Released: 2003, Indie
The province of Quebec in Canada has long been known as a global stronghold of death and to a lesser extent black metal. It is my pride as a Canadian to bring you a little update on a quartet of extreme metal bands from Quebec. They are Ancestral Curse, Blinded By Faith, Divinity and Sombre Nostalgie. These bands are all signed to or distributed by Galy Records in Montreal. Visit their web-site at http://www.galyrecords.com.
Not to be confused with Calgary’s active and hot thrash band, Divinity, these five young gentlemen from Quebec have come up with quite a complex and involved piece of work.
I do not speak much French but from what I can tell this is a concept album. There is an enormous amount of text and lyrics for these six songs, and it jumps back and forth between English and French. I’m really curious about the subtleties of this story. From what I can gather it is a story about a man who is on a journey to find the mythical Nymphs who will supposedly bring him peace. Each song seems to describe a type of Nymph or Fairy (Nyads, Dryads, and so on) and his eventual downfall but why I’m not sure. The piece revolves around the development of the ‘Flowers of Evil’ and their enchantments. In any event it is a cool story from what I can tell and I’m sure a person fluent in French would appreciate it much more.
The packaging is gorgeous very colourful, with pictures of landscapes that match each elemental theme of the particular Nymph of that song. We also get a few black and white photos the liner notes and so on. Nice design, layout, the logo is a bit dull, as is the cover, but the band has a cool pentagram symbol they use.
Sonically, we have some pretty intense Black Metal with inhuman shrieks, blast-beats, and unearthly screams. The drummer is all over the kit at top-speed especially the ride cymbal which I like to hear. The speed is pretty relentless and the songs are quite long as well. I might have preferred a bit more variety in pace as the opening cut is over 13 minutes long with not much variety after the short intro. In fact the whole CD at six songs is over an hour with three songs over ten minutes and the conclusion over 15 minutes long. This is a pretty intense listening experience! The whole rushes by in a pretty big blur of speed.
One of the high points is the enormous amount of narration and different voices and characters to tell this complex story. The liner notes credit at least seven people with doing vocal work, every sound imaginable can be heard; spoken, shouted, whispered, screamed, gurgled and more.
This is a pretty ambitious experiment, tackling Greek mythology, in a long and progressive Black metal album. The band now have three guitarists according to the bio.
This pushes the boundaries and I recommend it for any Black Metal fan who is looking for something a little more interesting and unique to compliment the speed and harshness of the genre.