Have you ever listened to an album whose music was actively and vividly create imagery you’ve never experienced before? “North” the latest opus from Sorcier des Glaces is such an album. There is a cavernous feel to the music, not the normal cavernous feeling one might get from an atmospheric black metal band, something more primitive, more primal and feral. “North” echoes like a Summoning album, in grand cathedral fashion but with the nastiness and rawness of the production. I would say that Sorcier des Glaces represents the nastier, rawer side of the Métal Noir Québécois, the less grand more atmospheric.
The elements of the album, the guitars, drums, bass, and vocals all work in concert and, amazingly, none of them overpower the others. The drums buzz and drone while the guitar weaves riff after riff into a cacophonous but recognizable melody. The vocals have a lot more power in them than most black metal. A lot of black metal has shrill but thin vocals, meant more to help create an atmosphere than to be a discernable, meaningful part of the music. In “North,” however, the vocals are louder and more abrasive. They aren’t meant just to sit under the music like the stones in the river, they flow with the music, directing it more often than not. The vocals can change too, from harsh and deep to shrill and rasping, they flow with the riffs, changing act as a counterpoint, when the music is fast the vocals are shrill when the music slows but remains bombastic, the vocals are deeper, more animalistic.
As I researched the band, I found more and more parallels to Darkthrone (no they aren’t a copycat before you get the wrong idea). They are a two man outfit who play a very raw version of the black metal in the area. They aren’t necessarily focused on the popular tropes of the scene either, yet they are still an old and integral part of the scene.
North has a lot of familiar black metal tropes in their lyrics: winter, darkness, etc. but they still manage to make the music and lyrics interesting. They play off each other, the music creates the back drop of the image, the canvas if you will and the lyrics paint the pictures. Each part of the album works in concert with the others to make a solid, very listenable album.
Listen and support!