The Post / Sludge genre is permanently growing, and for sure the French scene is one of the most prominent ones worldwide. One of my most beloved acts from France is Dirge, hailing from Paris, and active for almost twenty-five years. In the earliest years, the band brought some kind of industrialised and psych-grinding Metal (also quite ‘popular’ in their home country), yet throughout the years they evolved a lot. Dirge recorded and released six albums in the meantime, but the last one, Hyperion (*), was released four and a half years ago.
Debemur Morti Productions
Cultus Profano is the name of a new entity from the Californian city of Los Angeles. It is meant to promote cocktails on the beach, fast cars and colourful bath fashion… Not! No, it is an outfit by Arthur Mendiola aka Advorsus, knows as (former or current) drummer (and vocalist) in e.g. Sadistic Intent, Vesterian or Blaskyrkh. He joined forces with (female) guitarist / vocalist Strzyga with Cultus Profano as moniker.
One of the first Black Metal formations from New Zealand was (is) Vassafor, a band that has a limited curriculum vitae during the nineties. At the very end of last century, they broke up, but in 2004 Phil Kusabs decided to resurrect his main project. The guy, FYI, is involved with quite some other bands and projects too, but this review deals with higher aforementioned Vassafor, so I’ll stick to this one.
In their five year of existence, German act Porta Nigra did release a couple of mini-releases, one full length, and they contributed on one of the Elemental Nightmares splits. Now the duo returns with the second full album, Kaiserschnitt, a Decadent Dark Metal album that lasts for more than three quarters of an hour.
One of my personal favourite labels from France are Debemur Morti Productions, active for about a decade and, to my humble opinion, grown up to one of the most important Dark Music labels with more than one hundred releases on their roster, in mean time. In 2012 the label signed French Doom-act Monolithe, resulting in the release of the albums III (review: see update February 6th 2013) and IV (review posted on October 26th 2013).
When I saw the title of this album, I wondered what was going on, what was coming next. I do ‘follow’ French act Monolithe as from their first album, which was called I (2003), and their next releases were called, indeed, II, III (review posted on February 6th 2013) and IV (see update on October 26th 2013).
Two years ago I reviewed a split called Triunity with bands / projects from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus (via Casus Belli Musica), but that has nothing to do with this split-release, which is a French co-operation.
I was quite surprised when I received this album, because Debemur Morti Productions are a label I do refer to Black Metal in general, and Tamerlan are an acoustic Neo-Folk project. Yet at the other hand, the border in between (Black) Metal and Neo-Folk isn’t but an imaginary and subjective element. Okay, the Music itself does differ, but there are lots of connections in between both genres: shared artists / musicians, comparable lyrical concepts and, of course, many other labels that do house bands and projects from both these aural styles.
Formed in 2001, Finland's October Falls was originally a solo vehicle for Mikko Lehto. Drawn by nature's mysticism, his compositions were to be seen like sonic explorations of the Earth during his walks through the woods.
Lethe are an unusual project with some well-known members: Tor-Helge ‘Cernunnos’ Skei (music and lyrics, bass and guitars, programming and synth, production), known from e.g. Manes / Manii, Atrox or Norwegian Suffocation, and Nucleus Torn / Eluveitie’s Anna Murphy (music and lyrics, vocals, bass, programming, piano, production and mix).