The French band Anthropia is one of those bands that I feel that I’ve known for a while but in reality are quite knew to me. It’s not that their music is familiar but is just so polished and well-crafted that when I first listened to their new album, Non-Euclidean Spaces, I felt as if I’d known their music for many years now. In reality, the band’s been around for over 10 years in pretty much the same incarnation and is led by guitarist/vocalist Hugo Lefebvre and is fronted by the very expressive female singer, Nathalie Olmi. Musically, Anthropia is an excellent hybrid of symphonic metal and progressive power metal with many classical elements including orchestrations and lots of great classical guitar sprinkled all throughout the new album.
The band’s on their own self-funded label (Adarca Records) and apparently decided that now’s the time to go for broke and do a full on concept album based on the famous Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. And why the hell not! Based on how damn good the album sounds, who needs a big label to fund an album of this scope. And it is a damn big scope – worthy of the best of Ayreon, enough so that Arjen Lucassen himself graciously provided the album narration! Non-Euclidean Spaces, at 100 minutes, is long enough to fill up two albums and might have been a bit more effective if it had been released that way. The album begins with a short pretty intro and goes into full on symphonic metal with the introduction of the album theme of “50 years old Randolph Carter (aka RC) who regains the dreaming faculties he lost as a teenager. He can then travel through time and space like he used to do during his childhood and finds out that Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones will return soon. He alone could stop this apocalypse, but the real question for him is: is Mankind worth saving?” Silver Twilight Lodge is next and it’s a killer of a song, complete with crushing riffs, epic symphonic themes and a driving intensity that is a perfect underscore to Olmi’s wonderful voice. Most of the middle part of the album goes through dramatic shifts from softer classical themes to epic metal that rarely lets up. I especially loved the jazzy acoustic guitar lead on Fuoco. Lefebvre is a true master of the fretboard and has such a clean, crisp style that I found myself wishing he would do more of that on the album. Non-Euclidean Spaces closes with the upbeat and rousing finish of Credits – the vocal melody and funky fusion bass lines here are just awesome. All in all, Non-Euclidean Spaces is a fantastic example of how great power and symphonic metal elements can be so effective when they’re in service to a larger musical purpose and are devoid of the musical clichés that are often found in those styles of metal.
My only complaint here is somewhat of a lack of variety. More ballads and changes in dynamics would really have been welcome as that would really enhance the melodic elements that the band is so good at creating. Last year, Anthropia put out a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the album (link HERE) and it’s really paid off on this fantastic beast of an album that is sure to satisfy many prog metal fans who also enjoy listening to symphonic and power metal. You can check out a video of Crawling Chaos below and also order a copy of Non-Euclidian Spaces via the band’s , also below.
review by Jeff Stevens
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