Saturday, February 20, 2010


Neige et Noirceur continue their campaign to completely polarize the black metal community with this epic blast of frigid monotony, replete with stark nighttime imagery (again, gorgeous) and a feeling of total numbness, the sound of physical defeat through exhaustion, the inability to continue because to go any further would constitute further existence. Consisting of three tracks, "Crepuscule..." continues down the frozen path layed out by "L'Abime..." and takes it further out into the frosty void, following an increasingly singular and enclosed vision to its only possible extreme. Track One is a pointlessly short expository intro made up of some glacial wind sounds rubbing against some rocky crag clanging. It only lasts about two minutes so it's barely worth mentioning-it really ONLY functions as an intro to get your head in the right place. Track Two is the meat of the album and wastes no time getting right to the vicious black metal-from the outset a molten guitar drops in and dominates for a full four minutes playing-get this-only one chord. The drum patterns change underneath but Spiritus hammers away on one chord and one rhythym and i can't help but be floored by this reversion to the true primitivism of black metal. Melody is irrelevant when there's this much attitude and aura. After that the guitars drop out and give way to more of that "abandoned winter castle" ambience, a nightmare of endless echo and howl and whispers of movement across of drafty dreary stone halls, a droning buildup to another eruption of raging guitar atavism, this time imbued with a simple repeated melody line, anxious and terse. Still only the barest illusion of an actual "riff" and another master class in black metal composition for isolationists. This structure repeats ad infinitum until the song gives out at around 26 minutes, having imploded under its own massive pretense. Track Three is entirely given over to moonlight ambience, the howling winds endlessly reverberating while chains rattle and wolves howl under a fat and waxy moon. You could be in a forest, you could be in the deepest wastes of frozen space and forgotten medieval time-it doesn't matter because they both speak to the same idea of bleak misanthropy, the absence of any living thing, the pure spirit of loneliness. This may well be one of the best studies of emptiness to grace the genre.

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