Peste Noire - Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor - 4.5/5
I know this album isn`t big news to most of you but I`d thought I`d write the review anyway, since those that are on Metal-Archives provide a remarkably predjudiced and, I feel, innacurate description and opinion of the album. For those of you who don`t know, this is the latest album by the relatively well-known French Black Metal band.
In typical Peste Noire fashion, there`s no talk of straight-forward Black Metal endeavour in this album, instead we get a unique brand of "Avante-Garde Black Metal". These French Nationalists have, once again, delivered an album that`s, in my personal opinion, worthy of praise. Famine once again blesses us with his unusual vocal stylings, a screech that exceeds standard Black Metal vocals and almost damages the sound equipment because of it`s sheer power and pitch. In fact, if the high-pitched screams of 2 year-olds could be well-executed, this is how they`d sound. Joining him on vocals, as always, is Sainte Audrey, with a soprano voice that at times perforates the ear-drums like a ghostly howl, but at other times becomes relaxingly beautiful.
As can be expected, the guitar work is not typically Black Metal, taking the lead among the instruments: delivering enjoyable riffs and solos, piercing through the music like an electric needle, while keeping that wondefully distorted sound that Black Metal strives for. The drumming is very muffled, but provides the perfect foundation on which to build the rest of the sound. There is also an apt usage of additional instruments, such as the Hammond Organ in "Vespre" and a Harmonica in "Rance Black Metal de France", which contributes to the completeness of the sound.
Being Peste Noire, on cannot expect the album to be purely Black Metal, instead it switches from the blackest of the black ("Rance Black Metal de France") to traditional-sounding chants ("La France bouge - par K.P.N. (chant de l'Action française)") and back again very often - first making you proud of being French (even though you`re not), then giving you the hatred to murder the monarchy and then reminding you that you killed for France again. All-in-all they have succeeded in making me very pro-French, whilst also maintaing the angry sound that made me fall in love with them in the first place.
I would heartily and gladly reccomend this album to anyone, knowing that it`s not only a piece of well-developed Black Metal, but also damn catchy at times. To be honest, I cannot think of anything on this album that I didn`t enjoy, except MAYBE the production values. But even that has managed to grow on me.
Highlights: Soleils couchants - de Verlaine, La France bouge - par K.P.N. (chant de l'Action française)