Reviewed: September 2021
Released: 2021, Avantgarde Music
Reviewer: Kira Levine
International black metallers Remah have released their debut album, Une Main, through Avantgarde Music. With members from both Belgium and France, the band is the result of a seventeen-year long friendship.
After a 10-year gap in their musical relationship, they gathered once more to create Une Main, Remah debut album, of which Dea wrote and produced all the music and clean vocals while ABR wrote and sang the lyrics. The result is a mixture of ice-cold, blade-sharp black metal with deep roots in several different styles …
But Remah do not end in black metal. Thanks to a diverse musical background and previous multi-colored experiences (Emptiness, Soror Dolorosa, Luminance and others), Dea’s music is greatly influenced by cold- and darkwave, as the musician specifically names the likes of Lycia among his influences, as well as the early psychedelic rock scene (Ultimate Spinach, The Zodiac, etc).
Running at almost ten minutes long, “Des Rêves Sales” accommodates a lot musically. Transforming from the tranquillity of its ethereally atmospheric intro, into some frenzied yet controlled moments, before the opposing approaches are utilised simultaneously. It is simply intriguing to listen to throughout, with most albums reaching this level of epic-ness during the closing track.
The raging riffs make an easier appearance in “III”, with the quieter spells feeling a little more unsettling than the rougher moments. A.B.R’s vocals work particularly well in combination with the keys as the track draws to an end.
“Les Marais”, French for “swamps”, is very vocally-driven track. The voice distortions and sound effects bring about a very alien feeling, furthering their otherness to non-French speakers. One can almost see the extra-terrestrial life forms conversing with each other. Hands down the eeriest three minutes on Une Main.
Continuing seamlessly from its predecessor, “La Gueule Ouverte”, is absolutely dominated by Dea’s clean vocal performance. His voice echoes over the raw doom-esque music beautifully, giving the fifth song quite a desolate vibe, the manner in which the lyrics are delivered communicating a depressive emotional state. The percussion at times is very reminiscent of a death knell, which contributes to the sombre tone.
After a science fiction-style introduction, “Premier Spasme” incorporates much of the golden moments exhibited earlier in Une Main. The use of both clean and unclean singing here does an excellent job of depicting conflicting moods. Sanders’ lightning-speed drumming heightens the intensity of the shrieks, while also making the atmospheric parts a little less serene.
Despite consisting of just five songs and being thirty-five minutes long, there is a lot delve in to while listening to Une Main. Definitely one of the more interesting black metal releases of 2021. If you are keen on bands such as Blut Aus Nord and Xasthur, you will not want to miss Remah’s Une Main.
1. Des Rêves Sales
3. Les Marais
4. La Gueule Ouverte
5. Premier Spasme
A.B.R – vocals
Jonas Sanders – drums
Dea Hydra – all (other) instruments, vocals (clean)