(Osmose Productions) Enslain Magazine Issue 10 Canadian Thesyre have reached their fourth album, and with the three first having been of such high quality - the second one, Duality, in particular - I was expecting a lot. While their previous output Exist! was one ambitious half-hour long track, on Résistance the band have returned to a more conventional format. Or not.
A little bit disappointingly, the circa 35-minute album contains only six "real" songs, the rest of the tracks consisting of an intro, outro and two short interludes. Even where there isn't an interlude track in between, the songs tend to end and start in a way that clearly separates them from each other, and while I'm sure the totality has been well thought out, this gives the album a kind of scattered impression. They sometimes manage to bind the tracks together in a striking way, though, like with the intro "Au présent" or the beautiful guitar piece "La grande noirceur".
The six actual songs are still reliable and recognizable Thesyre quality, although more mid-tempo than before, presenting thrashing extreme metal with an old-school mentality but a fearlessly experimental approach. The material often has a rocking, even punky, vibe to it, and contains a lot of catchy riffs and drum rhythms. The bass plays a big part in the sound, standing out deliciously, and while I tend not to care for solos that much, I wouldn't mind a couple more like the well-placed and simply awesome sounding guitar solo on "Hymne au mérite". Although Thesyre are often coined as black/thrash, and that is an undeniable part of their sound, the themes and atmosphere of the music are quite far from my concept of black metal.
The main vocals are the same kind of raspy snarling as before, but this time the vocal quality is sharper and more natural than on the two previous records, where some kind of an effect made the vocals sound consistently a little confined, taming their raw and primal energy in a way. While this is certainly a change for the better, the use of effects gladly hasn't been forgotten, but instead is utilized more deliberately. Clean vocals also play a notable role, appearing on several tracks and ranging from chants to punkish yells to more conventional singing that sometimes hits even surprisingly high notes.
As the title of the album suggests, its concept revolves around resistance - against materialism, religion and unconditional equality, among other things. Even though Thesyre's thoughtful lyrics haven't always matched with my own views, I've found them inspiring and enjoyable, adding extra depth to the music and making it even catchier. Therefore, the choice to use completely French lyrics this time feels kind of alienating, although I understand the band feeling that the best way to express these certain ideas was in their native tongue. Official English translations are available at metal-translator.com, and while they give a better idea of the concept, it just isn't the same. Then again, the album will probably relate to French speakers on a totally different level.
Even though Résistance doesn't rise to the same heights as Thesyre's other outputs, it's still a highly enjoyable and original sounding piece of work from a band to keep an eye on. I just hope that on their next effort they concentrate more on what they do best, and less on experimentative interludes. Oh, and the full album is available for download on thesyre.com along with the rest of their material, so if this sounded like something you might be into, give it a listen. This time you have no excuse.