L’Hiver en Deuil – Ter Aarde

L'Hiver en DeuilI still don’t fully understand what the hell “post” black metal even is. I know the bands that earn this genre descriptor tend to be shying away from metal in the form of distortionless, reverb drenched Cure worship ala Alcest or others that dwell within this dreary veil. I’m fine with that, but ultimately, who cares? Other musical genres entering into the metal (or lack thereof) sphere bring in a wealth of new ideas or what could be considered a much needed infusion of inventive cross-pollination. Though Belgium’s L’Hiver en Deuil don’t necessarily claim to be a post black metal band, they are certainly flirting with the idea on their debut EP, Ter Aarde with it’s lushly dismal atmosphere and airy guitar melodies that spin a very depressive tone throughout the 6 well considered tracks on this piece of work.

Recorded by Phorgath from the bands Enthroned and Emptiness, Ter Aarde is a very clean, though mystical sounding release that perfectly captures the varying rise and fall of musical ideas contained herein. L’Hiver en Deuil’s main delivery system is firmly rooted in downtrodden black metal, focusing on a mid to slower tempo set which allows the harsh vocals to really dig down deep into the verse riffs to discover an adventurous path to share lyrical ideas and interesting vocal structures. The unencumbered nature of the music finds the sharply dissonant, though atmospherically distorted guitar tone giving L’Hiver en Deuil a pleasing foundation for their songs to come alive. The band builds upon the emotive intensity with pulsing tempo swells, only to effortlessly switch gears to cascade into melancholic clean guitar lines where the vocals follow suit and introduce pitch singing to further enchant the sound. The free and powerful nature of the clean bass tone points to gothic music appreciation and the prescience of this instrument further adds to the dimension and vitality created by L’Hiver en Deuil. There is no denying the attention to detail in the musicianship and songs on this EP, but I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t moved at all by the obvious nod to mid 90’s Norwegian black metal found clinging to this material like a moonlit fog. It suits the music of L’Hiver en Deuil well and taps into a largely forgotten strand of atmosphere that this band has thankfully reawakened. I can only imagine what they will do with it in the future.

Ter Aarde is a very mature/engaging release that borrows influence from bands like Agalloch and older Ulver, but L’Hiver en Deuil have thankfully kept full assimilation of their influences at bay with their own unique way of approaching their songwriting craft and for it, cultivated a very moving and enjoyable piece of music that hints at far greater things to come. -Marty
Consouling Agency

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~ by martyworm on November 13, 2013.

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