Nous Reviendrons Immortels
posted on 6/2010 By:
Originally intended to cap off a short mini-series of reviews that spotlighted the ever blooming French black metal scene, Aldaaron’s Nous Reviendrons Immortels has thrown me for a bit of a loop over the past couple months while trying to analyze it, mainly due to the fact that this Grenoble four-piece doesn’t exhibit many traits which are typically connected to bands from the region. Bypassing the neurotic/psychotic aspects frequently associated with acts from France, Aldaaron leans more toward the pagan side of things, indulging themselves in subject matter such as the powers of nature, mythological fantasy themes and sweepingly epic yet focused soundscapes that avoids bowing to recent trends of post-whatever genre bending.
Actually, this is one of the purest black metal releases I’ve heard in quite some time from that country, and there is a palpable Dissection/Windir/Immortal feel to the vast majority of this disc. The atmosphere is chilly, but not entirely frigid, and is never overwhelming in either aggression or mood. Icy tremolo in tracks such as “Seigneur De L’hiver” recalls the less abrasive forward-thinking vibes found on Damned In Black where the riff is king, and nihilistic accoutrements lay slyly just beneath the surface. The guitars feature a sharp, sometimes piercing tone that isn’t hindered by an overuse of treble which makes for a very comfortable yet still intense listen. “Nirnaeth Arnoediad Part 1” is faithfully Norwegian in spirit by enriching events with smoother, extremely airy and clean guitar interludes which build into sorrowful, depressive spurts of rage supported by an exceptional percussive depth provided by Morkk’s tight and somewhat technical approach to drumming.
What stands out most while blasting “Nimaeth Arnoediad Part 2” is how incredibly professional and experienced Aldaaron sounds, belying the fact that this is their full-length debut with very little cross pollination with dozens of other projects by the collective band members. The word ‘derivative’ doesn’t pop into my head in the slightest even though their range of influences is crystal clear, and this is partly due to vocalist Ioldar’s diverging into cleanly spoken and occasionally melodic chanting which compliments the less rambunctious parts of the album unpredictably. His regulation black metal screams are more commonplace in comparison, but even then his lines are delivered with a fierce passion and fire that maintains a solid level of quality throughout. Tunes like “Royaume” boldly march and chug with a robust pagan stomp like warriors riding into battle upon furious steeds, creating a classically warlike vibe that segues into clean bass guitar (more of this, please) and fluttering speed-picking, racing along with determination and purpose all the while.
Solid, and at times bordering on spectacular (closing number “Propheties” is fantastic), Nous Reviendrons Immortels is more than just promising, it’s downright badass. By highlighting the ‘metal’ in black metal, Aldaaron have already shown themselves to be masters of their craft, resulting in an album that sounds much more mature and seasoned than what you might expect from such a relatively young project. They’ve really hit the ground running, and I can only imagine what will happen once they truly find their footing. Impressive.
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