Sunday, February 21, 2010
NEIGE ET NOIRCEUR "PHILOSOPHIE DES ARTS OCCULTES" (Brise-Cul Records)
Latest demo from the rapidly evolving Neige et Noirceur, this time a digestible three song EP spanning about 24 minutes. This is easily the best and most accomplished work i've heard from the project. By now the formula is perfected-an expository ambient intro followed by an epic slab of raw and freezing black metal sorcery, ending with a longer ambient piece to soothe things out. The intro sets the tone, a sound sample lifted from some old film whereby someone, presumably a witch or warlock, is accused of traffiking with the devil and general effrontery to God. Warbling synth tones suggest the brain melting power of magicks and a dissonant, barely tuned acoustic guitar picks out an elegiac melody while the accused recants and begs mercy. Then the black metal explodes. Immediate and punishing blast beats totally annihilate while a hurricane of frigid guitar screams over your ears, The vocals are way more upfront this time around and nowhere near as processed, adding an extra layer of harshness to the already chiseled proceedings. This song shows Neige et Noirceur operating at a much higher level of black metal competency-there are amazing riffs strewn throughout, repeated into looping, loping infinitudes, including one head-banging half-time destroyer that would make even the mighty Leviathan bow down in reverence, and a texturally complex dreamy sort of progression that wouldn't be out of place on a latter period Mayhem album. Totally triumphant. The third song is the expected hall of ambience to carry us out, but much creepier than previous demos. The baroque style piano explorations are reintroduced here to great effect, lending that same weirdo circus feel until they wash into an overload of synthesizer haunt that sounds like an alternative soundtrack for John Carpenter's "Halloween" franchise. Weird, weird sounds, utterly of the night and as equally indebted to slasher film posturing as they are to the pomp of early '90's symphonic black metal. An astounding record by any measure. I can't wait to hear what this project does next.