Genre: Black Metal
Country: Canada
Label: Les Productions Heretiques
Year: 2015

2013’s “Sacryficium Necrothytum” demo was my first contact with these Canadians (coming from Quebec), its cover art immediately impressing me. Its music, a darkly inspired idol of the (usually a tad more naturalistic) Quebec’s black metal scene, was in par with the visual art. Its passionate character was evident in the Varg-like vocals (the similarities being not so much on pitch, but on the despairing character of both), while riffs were particularly delectable, even if they lacked in the surprise department. The aforementioned demo, along with the equally great “Inopia et Morbo” (2012), make up this year’s “De Ritibus Morbiferis” compilation, which was released simultaneously with “Les Heures de la Peste”, the band’s first full-length album.

A thing apparent upon introductions with the band’s debut is the somewhat unpolished (in comparison to the demo), unstable mixing. A positive of this kind of sound is its flatlessness; through the fluctuation of its qualities (flickering of intensity and pitch) it creates reflections-on-an-uneven-surface-like images, and attaches a warm depth to the music, that can be absent in a cleaner and more structured mixing. Along with several calm moments of ritualistic nature that are scattered in the album (for instance in “Une charogne couronnée de fumier”), the music production creates an almost hypnotic atmosphere. Still, the band is aware of its origins: the multitude of riffs, if one isolates them, are structurally Quebecois; they have a sort of flowing vehemence, creating pure epicness. The album is dominated by fast tempos with a certain glorifying edge, which are ultimately transmuted in majesty. Vocal-wise, their demo days are still here, with a bit of chanting thrown in the mix: solid war cries and despairing howls are intertwined. The rhythm section is hiding in the background, away from the stage, being efficient nevertheless.

The Canadians’ debut is yet another release that reminds us of the Quebec scene’s quality. If the album is distilled, one will end up with medieval magic and past nature-worship, materialized in grandiose riffs that are ceaselessly attacking the pulsing surface of the cavernous mixing. Délétère follow on the quality of their excellent demos, and both their 2015 releases are highly recommended.

Highlights: “Credo II”, “Une charogne couronnée de fumier”