Fusion, Groovy, Instrumental, Jazzy, Technical
"Despite several instrumental nuggets, Polyphia fails to really reconcile the old and the new with "Remember That You Will Die". The fault lies in the questionable choice to add vocals to high-flying instrumentals."
NEWF (02.12.2022)  
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That's it. After being criticized by guitar purists for playing a too cold music, for being unable to improvise on stage, for being too influenced by rap and hip hop, the Dallas band is validated by the master Steve Vai himself, who comes to play a craziness solo on 'Ego Death', the last track of the new American album, "Remember That You Will Die". The clip has been a bombshell in the small world of guitarists, so much so that the fundamentalist boomers are seriously revising their judgement on the youngsters of Polyphia. If, when listening to the album, the band's goal seems to be to reconcile the old and the new, the bet is not really successful.

Certainly, 'Ego Death' is a real nugget. The meeting between the percussive and slapping playing of the impressive Tim Henson and the divine touch of the great Steve Vai works wonderfully and makes of this unusual track, supported by the irresistible groove of the rhythm section of Polyphia, a very great piece of instrumental guitar, and undoubtedly a real musical turning point in the closed world of the guitar lovers. But, taken as a whole, "Remember That You Will Die" really struggles to win over the audience and, to tell the truth, is a very uneven and rather annoying album.

Polyphia is first and foremost a collective of little prodigies, each member of which has digested all possible techniques to master their respective instruments to perfection. Even if they don't invent anything compared to the precursors of modern instrumental metal, and that the filiation with Plini (the excellent 'Reverie') and Animals As Leaders (the huge 'The Audacity') is obvious, they are so gifted that all the instrumental tracks of "Remember That You Will Die" are a real treat. Whether they are influenced by flamenco ('Playing God'), jazz ('Genesis') or hip hop ('Neurotica'), all of them, with the notable exception of the dispensable 'All Falls Apart', are able to compete with their mentors' songs. So why on earth do they feel obliged to add vocals on five of the twelve tracks on the album?

Because this is what really annoys listening to "Remember That You Will Die". The track 'Chimera' is the perfect example. With its innovative mix of flamenco and hip hop, this track has everything to be great, before it is butchered two thirds of the way through by the intervention of the rapper Lil West and his singing filtered by an unbearable autotune. And what about the insipid interventions sung on 'ABC', 'Memento Mori' and 'Fuck Around And Find Out', where the guests coming from the world of rap and hip hop follow one another without bringing anything to the instrumental parts of the group which remain always impressive of control. Only Chino Moreno, escaped from Deftones, comes out with honors on the very pop 'Bloodbath', without however that his vocals is not essential to the musicality of the title.

From then on, the feeling of waste prevails on the pleasure felt while listening to the Dantesque play of these fabulous musicians. So much so that "Remember That You Will Die" is the perfect counter-example of the album on which the vocals bring absolutely nothing. Of course, you don't need to be particularly enlightened to understand that Polyphia's will is to attract the youngest, while making the oldest adhere to the modernity of their musical approach. Even if the intention is commendable, it remains a balancing act that the band does not succeed this time. Maybe next time, who knows? With such gifted people, nothing is impossible.
- Official website

01. Genesis
02. Playing God
03. The Audacity
04. Reverie
05. ABC
06. Memento Mori
07. Fuck Around and Find Out
08. All Falls Apart
09. Neurotica
10. Chimera
11. Bloodbath
12. Ego Death

Clay Aeschliman: Batterie
Clay Gober: Basse
Scott Lepage: Guitares
Timothy Henson: Guitares
$not: Chant / Invité
Anomalie: Claviers / Invité
Brasstracks: Invité / Trompette
Chino Moreno : Chant / Invité
Killstation: Chant / Invité
Lil West: Chant / Invité
Sophia Black: Chant / Invité
Steve Vai: Guitares / Invité
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