Black March is another promising French Black Metal act which also presents some Thrash Metal influences. Coming from Toulouse, France, the band was formed in 2011 and released an EP “Oderint Dum Metuant” (2014), which received good press critiques. Three years after that, the awaited full-length debut comes in the form of “Praeludium Exterminii”.
After a short martial intro followed by a piano arrangement, we’re assaulted by what Black March has to offer: Straight to the point Blackened Thrash Metal with a lot of good guitar riffs, solid bass, harsh spitting vocals which perfectly fit the atmosphere. And last but not least, they present a powerful drum work supporting everything, courtesy of the well known drummer Samuel Santiago (ex-Gorod, First Fragment). A good surprise in this record. Even though he’s not as technical as one would expect, Samuel does not disappoint, keeping it simple yet powerful.
Proving that fast is not always better, the band keeps its music in a mid-placed tempo most of the time. The album is kept in that thrashy, sometimes double bass upbeat driven with slow guitar riffs which automatically makes you want to headbang to it. Of course blastbeats are present but it’s when Black March slows a bit that the band’s full potential is truly revealed. Good examples can be found throughout the whole record, but “Strongholds Of Chaos” deserves a highlight.
There are other elements that help this record stand out from the rest, like the piano arrangements in “Theriac”. Done by Edouard Bertrand, these piano pieces appear throughout the album and add a quite eerie atmosphere to it. The guitar solo in “From the Flame will come Salvation” also comes unexpected and becomes a good surprise, if you think of the genre’s usually minimalistic characteristics. “XIII” is mostly faster than the rest, in a more hypnotic oldschool Black Metal structure with repetitive guitar leads making it even greater. The track is connected to the following “As the Dark fills the Hollow”, shorter and more straight to the point than the previous songs. “Ô Messiah! Judge our Wrath” ends “Praeludium Exterminii” with a Carpathian Forest kind of vibe.
Overall, this is a quite solid debut full-length, and it grows expectations of what will come next. The production is good, strong and clear enough. Now, let’s expect a bit more experimentation with the guitar dissonances and a more fearless drum performance. Good for those who enjoy a mix of Watain in the “Sworn to the Dark” era, Glorior Belli’s first three albums, with a bit of oldschool Kvist, and that thrashy mood of Nifelheim and Carpathian Forest here and there. Coming in October via Throats Productions. Until the next album!
About Black March:
Review by Filipe Gomes
Managing Editor: Elsa Marques