(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
(originally written for www.prog4you.com)
Darjeeling is a French group, and L'envers Du Décor is their debut album. If I understand their all French homepage correctly, the band has been around since 1998, starting out as a cover band playing everything from Led Zeppelin and Queensrÿche to FFF and Red Hot Chili Peppers).
The musical style on their debut album is rather interesting. Most songs have extensive use of staccato guitar riffing, energetic drums and bass playing, with synths and samples used very carefully and subtle to add nuances to the soundscape. In addition, on many songs they will tone down or away the guitars in the verse section of the songs, at least in the first verse, and then fill up the soundscape for the chorus section and the instrumental parts of the songs.
The vocals of singer Pariche are of good quality, whether he sings, "talks" or snarls out the lyrics. All the lyrics are in French; which is worth noting if you plan on getting this one.
As for musical similarities; I really can't think of anyone playing in just this style. The staccato guitar riffing isn't too far away from what bands like Pain of Salvation and, to some extent, Dead Soul Tribe have a go at from time to time. Darjeeling do have an influx of musical flavouring from Red Hot Chili Peppers and the prog metal greats as well though; as well as other inspirations I've yet to discover. In total it adds up to a musical landscape that may not be highly original, but at least hasn't been done to death by a tenfold of other artists.
The album as such is a rather good one. There are a couple of fillers here, and no killer tunes are offered. But all in all this is a good release, and worth checking out if French lyrics and staccato guitar riffing doesn't make you label this release as generally uninteresting.
Recommended tracks: "L’envers Du Décor", "Insensé" - both of which will give you a good general idea of what this band is all about.
My rating: 68/100