Genre: Black Metal
Country: France
Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Release: 21/12/2018

If we wanted to discuss about the European scenes in Black Metal, we would definitely classify France in the category with the most subversive releases. The release of strange or different from the norm albums is in their blood. The band In Shadows and Dust, (well, “band” in quotes because there is only one person behind the whole project) is following the aforementioned path of unique releases and is actually prolific, as in just four years In Shadows and Dust released four complete albums, with the latter bearing the title “Enlightened by Darkness”.

So, the band’s fourth album in a row, tends to mix the classic Black Metal compositions with many Death Metal elements, while there are moments when one can distinguish D-Beat drumming styles and HC influences. It may seem confusing and without any meaning at all, however after the second and third hearing, “Enlightened by Darkness” really sounds pleasant, since with the repetition, you understand Stephane Thirion’s goal (one man band after all). From the absolute darkness and an atmosphere of pure depression and insecurity, we are transported into a raging death pogo. We are generally faced with exploratory and highly adventurous compositions that really offer something different in relation to the norm. The whole effort and the atmosphere that is created are intensified by beastly vocals, similar to demons being kicked out of hell. On the A plus side is the fact that the album comes with a peculiarity: the booklet, when unfolded, creates the shape of the cross, while of course containing information about the record and its lyrics and is decorated with excellent illustrations. Well done, I was very impressed by its general aesthetics. Finally, I particularly liked the cover and the figure that adorns it, an immortal king raising his sword in a cemetery. It could easily find its place on a wall in my living room.

Naturally, all the compositions and lyrics, as well as the mixing and mastering were done by Stephane Thirion himself.

Give it a chance, as paradoxical as the choice of elements that make it up may sound. It’s you who wanted a recommendation from France, so there you go! It is not for everyone, however should you keep your horizon open, you’ll grow fond of it.