tropical sounding! It was really unbalancing, but then the bass just kicks in, and with some gnarly guitar riffs. So different, but it totally works! This would be a top track to see performed live!

“III” brings another emotionally beautiful piece of music. Honestly, these guitarists really know what they are doing. “III” blends seamlessly into “Ruines”. It really built up the anticipation for “Ruines”

“IV”… Oh. My. God! It is pure, raw, emotion! I can only wonder what they felt when they were writing these melodies… Wow.

“La Chute” rounds things off, kicking in with guitars and bass licks. Melodic yet pounding, then kicking into full band mode and delivering an excellent piece of music, featuring   emotion, depth, and melodic and technical from every member… and then to end, soft group vocals over slowed down, mellow guitar melodies. Then everything goes silent…

I can’t say I have a favourite track from this album – I loved them all. It wasn’t about one track in particular. This whole record did it for me in every sense. It’s essentially one long track, divided into sections to understand how good it is.

Overall ‘A Nos Traîtres’ is immaculate. Good proper melodic-hardcore. I loved this. Every track was unique . There were different routes taken and different directions but every single time always coming back to where they started. The numbered tracks added so much depth to this album. I could listen to a whole album of that – Sheer excellence. Beautiful music.

Review: Carol Black


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