YOUR LAST WISH – Eradicate

YOUR LAST WISH – Eradicate

Alas, as promised, another Jon Asher/Asher Media Relations release review is upon you. Although this Canadian ensemble can rightly be called progressive melodeath drawing comparisons to Arch Enemy, Scar Symmetry, Soilwork and, but of course, latter Death, they are one of the most unique bands in the genre for their unpredictible and plain weird song structures, eschewing traditional verse/chorus pattern, which works more often than not.

The roots of the band go as far back as 2003, when Jean-François Gagné (guitars), Martin Lalonde (vocals) and Marc-Antoine Papineau (drums) founded it in French Canadian Montréal, Quebec. The eponymous debut LP followed 4 years later, "Collision Course" EP 4 years thereafter, bringing in guitarist David Gagné (no relation to Jean-François) and bassist Louis Goulet, while Martin Lalonde departed replaced by a Roxana Bouchard (with vocals akin to ex-Arch Enemy’s Angela Nathalie Gossow) and Marc-Antoine Papineau exchanged for Gabriel Choinière-Fortin for the recording of the sophomore "Desolation" LP (2012), after which the founding guitarist Jean-François Gagné left, leaving Your Last Wish devoid of all original members, which may have been one of the reasons for the subsequent 8 year hiatus on the market. This, their 3rd LP, "Eradicate" was released in February, with Peter Hamm (bass) and Damian Blake (drums) having replaced Louis Goulet and Gabriel Choinière-Fortin, respectively.

"Eradicate" is a most unusual progressive melodeath record. The strongest comparison I can make is Arch Enemy’s "Anthems Of Rebellion" where Angela & Co. dropped much of the catchy verses and choruses of "Wages Of Sin" for more experimental textures. While the opening title track is inviting enough, with enough melody to hang ear on, and actually a fair verse/chorus structure supporting catchy and very death-ly riffs, it is the old Soilwork-ian/Scar Symmetry-ic "Exile" that gets my blood pumping faster, additionally recalling some Omnium Gatherum and Tool, while already eschewing the traditional sing-songy structure so typical of the genre lately. Most importantly, the Canadians wax very progressive while fiercely original, something that is even more evident on the fantastic "Monarque", which is strongly reminiscent of Queensrÿche’s "Promised Land", with guitarwork worthy of Death’s legendary Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner, and thus a fitting comparison to his "Perennial Quest" toward the end. "Monarque" is appropriately named as it is easily the single album’s perfect gem drawing comparisons to old Opeth for scope and execution.

The rest of the songs, while replete with both melody and power, seem to be riding on "Monarque" power, such as the following "Décimé", which evokes comparisons to Unearth, while "Lost" gives me an impression as I were listening to a brand new Dark Tranquillity song, with an engaging initial melody and a furious speed up at the end. While at the slightly Testament-ian "Pursuit" the formula, since there clearly is one, even without verse/structure, begins to slightly wear thin, the clearly Tool-ish "Pandore" with its semblance of a chorus and melodic In Mourning-like dynamics and the very percussive, again, very Dark Tranquillity-ian "Prestige" captivate me again, even if not quite as much as those first three songs. They’re very good, but seeing what these guys are capable of I start wishing for…verses and choruses! "Le Cri Du Monde", with its infectious latter Death-ly progression (think the chorus of "The Flesh And The Power It Holds") is better, a fitting, excellent closer of a unique, engaging album.

Let my slight criticism of this disc not dissuade you from checking it out, because these guys are firing on all cilinders with creativity and skill to match the following giants. Somewhere between Arch Enemy, Omnium Gatherum and In Mourning is growing another force to be reckoned with, and if you wish to ignore it, it may just turn out to be Your Last Wish.