Ad Vitam Aeternam Abstract Senses

France’s Ad Vitam Aeternam blend classically toned female vocals and string sounds with death metal growls and brutal riffs, coming off somewhat like early Theatre of Tragedy. Abstract Senses has a literary bent, most obvious in the titling of a song ("Picture of Dorian Gray”) after an Oscar Wilde novel. Sonically, the album feels rather one-dimensional in its overall texture, but disjointed in terms of mix. Graceful soprano harmonies and intricate keyboard lines often stand out and apart from the rest of the instrumentation and vocalisation, detached when integration would have more beneficial effects. The resulting awkwardness holds the album back, preventing things from clicking the way they otherwise might. The most successful track on Abstract Senses is the French-language ballad "Les Meandres de l’Ame,” where metal guitars and harsh growls come in as accent and contrast. The dynamic extremes break through the general cloudiness — a disruption that isn’t completely lost before the album fades to a close. (Karmageddon)