Genre: Heavy Metal
Country: France
Label: No Remorse Records
Year: (1983) 2017

What’s there to say for such an iconic release? Iconic, of great importance and quality, in a way that time wouldn’t be able to take anything away from its value and importance on European Heavy Metal. So, what’s there to write that isn’t already written… In cases like this, you’d typically read grave extravagant opinions that are the only way to reflect the importance of such albums. Therefore, it is inevitable that I follow the same pattern and I will say, that even if this album was the only EP the French Sortilege were to release, it would still be enough to put them in the Pantheon of European Heavy Metal. To take this even further, if No Remorse re-released this EP (and only this) they would still have done more than their “duty” for the metal scene in general. “Hyperbole” is a concept well interwoven in Heavy Metal, and something we all adore and it is the reason we deeply love such albums!!! The more I’m reading what I wrote, the less extreme it sounds… In 1981 they appeared out of nowhere (under the name Bloodwave) -and 2 years later with their self-titled EP- and apart from that, in 5 years they recorded two studio albums -and a live bootleg- and they managed to affect the European sound of Europe in a way, that not many were able to, before disappearing in thin air with the same silent way they appeared out of nowhere. The main characteristic of the 5 tracks that are included in this EP and of their general course, is the divine and crystal clear voice of Christian “Zouille” Augustin. His expression, dynamic, his characteristic French accent (worked for Heavy Metal the same way that the German accent made the 80’s Teutonic Thrash sound more cult-like) and his mix of rough as well with high-pitched vocals that he could easily accomplish, made them worthy of being compared with the giant names of the genre. As much as I praise and applause them, it’s still not enough to capture the talent of this unsung hero (how ironic) of Heavy Metal. Naturally, I’m not doing any justice to the rest of the bands members that as musicians are not in any way inferior to any well-known band members of US and British bands that were sky rocketing back then. The guideline of the songs was the incredible voice of Augustin that depending on the lyrics, would either take off or keep the rhythm. The instruments with their characteristic bond would be on the same path, drums that were high in the production and weren’t just there for supporting purposes, and guitars that would alternate riffs and solos, as if there’s no tomorrow. The approach of the guitars was similar to the one of the 1981-1984 Judas Priest era, without being so commercial, which sometimes seemed to be on top of Priest’s heads. The EP begins with “Amazone”, epic mini intro and sharp twin guitars that point to the upcoming massacre. Fast, strong, screams steel, perfect for an entry. “Progeniture” follows, that alternates between excellent guitar rhythms and characteristic drumming, while “Zouille” simply kicks ass. “Gladiateur” is the absolute hymn, Augustin gives an amazing performance while the guitars are giving free lessons of musical orgasms. Whoever didn’t fell in love with “Sortilege” and it’s iconic scream at the beginning, simply listens the wrong type of music, and definitely not Heavy Metal. A hymn, simple as that. The ending is “Bourreau”, that gathers all the characteristic I earlier mentioned, with Stéphane ‘L’Anguille’ Dumont and Didier ‘Dem’ Demajean stealing the glory from everyone else, since the guitars here are more than amazing. This release of No Remorse Records includes 4 bonus tracks from the demo tapes of 1982, remastered by Bart Gabriel (Cirith Ungol, Cloven Hoof, Mythra) that kept this old school feeling alive from the original tapes. A video for “Sortilège” was shot in the Parisian subway, and aired on French television on April 17, 1983. Original recorded on July 1983 at Stonesound Studio, the Netherlands.

6/6