Gris – À l’Âme Enflammée, l’Äme Constellée…

Gris (200x177)We all know Black Metal in the modern era can be elegant, but the more difficult task is construction of that elegance in a singular way. Though it has taken them five and a half years since their last album, the cultivation of skill for Gris during that time has indeed born fruit of their own divination. Now, we, as listeners, harvest À l’Âme Enflammée, l’Äme Constellée... , a work of art that, frankly, lays waste to most other melody-infused BM albums I’ve heard thus far this year. Many before Gris have utilized classical guitar playing, cello and violin within their compositions, but few have the talent or emotional spectrum necessary to construct such a towering monolith of sorrow and ecstasy as this Quebecois duo have. Through the high-level use of their own stringed instrumentation and playing (no guest musicians needed here), along with measured post-metal sonics, each passage of dissonance and harmony flows in and out from one another, like freezing waves, receding, again and again, toward and away from walls of ice, where each interconnected song achieves a kind of immortality, without beginning, without end. This effect, of course, is not incidental; the album is packaged as an 80-minute opus broken into ten parts. But don’t let this despair you. Unlike ‘concept’ albums that bore (which this is not), the depth and emotive dichotomy of À l’Âme Enflammée, l’Äme Constellée… has a quiet, meditative power inspiring you to listen on. The very word ‘album’ itself relative to the record feels diminutive to me; what Gris instead have given us are audial windows into their souls, and in doing so, have allowed us to peer into our own spiritual fragility, doomed and beautiful as it is. With its ambience and gracefulness, you will often forget that this is ‘Metal’ at all, with only the constant, slightly-distorted bass guitar (and Icare’s appropriately tortured wails) reminding you of its core. But any forgetfulness will be due to this: you haven’t encountered anything quite like this before, and, Metal’s boundaries (as we know them) have been pushed outward – just a little further – with this magnificent assemblage of sound. -Jim

Sepulchral Productions

~ by cliftonium on June 19, 2013.

4 Responses to “Gris – À l’Âme Enflammée, l’Äme Constellée…”

  1. Sounds like the Highams should give this one a listen…

  2. Truly amazing stuff, very layered … I do think it’s up your alley 😉

  3. My most highly anticipated album of the past few years.

  4. You will not be disappointed, Chris; the album is, simply put, transcendent.

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