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ELLIPSE: À NOS TRAÎTRES

Gallic post-hardcore troupe blend brains and brawn

Complete with French lyrics and a potent frontwoman, this Nantes five-piece embrace a post-hardcore ethos whose heavy shred embraces complex and soaring melodies.

Their debut full-length thrills from the off, but it’s the particularly driven, metal-drenched title-track and seven-minute closer La Chute that most strikingly highlight Ellipse’s polished songwriting skills. While the real award goes to the band’s gloriously heady fretwork and gripping riffs, Claire Bousigue’s vocals are unfailingly ferocious and raw, spitting out a mix of focused, enraged yells and the occasional death roar.

The album is also separated by four instrumental interludes that serve as unpretentious, enjoyable breathers between the barrages of aggression. Dans La Gueule Du Loup rises above the rest, though. The builds, the fast pace, the mathcore mid-section, the soaring guitars, the group chants and the moments of release serve as a lesson in how menace and melody can play together as one.

Fierce, exhilarating, emotional, smart and uplifting, it’s a hell of a start.