Musical Digest: Idol of Fear, Numenorean, Ov Enochian and Poète Maudit
Idol of Fear is one of the best surprises of 2014 in the realm of black metal. Captivating from start to finish, All Sights Affixed, Ablaze, the first album from this Barrie (Ontario) band stands out from your average black metal band for more than one reason, starting with the artwork signed by one of the masters of black and white art, Mark Riddick. Indeed, while staying confortably within the limits of the genre, this vulture on a white background is a good indicator of the content. Idol of Fear keeps its distances from post black metal or anything on the edge of the genre, but incorporates a healthy dose of unorthodox elements to its music such as uneasy atmospheres and dissonant chords (vaguely reminding me of Deathspeall Omega at some point), and a minimalistic use of blast beats and double bass drums. All Sights Affixed, Ablaze is composed and rather moderate – neither too fast nor too slow -, the music being played confortably while leaving a central place for the vocals and lyrics. At certain occasions, Idol of Fear reminds me of the melodic-acoustic atmospheres of Sombres Forêts (for example on “Circle of Vortices”), but at other times the brutality points toward Behemoth and even Nachtmystium. Beside sounding fresh, the musicianship is very good and the production is excellent, making this album an easy export. This is an album that I haven’t stopped listening since last Fall and that will stay on my regular playlist for a while. Trust me, get your hands on this.
Hailing from Calgary, Numenorean is a name to remember. As the pagan/post black metal band recently announced a forthcoming album in 2015, we take the opportunity to make their splendid 2014 demo known to those who may have missed it. Swimming between Agalloch and Falls of Rauros, Numenorean has this ability to carry a torch in the dark, with strings of melodies that catch your attention upon first listen. This demo may only have two songs, it nonetheless contains nearly 20 minutes of pure enjoyment, and comes housed in a digipack which artwork is, to my opinion, one of the best photos for a canadian metal album in 2014. We strongly recommend to download it for free/pay what you want by following the link below. This demo will haunt you forever.
Dethbridge Records is about to release a limited (100 copies) edition of the new Ov Enochian album in digipack CD. The Lethbridge, Alberta, entity plays an orthodox type of black metal with a fair dose of occultism and darkness. It’s raw and cold, and will satisfy any meat-eater. Entirely composed by Jeffery Brookes (except for programming), sole musician behind Ov Enochian, Scrolls of the Necropolis will please any fan of kvlt with its arsenal of evil riffs, selective use of synth effects in the background (“Vessels of the Hollow” in particular) and very interesting vocal effects here and there (“Ancient Rituals”). This is a black and white album that will appeal intentionnally (and hermetically) to fans of the genre. Be forewarned.
On January 1st, 2015, Poète Maudit released Tome 1: Anno Inferno, the first album in ten years and the second full length since its inception at the end of the 1980′s. It has been a decade since Hiver Québécois d’Antan, a good album flavored with second wave black metal influences, but the band has not remained quiet in the meantime. It released two EPs, more occult rock than black metal (Le Quattro Stagioni and Déjà Novembre), where different musicians temporarily joined Guillaume Gagnon (aka Sinistros), the only permanent member of Poète Maudit. Among them was Patrick Coll, who sang for the band in its early days. Tome 1 has been crafted by Sinistros and him, and marks the first step in a trilogy that revisits the past, litterally. Aside from the chalice of darkness the band continues drinking from, they have simplified their diet drastically with more rock influences than metal, even re-recording a few songs from their earlier demos, thus completing the circle and claiming their post punk/gothic/new wave and industrial rock influences. The home production doesn’t always pay justice to the songs, unfortunately, especially on the post punk songs where clean vocals are too loud compared to the guitars and don’t stick to the whole; however there are other songs such as “Religious Arguments” and “Déjà Novembre”, which noises and textures are tastefully reminiscent of black metal. In short, this is an eclectic album, but while it is imperfect, its modus operandi is solid and brings promises for the next two tomes. Looking at the splendid artwork created from a famous Gustave Doré piece, this poet’s return is a good thing.
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