I’ve done a lot of exploring today through the nasty, grim Quebec back woods, finding some of the best black metal I’ve heard in years. These bands and the scene itself are nothing short of amazing. Each the bands I’ve heard today and this past week have been utterly unique while still all embodying the true spirit of black metal. “Les heures de la peste” by Délétère is just the latest band that solidifies that theory.
More so than many of the Métal Noir Québécois bands, Délétère dismays emotions, one in particular that is so vital to black metal: anger. But this album isn’t just about anger, it’s every emotion connected to it: rage, hatred, sorrow, bitterness, and pain. Often bands only tap into anger to fuel the music, to sharpen their image. Not so with Délétère. Their brand of raw black metal mixed with sludge and doom tells a fuller, more vibrant, more tragic story. Maybe it’s the melding of those genres that creates the sounds, maybe the sounds create the mix of genres. Either way Les heures de la peste is a story worth listening to, a story best told by Délétère.
There is something about the French language that astounds me, though born from the same root language as Spanish and Italian, French, just the sound and pronunciations encompass a greater range of emotion, the little ones that don’t really have names. I’m slowly learning it to be able to understand the subtle intricacies of emotion. Adding French to black metal is like adding fuel to the fire. There is something downright nasty in the way the language carries along with the music, the beauty of its structure juxtaposed against the abrasive music. Everything sounds better on this album thanks to that.
The production is nice and lo fi, stirring all the sounds just enough to make a soup, but each element stands out on its own rather than all the instruments blending together to make the sound. Throughout listening to this album a few times I found myself listening to different parts each time, focusing on the drums for awhile then the guitars then the bass. All of them can be heard and while none of them can stand without the others, all of them sound so distinct. There is a natural, outdoorsy feel to the atmosphere, as if the album was recorded on the side of a mountain, not in the live recorded feel though, the listener can tell each instrument, each line of vocals were recorded painstakingly yet accurate.
The slow, doom oriented parts of the album are my favorites, everything slows down to a crawl but the rage and the brutality are still moving with the force of a train, the dichotomy of sound and fury really gets the blood boiling, exactly the goal of metal in the first place.
This is an album worth listening to, it’s worth taking your time to listen. Stop doing whatever you might be doing at the time and focus on this album, on all the subtle changes, the tempo shifts, the melding of all the instruments into a great piece of music.
Listen and support!