Released: 2006, Sepulchral Productions
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
When thinking of raw, primitive black metal, one’s first thoughts typically head towards Norway but the province of Quebec is arguably Canada’s metal heartland. Boasting a scene rich in various types of metal and spawning such internationally acclaimed acts as Cryptopsy, Kataklysm, Quo Vadis, Neuraxis and Voivod, the scene is diverse and layered. The province’s underground is even more eclectic with a strong black metal presence.
The themes of Forteresse’s debut album, METAL NOIR QUEBECOIS, centre around tradition and sovereignty, a marked departure from the typical black metal tropes but the adherence to atmosphere and minimalism are certainly present. With only two members—Athros (vocals) and Moribond (all instruments)—and a black-and-white booklet filled with photos of forests and lakes, the six tracks that make up METAL NOIR QUEBECOIS (“Quebec Black Metal”) average over eight minutes and are quite repetitive. The shrieked vocals are buried way back, tremolo-picked riffs are fast, guitars cut like a angry buzzsaw and the endless blastbeats can make for a tense listening experience. There are a few memorable riffs here and there (“Une Nuit Pour La Patrie”) and some especially pummeling drums on “De Sang Et De Volontè” stand out from the pack however most tracks tend to blend together. The use of a traditional violin introduces half of the songs making for a unique twist on the genre, though.
Even though it is a new release from a Canadian band, for an exploration of what old school black metal was like, Forteresse’s METAL NOIR QUEBECOIS is a good starting point. There are no symphonic keyboards, glossy production or melodic passages here so the audience will be limited but I’m guessing that is exactly what this pair is hoping for.
KILLER KUTS: “Une Nuit Pour La Patrie,” “De Sang Et De Volontè”