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Virgin Chapter
From The White Side
May 2010
Released: 2010,
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Erich

With metal music entering its sixth decade, France has contributed precious little to the genre other than very supportive fans. Recently, more French bands have been emerging and Virgin Chapter is one of these. FROM THE WHITE SIDE is the trio’s unsigned debut, an album that includes lyrics and vocals in both English and French. The band provided me with very little promotional material, preferring to let the music speak for itself. As it turns out, the music spoke to me just fine.



With a name like Virgin Chapter, and an album cover sporting a woman with recently bandaged slit wrists, I was expecting this one to be death metal. Happily, Virgin Chapter is a band that believes in melodic and well-constructed songs. Opening track, “The Foreigner” features a huge wall of guitar sound that is an immediate attention grabber, followed by the unexpected but captivating vocal harmonies of EnDlEsSjOe (strange name). Similarly, the rhythm section is more than adequate to keep the songs driving, mostly at a mid-paced tempo. Virgin Chapter does not necessarily have an original sound, but it is not easy to categorize either. The nearest point of reference would be a heavier version of HIM vocally and musically, but with Smashing Pumpkins huge guitar sound. One of the strongest elements on the album is the backing vocals that serve as an extra and important feature to most of the songs. Another positive quality is the deft and tasteful use of acoustic and clean guitars to convey a dream-like quality to many songs and passages. EnDlEsSjOe vocals are mostly subdued and crooning, but he is also capable of screaming anger and pain such as at the end of “Save Yourself”.



Overall this an impressive debut, and sounds excellent for an unsigned self-produced album. There are a few minor flaws, as some of the hanging power chords sound repetitive and a track or two is basically filler. There is also some language mangling, as the excellent and delicate ballad “Until My Eyes Keep Opened” reveals. But heck man, I am not complaining. This band has potential and this is solid stuff that just needs a bit of refinement. Admittedly, this style of metal is not for everybody and so if your brand of mayhem is fast and pummeling then you will not have much use for this. However, if you enjoy melodic, mid-paced metal similar to HIM and the Smashing Pumpkins then you could do a whole lot worse than Virgin Chapter.
Track Listing

1. The Foreigner
2. Save Yourself
3. Pour Ton Retour Final
4. What's Your Name?
5. Something (feat Nhi)
6. No More Love Songs
7. Waiting For That Day
8. Until My Eyes Keep Opened

Lineup

EnDlEsSjOe - Vocals, Guitars
7 Stone - Guitars, Bass
Xavier Rose - Drums

Other reviews

» From The White Side
by Erich


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