Délétère – De Horae Leprae

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Reviewed: September 2018
Released: 2018, Sepulchral Productions
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jacob Ovington

Formed in 2009, Délétère is a black metal two-piece hailing from Quebec, Canada. De Horae Leprae is a concept album about a leper who becomes a prophet of Centipedes and the incarnation of the plague. The story is divided up and told in ten Canti, each of which forms a track of the album. The band have released a number of short-format records, but this is just their second full length.

In terms of composition, the album has a rather epic feel. This is aided by the sometimes uplifting chord progressions, as exemplified in third track ‘Cantus III – Ichthus O Tremorus’ which combines typical blasting and screaming with drawn out black metal shredding, as well as more melodic riffs which seem more inspired by a classic heavy metal sound. I suppose the composition resonates with the tale being told, with moments of terror, triumph and despair which are all portrayed well – and the lyrical structure of the concept is inspired by biblical writings, namely the Book of Exodus.

The use of pipe organs and choirs gives the music that atmospheric feel very reminiscent of early to mid-nineties black metal, and unlike many bands that have attempted to create that sound and ended up sounding like sterile clones, Délétère have managed to give their music that touch of magic which seems to be missing these days. These elements also give the album a rather ecclesiastical feel, which is apt as the concept is supposed to be told in the format of a biblical story.

The mixing gives the music and obscure and raw sound. The guitars dominate the mix, while everything else is somewhat submerged – although it does seem dynamic with different elements of the music being brought forward at various points. The vocals are often tucked beneath the mix, which adds to a sense of torture and despair, however, at other times, they seem to come to the forefront and create a sense of dominant terror.

‘Cantus VIII – Atrum Lilium’ takes a turn in an even more melodic direction, which contains, in comparison to the rest of the album, a somewhat down-tempo passage in the music, dominated by clean guitar work which gives a rather solemn feel in contrast to the rest of the release.

Overall, this is a pretty solid release. Although there seems to be more difference within each song than between the songs themselves, the changing tempos, varying structures and the use of different instrumental elements all combine to create a very interesting and stimulating listen. Recommended to anyone who wants to listen to something with a sound closer to the authenticity of that 90s melodic black metal sound.


Tracklisting:

1. Cantus I – Teredinis Lepra
2. Cantus II – Sagina Caedendis
3. Cantus III – Ichthus Os Tremoris
4. Cantus IV  – Inopia et Morbo
5. Cantus V – Figura Dysphila
6. Cantus VI – Barathra I
7. Cantus VII – Barathra II
8. Cantus VIII – Atrum Lilium
9. Cantus IX – Oratio Magna

Lineup:

Thorleïf
Atheos

Website:

www.facebook.com/inopiaetmorbo

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