Itís good to hear that French prog metal guitarist Cyril Achard has gone back to the music he played before. After he recorded the jazz album Trace in 2007, Cyril gathered his old friends Franck Hermanny and Eric Lebailly for playing bass guitar and drums. Both are members of the French metal band Adagio and they previous played on Ö In Inconstancia Constans of Cyril Achardís Morbid Feeling. Together they recorded the new Violencia-album.
No more jazz on this album, but thereís another difference with the ...In Inconstancia Constans- album. On this album Tony MacAlpine played some nice keyboard solos, but this time Cyril Achard didnít use any keyboards at all. He went to a more straightforward way of playing: just one guitar, no more overdubs and no complex compositions. The outcome is a heavy and aggressive album influenced by Metallica; the song Saint Hatfield says it all. The album starts with a song called Brutalize, which is an example of the Metallica-influence: a hard rock/metal song with a nice long intro that speeds up and becoming a song that keeps spinning around your head for a while. Saint Hatfield has a nice melody line and the speedy drums slightly remind me of Metallica. The solo part of this song has more of a Steve Vai feeling, a nice song to shake your head on! All Or Nothing starts of with some melodies that give you a kind of dťjŗ vu. This song gets the closest to fusion on this album. I really like this song, it sticks in my head and it makes me want to set the CD-player on repeat. Itís A Gloomy Day is more like a ballad with a faster part in the middle section ending very relaxed. Title track Violencia has a number of speed changes and different moods that goes very well together. The main riff makes it all a cohesive song. Sweet And Furious says it all, after a sweet intro the song fires up into another hard rock song with a riff that sticks in your head again. You donít have to be Strong Hearted to like this song. The fast guitar has hints of Michael Lee Firkins in the melodic parts. Eric Lebailly does a great job here in a duel with Cyril.
The final song I Donít Believe shows more of the Michael Lee Firkins-influences, this time combined with fusion, like he did on All Or Nothing. I like this combination. Itís a perfect song to end this album. To sum up: Cyril Achard made a great, heavy instrumental guitar album on which he shows that heís not only a jazz and progressive fusion player, but a heavy rocker as well.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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