Au Champ Des Morts - Dans La Joie

Au Champ Des Morts - Dans La Joie

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(CD, Debemur Morti Productions, 2017)

If you’re reading the digital pages of METAL KAOZ for quite a while, you’ve probably guessed by now that the best time to indulge into a new Black Metal release is this time of year (ok, at least I think so), when the coziness of the winter Holidays has faded away leaving us wishing it was more instead of the bitter cold that January has in store for us. Yeah, it’s not a big secret that the cruel teeth of winter go hand-in-hand with Black Metal tunes, especially when the country of origin reveals that the release in-question has a more refined side, like it happens with the case of France. So, I didn’t need much convincing to push the 'play' button with “Dans La Joie” in place which happens to be the first full length album of AU CHAMP DES MORTS who were created out of the ashes of French symphonic Black metallers ANOREXIA NERVOSA.

But don’t jump the gun to make your mind because “Dans La Joie” seems to be a total different beast than ANOREXIA NERVOSA’s works (even though the lurking Black Metal atmosphere doesn’t differ much). This happens because the French aren’t afraid to use a plethora of atmospheric influences, from Black-gaze, Post Rock and Post Black Metal. The lyrics are in French (which was a bit of a turn off for me), but after taking a glance at the song titles, it doesn’t take much to figure out that the songs carry the gloomiest of colors to paint this exploding music hidden here. Raw, frostbitten and bleak, “Dans La Joie” contains 7 tracks that each of them doesn’t go beyond the 10-minute mark (as it usually happens in the 'New Wave of' genres), giving the proper time for every composition to properly grow and complete its purpose, making you song after song feel colder, fragile and alone. The album’s opening track “Nos Decombres” did not really impressed lifting the curtain with its icy, tremolo-picked intro that screams Scandi- ‘Black Metal’ from miles away, but “Apres Le Carnage” put me in the right mood and drew my attention to AU CHAMP DES MORTS’ haunting tunes and their ability to build up a thick and suffocating atmosphere borrowing colours from a big music palette. The clean guitar melodies, the minimalistic fuzzy bass-breaks and the overall aggressive instrumentation were the first three characteristics I noticed here, while the alteration between clean and growling vocals was a breath of fresh air to my ears. Occasionally, Stefan Bayle’s vocals remind me of Vorph’s reading (and this is a big win in my book), while some scattered, haunting spoken words make even more appealing the overall result. “Le Sang, La Mort, La Chute” and the self-titled track are cut from the same atmospheric cloth and even hide a wild, Folk WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM-esque side through the blast-beats breaks that maintain a nice balance between the traditional and the NWo Black Metal. In case you’re searching for that little 'something' to rock your world out (or in this case, make it a bit colder), then the final track, “La Fin Du Monde”, and its echoing soundscapes, the female vocals and the illuminating main melody will lift your mood and light up your heart, dropping the curtain on a high note, showing that there is always light at the end of the tunnel (even in the end of the world)...

I can’t really say that AU CHAMP DES MORTS have reinvented the ‘Black Metal’ wheel with their debut effort, but what they do is presenting a really interesting view of how New Wave Of French Black Metal should sound anno 2017. If you don’t belong to the Black Metal elitists category who are religiously stuck to the genre’s virtues, you should check this one out.

7/10 


Links:

www.FaceBook.Com/Au-Champ-Des-Morts


Tracklist:

01. Nos Decombres
02. Apres Le Carnage
03. Le Sang, La Mort, La Chute
04. Contempler L’ Abime
05. Dans La Joie
06. L’ Etoile Du Matin
07. La Fin Du Monde


Lineup:

Stefan Bayle - Vocals, Guitar
Cécile G. - Bass
Wilheim - Drums