Apparently Plus Une Main A Mordre (Another Hand to Bite) “seeks balance between the struggle and the letting go, passing from chaos to quiet in revelatory circular motions”. Well, I certainly got the struggle behind it. The large scale, sweeping, crashing musical images suggest industrial scenes, collapse and decay. So we’re in the world of Blut aus Nord, Aborym and Godflesh.
I liked the mental challenges, which themselves provoke images, behind these heavy pieces. This is more than a demolition site in a dark city. Occasionally the industrial scene will become mournful and reflective, as it does on “Aux Tirs et Aux Traits”, but there’s always an impending catastrophe lurking. The atmosphere is apocalyptic – what else – but this one Frenchman wrecking job manages to conjure up a transforming picture in among all this blackness. A real asset is the sound quality – reverberations and echoes reinforce the sense of hollowness, isolation and overwhelming immensity. This is very powerful. The echoing is particularly powerful on the moody “Et Ceux en Lesquels Ils Croyaient” (and Those in Which They Believed). The start of “A Trop Réclamer les Vers” sounds an ominous warning, before getting into its weighty apocalyptic stride. Mid-stream it changes its course and danger is signalled. Vocal angst and harshness enhance the tension. “Et Tout Finira par Chuter” (And Everything Will Finish Up Falling) strikes up a filthy majesty with its fearsome ferocious power. Slowly we trudge through all manner of depravity. For the first time, I lost the wavelength as the ground we trod was familiar and not so transformational. So I had hopes that “Mille Autres” (A Thousand Others) would put us back on the journey. It is to Throane’s credit that he didn’t answer this straightaway. The build-up sets up the mood. Patience is the virtue here. Before I know it, I had been taken over by a deafening scene of sheer darkness and danger. A definite success, I’d say. Shame it had to end so suddenly. But there is still the monstrous title track to come. “Plus Une Main A Mordre” starts in post metal style. Much is promised. The scene expands. Sounds of confused voices in all this racket suggest psychological torment. The echoing sound wall is unrelenting. Voices chant mystically and accompany the screams through the dark and misty background. The atmosphere is at once hypnotic, haunting and terrifying.
“Plus Une Main A Mordre” represents a black and lonely place, but Throane manages to create a series of pictures, which drag us, willingly or not, through scenes of ghastly horror in that place. Most impressive.
(8.5/10 Andrew Doherty)