Verlies is black metal band from France with their debut album. Yes but there is so much more to this than you might expect from such a simple sentence. Naiwan or N from Lille in France has been involved in a couple of other projects such as Desperation Angel and it is very obvious on first listen to this new act that he is an accomplished and versatile musician who doesn’t go down any formulaic or particularly conventional routes. He is joined by T and F on bass and lead guitar but I am guessing that most of the ideas here are his and there is a lot of depth and emotion packed within this artistic album and it is in a constant flux, throwing many strange and genre shifting ideas and oblique time signatures into its blackened mainframe. It’s time to enter this ‘domain of men’ and see exactly what it is going to throw out at us.
An instrumental intro sets things up and is strong in melody with acoustic refrains giving it all a bit of a post-rock sort of flavour that builds up into a shuddering crescendo and a piercing scream. ‘Nouvelle’ builds upon new territories, gentle again at first with clean vocals and a style that wouldn’t be out of place to the likes of Alcest before suddenly rearing up and getting talons in with piercing and hateful snarling vocals and a musical rugged surge with some really fast tremolo shredding and avant-weird signature changes that belie convention. From here you know that any complacency that you had at first is out the window and you should expect the unexpected for the rest of the album. Songs are on the whole long and twist and turn many times although after a few listens they are easy enough to follow moving between storm and gentle sunnier breezes. It’s difficult to throw comparisons around here although the vocals at their most guttural remind of Vaerohn of Pensees Nocturnes, there are also the shoegaze elements that again bring back to Alcest and I guess the native tongue helps keep the feel here very much Gallic. Add to this some stylistic nuances within the music that seem like they would fit as much into a jazz composition as anything else and you do definitely have an album that is really designed for you to sink your teeth into.
There are swaggering passages of windswept black metal to punish you on tracks such as ‘Maladie’ which goes off like the clappers and runs out of control like a freight train about to crash before a crooning waft that would not be out of place on something done by our favourite Australian Tim Yatras really comes out of nowhere. Just as it starts hammering away again it all drops out for a section of gloomy melancholia totally suiting the track name but again catching you a bit by surprise. If you are into the extreme side of things, no fear another windswept passage is never far away even when it is as here mixed with some uplifting, jubilant melody and crooning vocal histrionics.
Going fully track by track over this albums seven numbers and 50 minutes running time would be a fool’s errand and too in depth to do the album real justice. It’s one of those ones to just put on and go with the flow, seeing just where it’s going to take you. It’s a beguiling and enjoyable journey and for those willing to get their heads slightly stewed it’s certainly a rewarding experience especially after giving it the requisite amount of plays necessary for the songs to start to sink in.
Find out for yourself at the following link
(8/10 Pete Woods)