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The Black Planet

Déluge – Æther

Filipe Gomes 11/11/2015 No Comments on Déluge – Æther

Over the past few years, France has been one of those countries that keeps generating great acts that just explode with fantastic debut albums. After Regarde Les Hommes Tomber, or Sunstare, now it is time to see what this band has to offer.

Firstly, analyzing this album’s awesome artwork shows that there seems to be an influence related to the water, the sea. And, after checking the dictionary, one can find:

Deluge
(del-yooj, -yoozh, del-ooj, -oozh, dih-looj, -loozh)

noun
1. a great flood of water; inundation; flood.
2. a drenching rain; downpour.

 

When an intro would be expected, this time it unmercifully starts with “Avalanche”, a furious blastbeat-driven beginning which shows half of what we can expect. It starts quickly but it also it pauses without giving you any kind of warning exposing… to the other side of Déluge in the shape of calm ambient sections that take us away from all the previous sonic chaos. It is easy to lose track of which song you’re listening to, and that’s a good sign because it emerges the listener into the journey to the unknown. One cannot predict when another wave of superb atmospheric Post-Hardcore/Black Metal will suddenly explode nor when the calmness that comes after the storm will arrive. The way how the band switches from one side to the other is done excellently and doesn’t sound forced nor out of place, allowing them to explore the beauties and best features of each sonority.

While everything sounds convincing at a first listening, the monotonic hardcore sounding vocals can take a bit of time to get into our ears, but after one or two songs, they seem to fit, making this a bit of an unexpected choice in vocal style. The guitar work is involving, full of dissonant chords that delight our ears, without the need to be played fast. All this is backed by secure, strong and tight drumming.

“Mélas | Khōlé” features another kind of vocals, much more peaceful and harmonious, courtesy of Mr. Neige, known for his vocal style in Alcest and other projects. Halfway through, and in between the rainy soundscapes which connect the songs, we reach “Klarträumer”, a track which is a bit different, not only due to the fact that it is the longer, most epic piece in “Æther”, but also because it features a chilling piano presence and is a fully instrumental composition. This ends up being the best song and highlight, as well as the most introspective moment in the whole record, showing that sometimes you just don’t need any kind of singing in music.

Going through the rest of the album, the main song structure ranges from slow to fast-paced Black Metal storms with peaceful interludes. Déluge didn’t run astray much, something which makes this record a cohesive and solid piece of extreme music. It shows very big potential and keeps us curious about what will come next. After listening to this record and looking at the cover, the name of the band and its imagery couldn’t be better fitting.

Special thanks to Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions.

8/10

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