It has been eight years since Maieutiste release their demo, “Socratic Black Metal”, where they showed a great promise. Now, their self-titled debut is here, thanks to Les Acteures de l’Ombre Productions. The group’s sound is black metal in its essence, but as you listen to the record, you’ll be able to see that they are in fact so much more than that.
The first thing that draws your attention to this release is the small details. Let’s deconstruct those. The record has an intro, the first song, like a preamble and a marked ending, like an epilogue, the final track “Death To Socrates”. For those familiar with the band’s work, they define themselves as “Socratic Black Metal”, a very interesting philosophical concept that is well mirrored in their music. The remaining nine tracks are divided in three parts, and those three parts are separated into three different chapters, which represent a different song. The first part is the awakening, the second the fall and the last the rising. And all is orchestrated perfectly, and in deep harmony with the sound. Another interesting detail is the mystic touch surrounding all this record and concept. If you take a closer look to the digipak, you’ll see a bunch of numbers and word abbreviations that don’t make much sense at first. After a closer look, you’ll see they are the name of stars, from constellations discovered by Ptolemy, a greek philosopher considered to be the father of modern astronomy. As you can see, it’s so much more than plain black metal.
Musically speaking, the album has a very eclectic ambience, but works in a harmoniously way. Although its core is pure black metal, there are a few nuances in the sound with jazz, progressive and even classical influences that make it stand right out just after a first listening. Tracks like “Lifeless Visions”, “Death To Free Thinkers” or even “Purgatoire” are a fine example of that. The song “Annonciation” has a sublime touch that leaves you in a complete haze. A very interesting musical piece, which will for sure shake the French black metal scene and that some day, may become a cult classic. After years of waiting, the band has managed to surprise us, and deliver something well produced and musically appealing.
To sum it all up, “Maieutiste” is the debut self-title of a band that pays very much attention to details. This is more than pure black metal, this record is a journey through philosophy and ideals that we construct and destruct as a part of ourselves. This is so much more than just good music. Recommended to those who like to think outside “the box” and have a fix for dark, gloomy and soulful black metal that defies the style’s barriers.