Release DetailsLABEL Osmose Productions
RELEASED ON 1/22/2007
posted on 6/2007 By:
Nowadays it seems whenever I’m truly impressed by a new band in the black metal world they always have this strange propensity to come from France. And if it wasn’t already clear from my opening statement, Vehementer Nos is yet another notable French band who’ve released a respectable debut album with enough clout to warrant even veterans of the progressive black metal genre to stand up and take notice.
While much of what’s considered avant-garde and progressive nowadays in the metal world tends to be overbearingly in the realm of pomp and circumstance, Vehementer Nos have created an album with what most peers in the genre fail to include in their music, a point. While nowhere near as caustic as the majority of their country mates, Vehementer Nos plays an intense style of black metal combining classical influences with intense melodic black metal that thankfully dodges the bullet of predictability similar bands tend to succumb to. Also of considerable note is the fact that the album features an impressive organic production thanks to the exclusion of programmed instruments, the entire album has a very natural sound that allows for the tonalities to breathe instead of the usual mechanical stagnation common to many bands in the extreme metal community
“Contre Le Cycle” opens the album with melancholy violins and acoustic guitar interspersed with vitriolic black metal, before moving into the first major song of the album, “Les Devastes”. The song weaves in and out of complex dynamics and unexpected shifts without ever breaking the continuity of the song, before moving into the nearly doom paced “Absurde”. “Seuls” continues where “Les Devastes” left off, darting in and out of furious black metal sections into the more pensive, avant-garde passages that set the album apart. The real genius of the album is without a doubt to be found in those two songs. Afterwards the album closes with “Dans Le Flot”, a rather thoughtful, predominately instrumental outro that thankfully doesn’t reek of trying to draw the album past its welcome. All in all their debut is a rather complex, intriguing endeavor that’s as good as any modern progressive black metal I’ve heard.
It’s always an immense pleasure to hear a French black metal band with this much talent, and while Vehementer Nos is without a doubt an excellent example of forward thinking black metal, I do consider their failure to chart any truly new territory in the genre despite their fairly unconventional songwriting to be rather limiting, and a fairly noticeable drawback. However, as far as debut albums are concerned, especially considering how easily this style can degrade into lofty pretension with little substance, I'm impressed. This album is impressively forward thinking, and one of the better black metal albums with avant-garde leanings I’ve heard in a while.
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