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France

PoiL – Sus (Dur et Doux)

If you’re looking for normality, this is not the place to come. When I read that inspiration came from “Stockhausen Stimmung on a mushroom trip”, I knew it was game on. “Sus” is a lot of bizarre sounds, fundamentally. The… Continue Reading →

Dreams Of The Drowned – I (Drowned Anthem Records)

It’s no rare occurrence wading through press releases and being promised albums in a similar vein as lots of favourite artists and neither is the disappointment of listening to them and finding very little similar to what you had hoped…. Continue Reading →

Ysengrin – Réincrudation (I, Voidhanger)

It’s pretty sad to say that I never got to live through the sort of ‘golden age of Metal’ if you will. In fact I didn’t even get to live through the underground tape trading days of the 80’s, you… Continue Reading →

Aephanemer – Prokopton (Primeval Records)

I only became aware of French band Aphanemer after seeing them live at Warhorns Festival in 2018. Live they really impressed me; a young, energetic and wonderfully musically adept band who looked great on stage and used it well. After… Continue Reading →

Triste Terre – Grand Oeuvre (Ladlo Productions)

“Baroque classical avant-garde black metal”. “Hieratic songs built like cathedrals of noble darkness”. These words were my initial introduction to this work and band. Six monstrous pieces comprise “Grand Oeuvre”. There’s no wasting time. We are immediately launched into vast… Continue Reading →

Heaume Mortal – Solstices (LADLO Productions)

The trio behind French act Heaume Mortal come from a background embedded in sludge through work with bands such as Cowards, Eibon and Colossus Of Destiny who multi-instrumentalist Guillaume Morlat has all been involved in. The last album by Eibon… Continue Reading →

Membrane – Burn Your Bridges (Atypeek Music)

What’s with that bird on the cover? Is this a picture of some kind of ritual I’m not aware of, or is it just a picture of a dead bird? Also, why is the bird placed on someone’s bound-together feet?… Continue Reading →

Ni – Pantophobie (Dur et Doux)

Phobias are clearly an issue with French band Ni. All eleven tracks are suffixed with different ones – catagelophobie, héliophobie, stasophobie to name but three. But what’s in a track title? Everything points to a fluid approach to creativity, and… Continue Reading →

Dronte – Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté (Apathia)

Seven musicians create some sort of fusion. With a double bass and a saxophone in tow, the Beatles, Russian Circles, Napalm Death, Meshuggah and Rimsky-Korsakov are amongst many from many classical and modern pop and metal genres who get mentioned… Continue Reading →

In Shadows And Dust – Enlightened By Darkness (Redefining Darkness)

At the beginnings of Black Metal, most specifically within the Norwegian lands the collaboration of both Black and Death Metal would likely be seen as drastically abhorrent despite several bands in the scene showing a close allegiance to the genre… Continue Reading →

Finis Omnivm – Cercle (S/R)

Bands that are seen as genre-defying naturally tend to stick in our minds. For me as a complete genre Nazi I strangely adore when bands defy being put into a box because it gives me as a reviewer so much… Continue Reading →

Pensees Nocturnes – Grand Guignol Orchestra (Ladlo Productions)

Envoyer les clowns, progenitors of black circus metal Pensees Nocturnes are back. Actually I just realised they snuck out an album in 2016 independently ‘À boire et à manger’ which I completely missed and it has been a long time… Continue Reading →

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