I expected nothing less than twelve monstrously dark electronic metal tracks from this band, who could broadly be seen as a French equivalent of Wumpscut. Maybe they are, maybe they’re not that but they do have a cult status and links with the likes of the CNK and Anorexia Nervosa, suggesting with justification that there is no sympathy, just dark atmospheres and harsh punishment.
“Gates to Dream”, the opening track, didn’t disappoint in this regard. Throbbing synths are just part of this rip-roaring and urgent piece of atmospheric darkness. The shadowy chorus line adds a layer and fits in perfectly with the harsh yet impossibly catchy delivery. Warp Factor 10 is engaged. Hissing vocals then overlay the buzzing electro beats. If “Gates to Dream” was like Rammstein, “Kimi Ga Yo” sounds like Wumpscut. Spoken words at one point are uttered like a threat. Bang-bang-bang-bang – it’s supposed to take your breath away while doing your head in. The floaty sounds and angelic voices, provided by Jessy Christ, add mystery in the background.
The problem I had after the first two tracks was that the album did not take off or go anywhere. It’s all dark and sometimes it’s sultry, and apart from “Thirty Six” just before the end, it’s mostly a re-working of those nihilistic electro-beats with the hissing vocals. The best tracks were those which featured guest artists. Three tracks feature the aforementioned Jessy Christ. The Eastern chants of “Whispering Clouds” add a mystical element to the constant dark beats. “Almighty” features C.N.X. and there seems to be an added dimension with the introduction of a clean vocal on this track which degenerates into despairing screams. The rest is 50/50. Some of the tracks are predictable or lacklustre but magnificence is occasionally pulled out of the bag. The mood changes on the slower “Endlessly Revolving”. It is dark and dangerous. In amongst the ghastly and violent images, I thought as I listened to “Bloodpulse” Dark Tranquillity’s “what can you tell me of the inside?” but in dark electro-metal form. The album ends as it began with a fast and exciting track. “Mephedron Trip” is harsh and vaguely mechanical as ever, but exudes an energy which I didn’t always find there.
This album almost suggested that there is no scope or range of possibilities within this genre. Yet occasionally it breaks out into epic maelstroms and even melancholy to enhance the familiar harsh pattern. Generally speaking, not much happened and “Les 12 Vertiges” was what I expected, but very little more than that.
(6/10 Andrew Doherty)