Something there is about French black metal…
Whether it be Les Légions Noires and the roots of what’s now called vampyric black metal, bands like Amesoeurs/Alcest/Les Discrets and their post-black/blackgaze, or the more outré/avant-garde styles of Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord, French black metal bands consistently push against the genre’s boundaries. They may drive purists a little crazy, but there are plenty of bands still playing in that Second Wave Norwegian style. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m as big a fan that Norwegian style as anyone. But when I find myself in the mood for something different, there’s a pretty good chance that there’s a band somewhere in France who can give it to me.
For example, a band like Versailles-based Abduction. Citing Dissection, Opeth, and Primordial as their main influences, this plague doctor-masked quartet make music that’s difficult to pin down. It’s melancholic and lovely, but it’s also harsh and intense. Borderline progressive clean vocals soar above the musical chaos, and demonic-sounding rasps drag the listers right back down again. Delicate guitar lines intertwine and then explode into tremolos and blasting. And that’s just within the first few minutes of “La Grande Illusion,” which we’re premiering today at the Vault.
Taken from their forthcoming sophomore album A l’heure du crépuscule (“At Dusk Time”), “La Grande Illusion” is almost twelve minutes of breathtakingly ambitious black metal that nods towards Abduction’s influences without really sounding like any of them. It’s also the sort of song that’s immediately engaging but needs to be revisited multiple times in order to catch all its nuances. Fortunately, you can stream it here as many times as you like before A l’heure du crépuscule comes out on March 30. Don’t wait too long to snag a preorder from Finisterian Dead End, though – it’s limited to 300 Digipack CD + Poster bundles, and they’re not going to be available for long.