With full length album number two, ‘Chapelle Ardente’ ups the stakes in terms of quality of song writing in comparison to this Canadian nightmare’s last album ‘Tenebrario’. Similar is the heavy/doom metal flavour with an added peppering of NWOBHM, the world travels and culinary skills of singer Annick Giroux maybe well documented, I favour the music and it presented here in its unholy purest form. Adding an authentic church organ to some tracks (‘Étoile’ for example) which was actually recorded in a real church dating back to 1880, the augmentation is effective although I still find certain limitations with the French language sung on the album as I feel it would travel much further otherwise, but it does add character where the album requires it.
The tracks that are pacier really make their impression, for this crank up tunes like ‘Main de gloire’ as this has a certain stoner doom feel. Then immerse yourself into the catacombs of ‘La vallée des rois’ in its dreamy landscape filling in the pieces between Sabbath and Pagan Altar. That’s what I essentially get from the whole release a hybrid of those two legendary bands, although some of the single chorded pieces have a certain desert rock appeal to me also. Vocally, there is not much out of the mid-range, something that maybe a limiting factor but for the key of the tunes, it works out and doesn’t require anything more, although I would like to imagine “what if” if you know what I mean.
You can’t really fault this album, it did take a couple of goes to get into it more this time around compared to their debut EP, although what I will say that when this album lives with you for some period of time you pick out bits and bobs you may well miss at your first couple of sessions. ‘Chapelle Ardente’ is an improvement for me compared to their last full album, and experience is certainly starting to pay off, who knows what the next release will bring?
(8/10 Paul Maddison)