One of the awesome perks of doing a blog that focuses on underground music is the thrill of discovery. I’ve been feeling that high since day one. I found Mort aux Gueux pretty close to the beginning of Resounding Footsteps and finding him has opened up a brave new world for me. Within weeks of finding, listening to, and speaking with Mort aux Gueux I discovered the Métal Noir Québécois scene and fell in love. I had no idea such a rich scene existed. Since my introduction I have found dozens of bands and albums that now adorn my collection and regularly feature in my playlists but Mort aux Gueux has never left my favorites. Since I found Vaurien last year, Mort aux Gueux has come out with an EP and a split before finally released a full length album earlier this year. Beuverie, Musique du Diable et Misère Crasse is everything I had hoped for and so much more.
Having spoken with the man behind the band several times, enough that I could call him a good friend, I have come to expect a lot from him. Mort aux Gueux is one of only a handful of bands that utilize the utter rawness of black metal with the thrashy attitude and make them work. Others have tried, but Mort aux Gueux was the first I heard that really succeeded. Mort aux Gueux created something that I had never seen before and haven’t seen matched thus far: rural black metal. It’s not really a genre or subgenre in its own right, it’s merely the perfect way to describe the music that Mort aux Gueux constructs. Having lived in rural areas of the United State most of my life I have a certain affinity for sounds that claim to have a rural feel to them. The raw, harsh sounds of the new album, Beuverie, remind me of the landscape that I grew up in and still, in some small measure, cherish. It’s desolate, it’s brutal and it’s generally unfriendly but at the same time, to those special enough to see it (or hear it in this case) it’s home.
You’ll probably never see Mort aux Gueux on a radio show (expect for a Resounding Footsteps Radio Show. Hint, hint) but never let that stop you. Mort aux Gueux wasn’t designed to be consumed by the plebian masses who demand their black metal be clean, polished, and pretty. Mort aux Gueux is the black metal that the workers in the field deserve. It’s messy and chaotic, mixing acoustic guitar sounds here and there with the electronic guitar buzz. There is a beauty that some people simply cannot see. It’s best to ignore those people and make music that fits you, that fits the landscape. That’s what Mort aux Gueux has done since its inception and exactly what Beuverie continues.
As with all good albums, Beuverie features exactly what makes the band great and all they’ve done in the past as well as forge new sounds and new territories. In this instance the vocals absolutely floored me. They were never bad to begin with but Mort aux Gueux ramped up the vocals to eleven on this album. They’re clearer than ever before and that just makes them more virulent, raw, and chaotic. The quality of the music is still good; the production is the ultra lo fi that I have come to expect from anything that comes under the Mort aux Gueux moniker but you can still tell the music itself is top notch. There have been instances with other bands (many instances) where the shitty production hides shitty musical skills but not so with Mort aux Gueux; every release is raw and unrefined but you can tell there is musical skill there, you can still hear melody and rhythm.
Another thing I am immensely appreciative of from Mort aux Gueux and makes Beuverie so special is that his releases don’t just pop up like rabbits. He doesn’t release an album every other month that’s filled with fillers and half-baked concepts. Beuverie, Musique du Diable et Misère Crasse was created, nurtured and built to be a solid release, one that exemplifies what Mort aux Gueux stands for. I want releases like this. I want extreme quality over quantity. I would rather have just one amazing release from Mort aux Gueux every year or so than four a year that are forgettable. He delivered me just that with Beuverie.
Beuverie is a damn fine album. It’s like drinking moonshine. It’s not going to make everyone happy because they can’t wrap their minds around it but for those few connoisseurs and aficionados who appreciate the harsh bite will love it. This is a jagged mason jar full of the good stuff. Mort aux Gueux once again proves that he belongs on my list of favorite bands. Every release he has made has been stunning and wonderful in their own way. Beuverie is a raw black metal fan’s dream album.
Highlights: Du Poison dans les Veines, L’homme, fleuve souillé
If you enjoyed this try: Ifernach, Horrenda, Voidnaga
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