When you've been around long enough, you'll see the birth of your favorite bands and you'll see the end of bands that you never really cared about...but what happens when the end of an aforementioned favorite band comes? Tears. Tears everywhere. I watched the birth of The Bridal Procession, so this review comes with such bittersweet feelings as I know it's the last one I'll ever write about this band.
The Bridal Procession is a four-piece extreme metal band hailing from Paris, France; the land of romance and the Eiffel Tower birthed one of my favorite extreme metal bands of the past few years. Born in 2006 and ending in 2013, it's sad to see such a talented band only last about half a decade in a scene that so desperately needs a band like The Bridal Procession to show the rest how it's done. Descent into Arcologies is the sophomore – and final – full length from the band released via Siege of Amida and Century Media Records. Although it was released a few weeks ago, I had to make sure that I had listened to it just enough to make sure that this review could be written to the best of my ability.
The Bridal Procession may label themselves as just extreme metal, but to classify them as just that would be a catastrophic error. They harness elements of symphonic, black and death metal into their music to leave listeners with the best of each respective genre. With fast growls and even faster instrumentals it's no surprise that these guys would describe themselves as extreme. Highs that leave Eddie Hermida of All Shall Perish jealous and symphonies that Winds Of Plague and Betraying the Martyr wish they could pull off. Speaking of Betraying the Martyr, track three has an appearance by none other than Aaron Matts to add just a little more to that symphonic element that is so prevalent in the entire release. Nick Arthur is also featured near the end of the album, but that's something we'll get to as we venture through the rest of the release.
Also prevalent in Descent into Arcologies was the use of audio clips in multiple different tracks including the first, third and fourth (just to name a few). Opening up the album with an audio file has always been common practice, but to continue through a release using them is something that is usually reserved for bands like Dr. Acula and Killwhitneydead. It was something that was used quite well by the boys in The Bridal Procession, though, seeing as tracks three and four ended and began with ones that blended them together perfectly. Nothing pleases me more than seeing something be used by a band and used correctly while not being overused or underused.
A couple small complaints that I had about the album was the sheer length of this release. It clocks in at just over 69 minutes, and while I always love having more, this album brought on a little too much too soon. Considering their last release was just under 40 minutes and this one exceeded that by a whole half hour seems like a little bit of overkill. Every track was done so well but to add in an eight minute instrumental track ("A Solar Symbiosis") was definitely a little too much on their part. Breaks are always good, but halfway through track number eight, I was wondering when I could return to the crushing vocals and faster instrumentals.
Descent into Arcologies holds some insanely strong tracks including the opening "A Paradoxical Utopia," "Process of Illumination" and "Universal Secrecy" featuring Nick Arthur of Molotov Solution. Although Molotov Solution is neither extreme, symphonic or death metal, they sure know how to add a crushing guest vocal spot into an album. These three tracks were enough to give the album quite a high rating in my books and are all three tracks that are most played by myself. I found the rest to all be done superbly, but just don't quite hold as much replay value as those previous three. This release held chants, amazing instrumentals, incredible symphonies and a few breakdowns that could quite literally physically break something down.
All in all this was probably the best note that The Bridal Procession could go out on. They left their fans with a release long enough to tide them over for the next couple of years even if they were going to stay around. I bid adieu to the boys of The Bridal Procession and wish them all the best in their future endeavors, whether they be in the music scene or not.