MELTED SPACE – Darkening Light (Sensory/The Laser’s Edge)MELTED SPACE – Darkening Light (Sensory/The Laser’s Edge)

Magnificent, exhilarating and, perhaps, a tad pretentious at times, Pierre Le Pape’s third full-length Melted Space offering once again takes a extravagant stab at converting a grandiose topic into forty-seven minutes of operatic, metallic entertainment. And once again the band rollcalls a huge array of vocal talent to bring Le Pape’s compositions to life, including Ailyn Giménez Garcia, Clémentine Delauney, Jeff Scott Soto and Mikael Stanne, all pretty much household names(depending on your household, I suppose) to name but four. Le Pape himself voices ‘Space’, as well as undertaking keyboard duties alongside guitarist Adrian Martinot, bassist Brice Guillon, and drummer Mike Saccoman.

So far, so symphonic… But what makes Melted Space so attractive is that, as the opus’s composer, Le Pape never lets his vision crowd out the fact that despite all the multi-layered vocals, lush harmonies and dynamic instrumentation what counts are songs that are memorable and exciting: and ‘Darkening Light’ has these in abundance, with ‘Trust In Me’ (featuring the aforementioned Stanne and Soto and some cracking guitar work from Gildas Le Pape) and ‘Man And Future’ (voiced by Catherine Trottmann and Sakis Tolis, alongside Le Pape and Delauney) leading the charge.

Ground-breaking it may not be, but ‘Darkening Light’ does demonstrate a consistency and maturity that sets it way above many similar offerings within the genre. And for that it’s to be commended.

© John Tucker February 2018