Hailing from France, the young band Perpetual Escape already has two EP's under its belt before releasing their full album debut. The band first opted for a quartet, with Laurent Weiss as vocalist and guitar player, Gregory De Frutos as lead guitarist, Julien Obergfell as bass player and Florian Millot on drums as well on keyboards and piano. The addition of the female voice of Ana´s Sieffert turned the band in duo fronted quintet, where Ana´s adds her melodic, gentle touch to Laurent's angrier vocals parts. In 2016 the band shows the world their album; Into My Dreams.
The album opens with a short instrumental part called Wisdom Of A Child; a nice soundscape that flows into a bluesy guitar solo. It sounds very promising to me! Sin Six continues the album, a solid rock based composition that introduces Ana´s' smooth voice, but when Laurent seconds her vocal parts, it seems the song gets an extra dimension or an additional layer that lifts the song up. On the same song both vocalists have their solo parts and to me the rougher male ones are the ones that convince me more than the female parts. Together however they sound superb! With Outer Heaven the same scenario is used, with basically the same outcome as during the previous composition. Musically the spoken words work really well with the raw guitar riffs and fine bass guitar. A nice guitar solo finishes this strong composition. When the album continues, I am getting used to the vocalists and combinations of them, neither have the most intriguing voices in my opinion, but the duo parts are pretty nice to listen to. The band's music certainly has progressive rock elements, especially during the keyboard and guitar melodies, but the majority of the music should be defined as plain solid rock with some alternative elements. These Days and the following; Roots Of Mankind are cool accessible rock songs that will grow on you when they are played live, but The Tale Of The Lost Souls is the track that could get airplay; a catchy, though heavy-ish composition, where both vocalists excel, including a very solid band and a strong guitar solo. You Are The One sounds smoother and is much more an alternative ballad style composition, this one ends up to be my favourite track on the album, vocally both Ana´s as well as Laurent peak here. Powerful and leaning towards a Foo Fighters meets Metallica style is Duty & Memories, with an additional female voice. To me it seems the further we get on the album, the better the band gets, Duty & Memories with fine riffs and a very well bass sound, as well as the fine drumming on this song. Should we call it prog, when a composition lasts for seventeen and a half minute? I don't think time is the reference if a song is prog, but still the title track; Into My Dreams is the closest to prog on the album; long bluesy guitar parts and ambient keyboards are the foundation of the track, vocally alright, but not like we heard on earlier compositions. I love the power that is released around the thirteenth minute. Yes, this is a very cool progressive metal guitar part, which makes this a very interesting track.
I have to admit, Into My Dream needed a number of spins, I loved Gregory's guitar playing from the beginning, capturing multiple styles. The vocals worried me the most, but in the end I am quite convinced of the band's quality. Perhaps a little guidance and a solid production could be of help for this promising band from France.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Robert James Pashman)
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