Neige et Noirceur – Les Ténèbres Modernes

Neige et Noirceur
Les Ténèbres Modernes
Released 24th June 2016
Raw Black Metal/Ambient
Released via Sepulchral Productions

Neige et Noirceur (French for ‘Snow and Blackness’) is a French Canadian raw black metal project which was formed by the singer and multi-instrumentalist Zifond in 2005. It’s part of the growing Quebequois black metal scene or “le métal noir québécois” as it is known as within the francophone metal community. His latest effort ‘Les Ténèbres Modernes’ is a concept album about World War I and it features Schimaera (Industrie Chimère Noire, Portal, Profound Lore) on guest vocals.

The opener Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum sets the scene with its haunting guitars and grim vocals. It’s an interesting mixture of raw black metal similar to Burzum with some ambient and atmospheric elements such as keyboards and operatic-style choir samples at the start. Yet this is actually one of the slower and more melodic tracks on here. What follows is a barrage of nihilistic, harsh and eerie raw black metal that’s as bleak as its subject matter. Even the dark ambient parts such as the keyboard intro to La Saison des Morts or the end of Ciel d’Acier have that ghastly tinge, making the listener feel like one of the survivours of a battle, walking through a desolate field littered with blood and dead bodies.

Then there’s Felgrau – an instrumental which is mostly dark ambient with the only “metal” element being the faint sound of a distorted guitar in the background. Perhaps this marks the point when the battle has ended and the rain has started to wash away the blood from the trenches…The avantgarde-style, ambient final track Adieux acts as a good summary of the overall theme with the sounds of gunfire, bomb blasts, radio broadcast, alarm sirens and absolutely no black metal elements at all.

Overall, to say that I’ve enjoyed this album would an inaccurate assumption. One does not enjoy raw black metal but rather it is something to get engrossed into and admire. It’s just as grim and nihilistic as I expected it to be. Even when sang in French, a supposedly more melodic language, it sounds harsh and bleak.

4/5
Iza Raittila

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: