"Greed" album reviews

Some of the following reviews are abridged versions of the originals. We left out the lines on the band's history that don't have much to do with the music, and that give information which can be found in the 'History' section.

GHOSTLAND (U.S.A.)
ELECTRIC BASEMENT (U.S.A.)
TARTAREAN DESIRE (Sweden)
666 METAL (U.S.A.)
DURP (Germany)
DME (Israel)
HM PORTAL (Italy)
EDGE OF TIME (Denmark)
NEW HORIZONS (U.K.)
METAL - GUIDE (Greece)
UNDERTOW (Belgium)
METAL CRYPT (Canada)
METAL EAGLE (Greece)
METAL MAIDENS (The Netherlands)
STRUTTER (The Netherlands)
KREPUSKULUM (Brazil)
METAL RULES (Canada)
METAL TEMPLE (Greece)

GHOSTLAND (U.S.A.), February 2002.

GHOSTLAND : Although titled "Greed", this third release from France's Final Tragedy focuses mostly on heartbreak: the emotion (or is it an experience?) permeates not only Delphine Cochand's lyrics and dramatic, haunting vocal delivery but seeps deep into the diverse, mind-on-fire guitar playing of Jean-Luc Millot as well. There's a gorgeous and mysterious ache behind the eight tracks here, each of them about some kind of human disjunction. On "Lethal Pursuit," "Speak The Words," and "Cold Sun," Cochand sounds like a woman back into the corner, in pain, but willing, at any moment, to charge forward and strike back with either love or emotional violence. This isn't a record about wallowing, but, to a large degree, about the emotional desperation that comes with abandonment. Once you hear her sing lines such as 'I woke up the next day/You had snatched my soul away/I had your sound still in my ears/Although your face had disappeared' (in "On A Night's Fall"), you begin to understand just where she's coming from. (True, this may be slightly atypical fodder for progressive rock, but then, who said proggers don't fall in&emdash;or out&emdash;of love?)

Throughout this intriguing and tumultuous landscape, Millot's guitar work provides a perfect backdrop for Cochand's lyrical battles, swerving into and around her lines, subtly underscoring or providing counterpoint to her near-boiling rage. Although capable of shred-style fretwork, Millot's real talent lies in suggestion: for as many Vai and Petrucci-inspired runs he plays, there are plenty of Lifeson-styled washed chords and delicately incisive arpeggios. On "The Wait," for instance, he surprises with some nice, flavorful classical-style runs that make you wish he found time to do a little bit more of that kind of work here.

And while FT do heartbreak quite well, the atmosphere does occasionally begin to veer toward thick, especially right before the two closing tracks, where it may have been nice to hear just one piece that worked against the rest of the record's turmoil. Still, there's a disquieting sexiness that drags you back into the fold so that you hardly miss the contrast. Greed closes leaving you with a sense of satisfaction, a desire to hear more from this unusual and promising band. (The duo is rounded out here by drummer Stefan Hassler.)

In short, this is a well-above-average disc from a band with well-above-average promise. Slide it in your changer between Bauhaus and Dream Theater, then sit back and enjoy.

Jedd Beaudoin


DURP (Germany), February 2002.

DURP : The history of the French band FINAL TRAGEDY reaches back to 1989,when ETHERIC SOUL was founded as a techno-thrash quintet. In June 1996, female vocalist Delphine and guitar player Jean-Luc decided to continue alone as FINAL TRAGEDY.

FINAL TRAGEDY play progressive metal. The style is not similar to usual progmetal bands. The music is sometimes based on fast riffs that are more rhythm than melody (i.e. "Lethal Pursuit"). But primarily there are melodic attempts ... for example the sophisticated track "Speak The Words", decorated by clean guitar chords and sequenced keyboards. Instrumentally speaking the music tries to set hooks and build atmosphere (i.e "One More Time", "The Wait")... Some compositions are well thought and instrumentally have much potential (like "The Wait", "Speak The Words" and "Gift ? - Resurrection").

Markus Weis


ELECTRIC BASEMENT (U.S.A.), March 2002.

ELECTRIC BASEMENT : If intelligent symphonic/conceptual epic metal with hypnotic female vocals is your dish, then dig in. Deceptively melodic underneath the pulsing dark riffs, this record is hard to refuse, even for the straight ahead metal fan. There is something special about the harmonies and effortless drippings of atmospheric lava...sometimes morphing into sparks. While the record does not have any outstanding tracks, it has a slew of very solid epics that work as a unified piece more than a traditional outting. Keyboards, acoustic guitars and mostly effective voice acting add the necessary sugar to make this sweeter than many others of the same ilk. Perhaps most refreshing is that the set is just as pensive as goth but not nearly as "downward" focussed. Somehow, underneath all the drama there is an uplifting nod. Very meditative and spiritual, yet growling every so often to keep it genre safe. Proggers and open minded goths should enjoy this.

Rock Devil


TARTAREAN DESIRE (Sweden), March 2002.

TARTAREAN DESIRE : The French band Final Tragedy was formed in 1996 in the ashes of a previous band called Etheric Soul which traces back to 1989. While Etheric Soul began as a techno thrash metal band Final Tragedy has turned into a very nice progressive metal band featuring wonderful groovy guitar work from Jean-Luc Millot and beautiful dramatic female vocals from Delphine Cochand. This album was originally meant to be released by the Canadian label Frowz Productions but since they went bankrupt in 2001 they finally released it themselves in December that year. Something that puzzles me is why no labels sign these bands like Final Tragedy who are a lot better than many of the established acts. French metal isn't that strong yet but there are luckily a few bright stars shining even there. This album is a beautiful mix of passionate, atmospheric, emotional and heavy music and is one of the most interesting albums I've ever heard from an unsigned band. Some metal fans might find it a little too soft but I think it is close to perfect. The vocals and piano sound very good. A very fine album from a very fine band!

(8.5/10)

Vincent Eldefors


666 METAL (U.S.A.), March 2002.

666 METAL : Final Tragedy is a French progressive metal band that, according to their biography, have been around in some form or other since 1989, when they played technothrash and were known as Etheric Soul. "Greed" is their first full-length album: it had been scheduled to be released by Frowz Productions before they went bankrupt. It is easy to hear how skilled the band is. "Greed" has many of the signature characteristics of progressive metal, including choppy stop-and-start riffing (often in multiple layers, which is really neat - for example, a lead guitar riff going over a rhythmic riff in different tempo) and tinkling keyboards. The vocalist is female, but not "typical" in any way. Her style reminds me a bit of the guy who sings for Payne's Grey, or perhaps the first singer of Mekong Delta; at any rate, her style is unusual. The music overall cannot be described as heavy (though perhaps that's a result of the production), but there are moments ("Lethal Pursuit" and "Cold Sun") when blast beats are actually used! Final Tragedy's diversity thus separates them from run-of-the-mill progressive metal. It would certainly be interesting to hear what they could do with a good producer and a budget.

Curumbor Elendil


DME (Israel), March 2002.

DME : After a five-year struggle and two EPs under their belt, the French duo make it on their own. In the opening "Lethal Pursuit" the etherial voice slides over guitar strains, thick as a wall here and silvery transparent there, making for a convoluted matter. There's soulfood for all. "On A Fall's Night" is equally indie as metal, while "Evil Game" is closer to high-time prog and shifting signatures create electronica-tinged jazzy undercurrent to fill "Speak The Words" with tears. The craftsmanship is great. Then comes "The Wait" with its acoustic web and caressing piano."One More Time" is the most exquisite tune of all - shades of RENAISSANCE flicker by - and sets FINAL TRAGEDY aside of the goth flock. This bird is up for catching and bounding to a label interested.

****


HM PORTAL (Italy), March 2002.

HM PORTAL : Final Tragedy is a two-member band from France. The music they play is something that could recall some releases by Mekong Delta. Some riffs are really interesting, the rythms show a fairly refined conception behind'em, and the melodies are finally fair. The performance of the musicians is good, too. This CD contains some great ideas.

Technique

3,5 / 5

Songwriting

4 / 5

Innovation

4 / 5

Alucard


EDGE OF TIME (Denmark), April 2002.

EDGE OF TIME : Although the band name may be a slight factual exaggeration, this French duo have had their share of misfortune in the past. Final Tragedy consists of the duo Delphine Cochand (female vocals) and Jean-Luc Millot (guitar, bass, keyboards) and have been together in this form (previously in the thrash quintet Etheric Soul) since 1996. After the release of two mini CDs (of which the second "Trial of Tears") this debut CD should've been released by the French-Canadian label Frowz Productions. But due to the FP bankruptcy, "Greed" is now an independent release in search of a new label. The music on "Greed" carries my sympathy. The quality and diversity of the songs takes the overhand. Musically Final Tragedy venture into prog metal territory somewhere in between Leger de Main (diversity and compositions), The Quiet Room (typical piano parts contrasting with the heavier guitars), and Septic Flesh (combination of the Meditteranean sounding riffs and ethereal guitar pickings). A solid release. Rating: 3 3/4

C.R.


NEW HORIZONS (U.K.), April 2002.

NEW HORIZONS : FINAL TRAGEDY are a French band who have been around in one guise or another for around a decade. The present lineup is basically a duo of Jean-Luc Millot (guitars, bass and programming) and female vocalist Delphine Cochand. This is the band's first full length release following a couple of EPs - four tracks of which are re-recorded for this album. FINAL TRAGEDY's music is probably best described as a combination of progressive and gothic metal, with a heavy edge evident throughout (perhaps not surprising given that the two musicians used to be in a thrash metal band together). It's more difficult to pick out a particular point of reference though - which is probably a tribute to the band in that they have succeeded in creating their own signature sound and style. Opener 'Lethal Pursuit' is probably one of the best tracks, and is a good indication of the material to be found on the rest of the album. It opens with a gentle acoustic guitar pattern over a cascading piano motif, before a heavy riff leads the song into an uptempo percussion-led section somewhat reminiscent of DREAM THEATER. The song moves smoothly between these heavier sections and more gentle refrains and the guitar work is interesting throughout, with some nice counter-melodies overlaying the basic riffs. Other highlights are the almost LACUNA COIL-esque 'Cold Sun', which benefits from a tighter song structure than many of the other tracks and boasts some memorable instrumental passages and particularly good changes of pace and mood. 'The Wait' is a slower, more restrained track in which the instruments are allowed to breath, away from the sometimes rather cloying heavy guitar work. The closing two-part epic 'Gift?' stretches over 11 minutes and sees the band throw a bit of everything into the mix - an ambitious track, but the sometimes complicated arrangements generally hang well together. It is obvious that a great deal of thought and effort has gone into making this album, and there is a lot enjoy here. In particular the musicianship of Jean-Luc Millot is very impressive: he's an adept bass player and uses keyboards in a supporting but effective capacity, but it's in his role as guitarist that he comes into his own - his playing really is topnotch, and he can handle (and switch between) a variety of styles with ease, which really adds to the overall effectiveness of the album. The band's ability to evoke mood is also good; whilst much of the material here is fairly dark in tone, this is counterbalanced by more melodic, upbeat sections and lots of variety in the keyboard and guitar sounds that the band employ. The cover art and packaging of the CD is impressive. On the subject of the vocals, I like the way Delphine moves from lower to higher ranges quite smoothly. This is an interesting and varied album, which will be of interest to those into both the progressive and gothic metal genres, and hopefully it will lead to a record deal and a bigger recording budget for the next record. Definitely a band to watch...

Tom


METAL - GUIDE (Greece), May 2002.

METAL - GUIDE : The first good thing that we have noticed here is the unique voice of Delphine who manages to color the songs with various emotions, and of course the skills of the other member, Jean-Luc, who plays all the instruments but drums. Their style is a Progressive hybrid, with few Atmospheric elements, some Thrash riffs, enough melodies, and very complex structures. The band seems to do a great job in all aspects, since the songs are worked, and contain enough interesting parts in them. A successful debut, the music is good and the talent of course exists. 6/10


UNDERTOW (Belgium), May 2002.

UNDERTOW : This French duo has been around for quiet a while. "Greed" is their third release and their first full length album. I also reviewed this bands previous EP and I was not really positive about that disk. Listening to this new effort of vocalist Delphine Cochand and Jean-Luc Millot (guitars, bass, programming & background vocals) I am pleasantly surprised to hear that they made a giant step in the right direction. For this full length album they rerecorded and rearranged the songs of their previous EP and added four new songs. Delphine's vocals have improved a lot. Musically we can categorize Final Tragedy as a progressive metal band with gothic tendencies. The musical part of the songs is good and sometimes surprisingly strong. The keyboards and guitar fusion nicely together. "Greed" is an interesting album from a band that has created its own sound. (7)

Bruno Van De Velde


METAL CRYPT (Canada), May 2002.

METAL CRYPT : Final Tragedy is a duo hailing from France and if I had to stick them into a genre, I'd say they're some sort of "melodic prog/gothic". Two things strike me on this album: The vocals (female) sound a bit "detached", as if they were coming from the background but not quite that - very hard to describe. This is not a criticism however: The effect comes out very well and fits the music very nicely, giving it a kind of melodico-doomish atmosphere(!) The other thing is that the songs flow together so perfectly that the album almost sounds to me as if it was just one long song.

The music, despite a lot of rythmic changes and some occasional "aggressive" guitar riffs, is surprisingly relaxing, thanks in part to the vocal effects described earlier. There is a lot of variety here, for more "rocking" sounds to very quiet moments where only light drums and keyboards accompany the vocals. This is definitely not for those who are only into very aggressive or brutal music, but those who like to listen to more melodic stuff should definitely check this out. As an added bonus, they do not sound like every other band out there - yes, that is still possible! :)

Michel Renaud

Rating: 4/5


METAL EAGLE (Greece), May 2002.

METAL EAGLE : ...It's times like that that I regret the fact that we are not a greater magazine so as to promote some bands to even more people. Final Tragedy is a band consisting of the duo Cochand / Millot and an exception to the rule that many people take for granted (myself included): "The more musicians in a band, the better and more variable the music gets". Jean-Luc Millot easily meets the definition of "composer" as his songs are aggresive and powerful and yet melodic and craftfully arranged. Memorable choruses and riffs - especially those riffs!!! - will grant the album access to your player more than just "a few times". A point worth talking about is the production of the album, musicwise as well as "package-wise". As for the production itself, the album simply meets all the standards that a major band would set. Package-wise, the booklet and CD have no resemblance to the usual (not-so-usual anymore) crappy, demo booklet and cover. One will actually turn the jewel case around to see the label, only to be amazed to find out that it's a self produced, self-financed album. I really think that the band deserves a place among the reviews of the magazine but since it a self-financed album it should stay on the demo section. Unless the editing team decide otherwise. Until then...

8/10

Kyriakos Nathanael


METAL MAIDENS (Greece), Review in Metal Maidens #28/June 2002.

METAL MAIDENS : FINAL TRAGEDY positively surprised me with their debut album "Greed". The long epics have a certain techno-thrash character, and they show some complex structures that are not too easy to comprehense for the average metal fan, I guess. The voice of Delphine is very dark and this creates a mystical atmosphere sometimes. The fast riffs that pop up sometimes create the heavy side of the band, while the parts that are filled with keyboards take care of some points of rest in their songs. It's almost impossible to compare the sound of this band to any other band in the scene though, and I think that's the way they want it to be. But people that are into PSYCHOTIK WALTZ, WATCHTOWER, DREAM THEATER and CORONER (they're not that heavy though), might like this band, although they sound much darker in my opinion. Highlight on this CD is of course the long CD closer "Gift?": over eleven minutes of great technical power metal.

Rating: 8/10

Toine van Poorten


STRUTTER (The Netherlands), July 2002.

STRUTTER : FINAL TRAGEDY is a band out of France, and their CD 'Greed' contains high quality Progressive Metal with a slight Gothic influence. Comparisons to bands like WITHIN TEMPTATION, NIGHTWISH and EDENBRIDGE can easily be mentioned, as the band has a good female singer called Delphine Cochand and besides the music of FINAL TRAGEDY comes very close to those well-known 3 acts. The 8 songs on the CD are pretty good, and also the production is quite impressive for an independent release, so nothing stands in my way to give this a good rating. Recommended songs are "Lethal pursuit", "Speak the words" and "On a fall's night" (great song!).

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)

Gabor Kleinbloesem


KREPUSKULUM (Brazil), August 2002.

KREPUSKULUM : FINAL TRAGEDY finally released your first full-lenght, the french band exist since 1996 and they had already released two EPs, including "Trial of Tears" reviewed in KREPUSKULUM, the debut album "Greed" is a great surprise, becouse the duet formed by Delphine Cochand (lead & background vocals) and Jean-Luc Millot (guitar/bass, programming & background vocals) had a explendorous musical evolution!!! The atmospheric prog metal played by the band is more balanced and climatic, the voice of Delphine is more sweet and introspective now, she found the perfect point for her performance, those evolution result in great songs like " Speak The Words", "On A Fall's Night" and "The Wait". Great work!

Edgar Franco


METAL RULES (Canada), October 2002.

The style of this CD is hard to pin down. The band call themselves progressive metal but that's not exactly what I would pin the sound as. It is more an amalgam of gothic metal with a smattering of prog. Almost as if Lacuna Coil hit Vanden Plas head on in a bus crash and this is the result of the collision. "Lethal Pursuit": opens the disc with one of the more aggressive songs from the CD which they follow up with "Speak the Words", this song takes a more low key approach with a greater emphasis on keyboards. The prog leanings of the band show themselves more prominently on the track "On a Fall's Night" as the guitar work is much more intricate than the basic structure found on the rest of the CD. The CD closes with the 11:16 track "The Gift".This song is broken up into "Part I: Purgatory" and "Part II: Resurrection".

I had a bit of trouble getting my head around this CD at first. I guess In was not in the mood for the bands brand of mellow goth-prog. This CD is best listened to with the lights off and candles burning. The music is very atmospheric and haunting. Part of this is the result of the final mix. The vocals are a bit far back which gives them an echoing quality that adds to the atmosphere of the disc. With Moonstone and Heavenly making waves in the French metal scene its only a matter of time before Final Tragedy makes their break through.

Rating: 3.0/5

Rick


METAL TEMPLE (Greece), October 2002.

Despite the fact that France is a large country and has a big musical tradition, its metal scene is quite poor. Progressive metallers Final Tragedy seem willing to prove otherwise with their (third overall) release, "Greed".

To be honest, this was the first time that I came across their music, and it certainly didn't taste like poison (see back cover of the cd)!! F.T. play prog metal that is based, not so much on complicated orchestrations, but on melody and beautiful atmosphere. According to their biography they used to play techno-thrash some years ago (when they were still named Etheric Soul), but it seems that they have left the past behind for good.

To sum up: Final Tragedy seem to be a hard-working band, and they have some really interesting ideas. So, what is missing? You guessed it, a contract.

Kostas