Brume d’Automne – S/T

Yes! No preamble, no intro; Brume d’ Automne (French for ‘Autumn Mist’) waste no time getting to the crux on self-titled Brume d’ Automne, the Canadians latest album and first full-length in seven years. Yes, non-musical album beginnings can often be exceptional, but after a day of dealing with humanity you sometimes need the hammer to hit the earhole right away. Opener ‘Tels des Béliers’ obliges, bringing said hammer via an expectantly cold, yet somehow smooth production, strengthened with fury-filled, precise riffage, and confident drumming. Tortured vocals cut through loudly when emphasis is called for (particularly on emotive shrieks), yet these meld perfectly with the mix elsewise. Early Nocturno Culto stylings are the order of the day vocally, performed and placed in a manner such that atmosphere and instrumentation are never sacrificed. But despite the immediacy of our greeting by these Quebecois, as with their earlier material, the folk element rises over subsequent tracks. In the final moments of L’Esprit du Courant, a calming medieval moment writhes over the miasma of drums and distorted guitars below, creating a haunting, intoxicating vibe, and an eye-opening, frenetically-strummed neofolk break makes its case some four minutes into ‘Moé J’me Souviens’. Still, you’re never too far from straightforward intensity on this record, as thereafter a chorus of anguish heralds the coming of ‘Saint Eustache – Traditionnelle V’, a blasting beast anchored by a steady mid-tempo double-bass roll forcefully taking its listener on a wagon-ride into the forest. Only one misstep exists on this album: its closer, ‘Quand Les Corbeaux Crient Leur Haine’, wherein an overly-used squawking (crow? raven? let’s just say ‘bird’) sample paired with (depending on whether or not a comedic effect was intended) an awkward/awful Black-metal-vox-mimes-minstrel moment conspires to shake you from your happy black metal reverie. Even so, the hypnotic playing during the last half of the song nearly succeeds in redeeming the rest, so one shouldn’t be put off by this anticlimactic track or the crude album cover – Brume d’ Automne carries attention-demanding weight beyond the simple sum of its parts. -Jim

Sepulchral Productions

~ by cliftonium on September 30, 2012.

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