|Photo courtesy of Francis Blot|
Over the years, writing for sites like Sonic Cathedral, I have heard seemingly every type of female-fronted metal band under the sun. From traditional heavy metal to progressive rock to nu-metal to gothic rock, the femme-metal scene has grown, branched out, and created their own sub-genres. So just when I thought I'd pretty much heard it all, along comes France's Kosmik Vortex to pleasantly surprise me, and to remind me that there's still so much music out there that I haven't heard yet.
Described as “psychedelic rock opera”, the music of Kosmik Vortex is what would happen if Black Sabbath had recruited a classically-trained female singer instead of Ozzy Osbourne, or if Janis Joplin had chosen to sing opera instead of the blues (in fact, vocalist Julie Delétoile bears somewhat of a resemblance to Janis!). It's what happens when the trippy vibe of the ’60s meets the symphonic metal theatrics of the 21st century. One might not think that the two sounds would go well together, and admittedly it's an acquired taste; but the more you listen, the more interesting it becomes.
In their video for “Black Laces”, the band rocks out (looking very much like hippies that have time-traveled straight from Woodstock), while Julie belts out her glass-shattering high notes. The band plays a jam in the middle of the 10+-minute tune that would have made Jimi Hendrix proud, as Julie dances to the groove. Kosmik Vortex are definitely bringing back the spirit of the ’60s, with a modern twist. I thought that symphonic metal had covered every sub-genre out there, but apparently Kosmik Vortex has singlehandedly created a new one of their own.