Review: Ars Moriendi “Lorsque les coeurs s’assechent” [Archaic Sound]

Review: Ars Moriendi “Lorsque les coeurs s’assechent” [Archaic Sound]

- in Reviews

Here’s the piece of dark and tormented melodic black metal I didn’t know I needed.

Well, it’s the kind of album that’s by definition hard to classify or describe, but it’s mostly about creating a moody and tortured tone, with a lot of melancholy and a mix of heaviness and eerie mellowness. For example, the title track, and first track of the album, begins like a ballad with a quiet but slightly unsettling tone, before exploding into heavy riffs and harsh vocals, which sound more like general screams than black metal screeching, but have an easily recognizable, deliberately rough and ugly tone. The rest of the song keeps alternating between softness and heaviness, which makes the song feel varied and creative.

This mix of eerie calm and dark, melancholic heaviness continues for the rest of the album. One of the most creative examples of that is “Voyage Céleste”, a strange, otherworldly progressive rock-like experimentations that really feels like travelling through the skies and the universe. The raspy vocals (both screams and singing), choirs and eerie vocalizing carry you through this magical trip.

“Quand tout est bruit, fureur et haine” begins with a soft melody, contrasted with the raspy growls and faint clean vocals in the background. It’s a rather interesting inversion of the more typical heavy riff/softer vocals formula, and the song has a pretty gripping dark atmosphere. The heavier riffs and deeper growls in the middle are another nice touch.

The softest track would have to be “Nous Sommes Passés”, which mostly consists of synths and whispered vocals, with occasional guitars and screaming. It’s a strange song with a disquieting and eerie atmosphere.

But we also have tracks that begin with heavier music, like the loud riffs and screams of “Le Ver dans le Fruit”. This is the heaviest song on the album, a nice punchy piece of black/death metal. However, it also has a few quieter and eerier riffs and singing that I really like.

And finally, the last track, “Le Blasphémateur”, is a complex, vaguely symphonic black metal track, with aggressive riffs and screams, some extracts from public speeches and a delightfully sinister mood. It’s all the good things about that album.

Overall, this was a pretty good piece of weird dark unclassifiable metal. It has just the right balance between heaviness and softness, and a gift for dark atmosphere and very nice melodies. Of course, this is not typical black metal or typical anything and the songs tend to be very long, so I can’t really recommend this to everyone. It’s clearly an acquired taste, but if you enjoy that particular taste, it’s a very well made example of it.

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