|Ambient Black Metal, Doom Metal, Drone
November 9th, 2010
Release length: 47:56
La Seigneurie Des Loups has a solid Black Metal performance, taking much from many frostbitten acts of the style in the second generation, and yet has so much more going on to keep the listener attentive. Right from the start, “Croix de feu Croix de fer” incorporates a Folk atmosphere thanks to the twanging instrument sound that becomes repetitive when utilized, and is done so well that you won’t realize that it is setting the listener up for the Drone aspect of the release. Of course, the music, while heavy on the Black Metal, does manage to incorporate some Doom Metal aspects into the mix when the music decides to slow down, which really isn’t too often, as much of the album comes at the listener at a rather fast pace. On top of that, these folk instruments and sounds that create the Droning moments of the song, also make up part of the Atmospheric elements of the recording, along side the spoken word segments of certain songs, like on “Croix de leu Croix de fer”, or the effects of a cold wind blowing against a Folkish party with appropriate instruments to set the tone, and a man clearly dancing and singing, though low in the background, having fun to the beat of the music, and even after the fiddles end.
Of course, the atmosphere of this release is set by these two tracks, but there is no denying that “1834” really helps the album along nicely. While the song follows the sounds of the cold razor-like winds of Quebec, which this release is in honor of, in a Dark manner of course, this track sets the time period perfectly with the title against the harsh climate of the region and the sounds of a small fire crackling before bleeding into the heavy Doom title track “La Seigneurie des Loups”, though it does sprint back into the blistering Black Metal after a long, slow paced start, which focuses on setting the ambience of the harsh lands by effects of scared horses and snarling wolves that are clearly on the prowl, showing off the most Droning approach of the entire recording through slow, simple guitar chords and appropriate drumming before heading back into a folk inspired Black Metal recording.
All of this works well with the raw production quality that is utilized, though the recording is still rather clear, allowing the instruments to be hear perfectly, but obviously at a low budget quality. Given the setting, this makes for the ideal sound of the album, and having the vocals, which are done as commanding harsh vocals against higher pitched screaming through vocal distortion, placed further in the background so that they, in a sense, become a part of the ambience to this release as well. The additional keyboards that make up the recording also add to the chilling atmosphere of the recording nicely without being overused, or appearing on ever track for that matter. The only things that stick out like a sore thumb are the high pitched noises that appear on “Croix de feu Croix de fer”, and the odd literal machine gun-like sound that sees to accompany the blistering bass kicks on the title track, “La Seigneurie des Loups”, which actually becomes insanely irritating after a while, regardless of whether it’s part of the Drone sense of the recording or not. That and the guitar feedback during the final track, “Les Plaines de Krolok”, tries to set up a creepy atmosphere to the song, but in the end only comes off irritating as well before fading into an odd liquid-like clip-clop sound, which fades into the sound of a harsh winter’s wind.
While those few Droning elements, or just oddly placed effects, actually hurt the flow of the album, it’s not at all a total loss, and those issues don’t technically last that long. The flow of the album is very fluid, and if not for them, would be a breathtaking dark and frostbitten masterpiece. All the elements of the musical styles incorporated into this act work well together to create various shifting moods throughout the release, but the general atmosphere of a harsh winter is there. La Seigneurie des Loups is one of those underground releases that is so well done, that it actually hurts to know that many people will probably never hear this release, so do yourself a favor and make this release a top priority purchase, especially if you want something that gives a breath of fresh air to the quickly becoming overcrowded Black Metal scene.
01. Croix de feu Croic de fer – 13:25
02. Ancien Folklore Quebecois – 5:17
03. 1834 – 1:17
04. La Seigneurie des Loups – 16:26
05. Les Plaines de Krolok – 11:00
|Overall Score: 6.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Sepulchral Productions.