[Review] XCIII – Void

XCIII is the Avant-Garde/Post Rock project by the multifaceted French artist Guillaume Beringer born in 2009 and with 1 EP, 1 Split album and 8 Full-length albums to his credit. After a first phase oriented towards Black Metal sounds, begin to explore new horizons that lead the project towards different musical universes. Psychedelia, Dark Wave, Eclectic Pop are just some of the influences that we find in his albums. In this article we are pleased to be able to review “Void” due out on January 14, 2022 via My Kingdom Music. Containing 9 tracks, this work offers Post Rock and Avant-garde sounds, with the participation of 5 guests on voice and piano. As always Guillaume composed all the songs, plays all the instruments and sings, once again exploring new musical horizons. The album opens with “iR” which begins with a powerful rhythmic session and a hypnotic piano on which a female spoken vocal is inserted. In the central part it evolves with Psychedelic traits that mix with Post Rock, the male vocal is aggressive and the intertwining of guitar and piano acid and scratchy. “Red Lights” begins with an intricate electronic rhythm and the sound begins to enter the experimentation mixing the guitars with sophisticated modern sounds. The artist is able to blend the classic sounds of Rock with the more avant-garde and electronic ones and the mixture of male and female voices is engaging. Constantly changing, with continuous tempo changes and a long instrumental section with guitars and atmospheric sounds in the finale that close this pleasant and original piece. A warm and expressive female vocal on a piano enriched by effects opens “Hannah,” where the rhythmic session is halfway between electronic and acoustic sounds. The sounds are always highly sought after and the intricate structure with winning phrasing between the instruments, allowing the artist to explore very different sonic horizons that combined together give life to an original sound. In the instrumental sections the guitar becomes the protagonist of both melodies and short solo inserts, where the sound is more acidic and Psychedelic. In the finale with the heavier features, the track closes with the main theme after the last intense vocal verse. “At Last One Never Exists” begins with an effects-rich guitar arpeggio that creates a hypnotic atmosphere, while the piano and atmospheric effects are added to the background. All the sounds are filled with effects and the artist is skilled in manipulating and managing them in the best possible way, capturing our attention and guiding us on a journey that takes us very far with the mind. We are in the middle of the disc and “Re” dampens the tones with softer melodies and a delicate vocal, always presenting refined sounds. The piano melodies take center stage, with the addition of other keyboard sounds rich in effects, evolving the piece in the second part with experimental features. “Rosemary” features orchestrations, a modern and electronic drum and a vocal close to modern music halfway between sung and spoken. In the central part, hard electric guitar riffs are inserted, and then in the second part also offer a piano solo. The mix between electronic and Rock is well done and the track is fresh and original, in line with the sounds of today with that refined touch that never hurts. The journey continues with “Lunchbox” with an orchestral background and a pompous piano creating dark atmospheres on an electronic and minimalist rhythmic session. The vocal adds a mysterious and dark touch to the piece, with repeated phrases, and then leaves room for the more melodic female singing that binds well to the male one. With an acceleration in the rhythm the central part becomes more drawn and intricate, between sharp and cutting guitars rolled, continuing to alternate with the softer parts where there is the singing. In the finale the track closes with a powerful instrumental section with Heavy features with the guitar in evidence. “Tapeworm” is the longest track on the record, 7:40 minutes long, starting with atmospheric sounds and an elaborate drum rhythm. The repeated guitar arpeggio creates a sound that intertwined with the effects is hypnotic and involves the listener in a lysergic journey into the depths of the XCIII sounds. After a softer first part, the intensity increases with the passing of the minutes to transform the piece into the second part with tight rhythms and very hard and dark sounds. The effects here are an added value and show Guillaume’s great skill in modulating them, his sound research and experimentation are of a high level. The record closes with “VS” which features a gloomy guitar and effects intro with an effusive vocal that cuts in at intervals. A short piece of just over 2 minutes where the artist shows off all his technique in manipulating and intertwining sounds, summarizing in a short time the sound concept of the album. A record where sound experimentation is at the center of the project and Guillaume Beringer proves to be a master in this. The intertwining of classic Rock sounds with Electronic/Experimental ones is successful, also highlighting the artist’s research and evolution. Post Rock, Avant-garde, Electronics and forays into Heavy are all facets of this good work, positively capturing the listener’s attention. A recommended disc, fresh and original that expresses a real experimentation in the purest sense of the term, congratulations to the artist for the musical research and the expressed technique.

Tracklist

01. iR (2:37)
02. Red Lights (5:24)
03. Hannah (7:26)
04. At Last One Never Exists (4:28)
05. Re (2:37)
06. Rosemary (4:27)
07. Lunchbox (6:14)
08. Tapeworm (7:40)
09. VS (2:35)

Lineup

Guillaume Beringer / All instruments, Vocals

Guests:
Maélise Vallez
/ Additional Vocals on 2, 3, 5, 7
Mathieu Devigne / Additional Piano on 6
Giulia Filippi / Additional Vocals on 6
Neemias Teixeira / Additional Piano on 2
Oisava / Additional Violin on 9

XCIII |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

My Kingdom Music |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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