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Indrāzor - Cocoon To Butterfly

Indrāzor - Cocoon To ButterflyFormed in 1997, French band Indrāzor were originally known as Weeping Silence and performed death metal.  A few changes (personnel and genres) later and Indrāzor became prog, and Cocoon To Butterfly is generally taken to be the band's first 'proper' album.  That said, five of the eleven tracks are taken from a 2003 release called The Vagrant, and another two are reworked versions of songs from Unicorn released in 2001.

Like many musicians, Indrāzor lay claim to a number of influences from Floyd, Crimson and Oldfield to Bowie, Depeche Mode and Porcupine Tree yet it is not easy to detect these in their music.  Take the opening track, Medieval Life, which encompasses prog, jazz, folk and blues like a strange cross between Jethro Tull, Gong, Crimson instrumentally with vocals of a sort of post-punk-new-romantic era.  Strange when you try and pick it apart but it works well.  Very well in fact.

The band also claim to mix different styles, which is reflected in Look At The Mirror with its opening disco-ish wah wah guitar, slap bass and frantic heavy-ish pace introducing  prog metal to the jazzy undertone with a laid back break around the halfway point.

Another change of tack follows with First Meeting where the 'old fashioned' Beetles style jazz of Sgt. Pepper is twined with a Marillion-esque jaunt complete with guitar riff.

First impressions are not always accurate, and mine weren't in this instance.  After the first spin of the CD my thoughts were of, and I'm generalizing here, the now defunct Grey Lady Down with Big Big Train vocals (in English by the way), which is very strange as I cannot hear this on subsequent plays.  There are too many subtleties to take in on one hearing but it is worth persevering because the rewards will start to appear by the second or third plays.  The delicate tonal qualities of pieces such as Wild Winter, which although has a Gallic and Gaelic edge, could easily be something played in Robin Hood's period.

There are a lot of nice sounds on this album and, knowing the band's history, it is hard to believe that they used to purvey doom/death metal.  This is one of those albums that turns out to be a very pleasant surprise.  Recommended.

Jem Jedrzejewski



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