(CD, Apathia Records, 2017)
They say "don’t judge a book by its cover" but in some cases it is tough to ignore for example Metal genres ending with the suffix ‘-core’ especially, if you have entered the 40s age group. However, by discriminating entire music genres just because the few bands who have heard were ‘too modern’ for your aging ears is not the right thing to do and that’s because you may be losing some really good stuff. I think you should trust me on this as I have banned the ‘Core’ genres a long time ago, although there are times when I let my guard down and get rewarded for doing so. In this instance, the reward listens to the name “Noir” which happens to be France’s GRAVITY's third LP.
The thing that passed through my ‘Core’ firewall and made my interest to gravitate towards GRAVITY (pun intended) was the moody keyboard-based intro of “Noctifer - Le Porteur De Nuit” which I came across as a music video. I liked the transition to the heavy guitars so much that I didn’t notice at all the Metalcore singing. I guess the IN FLAMES influences were so strong and so good that I could not let go. The guitars and the groove they deliver are absolutely addictive with the double-bass drumming satisfying your headbanging hunger. The lyrics are in French and I was surprised how well the pronunciation fits the music, despite the fact that I don’t speak / understand a word Emilie is screaming / singing. And speaking of vocals, it sounds like there are two singers in GRAVITY but it is just Emilie handling both sides of the spectrum with equal power and passion, and even though the growling vs clean singing sounds cliché on paper, in “Noir” works like a charm. I think this should mainly credited to Emilie’s calm side that makes a nice contrast to the Metalcore screaming in a dreamy and not in a cheesy way. As I said, I have no idea what the lyrics are talking about, but just by listening to the music, I get a post-apocalyptic atmosphere and her singing fits this like a tailored suit. Another thing that kindled my interested for GRAVITY was the NEVERMORE-esque down-tuned guitars which really enhance the overall heaviness and I will call the album’s title-track as my strongest witness.
GRAVITY do not stand still as far as a specific music style is concerned; the less than two minutes long “Noctifer - Démonarque II” sets a confident footing upon Black Metal territories having the snare-drum reaching blast beat speeds while the next one, “Noctifer - Ogres”, enters the melodic Death Metal (aka the Gothenburg sound) realm with catchy grooves and guitars while with “Dune” the band chooses a more melodic path without discarding the aggression nor the dreamy (or should I say Sci Fi) atmosphere that comes from the screaming and the melodic vocals, respectively.
There is nothing to complain about in “Noir”; in fact, I stand pleasantly surprised and absolutely rewarded for taking a gamble with a band from a Metal genre that is not exactly my cup of tea. Yes, the album has been on the repeat for quite some time, with each listening revealing something new, so every additional spins is totally deserved. Check GRAVITY out because it would be such a waste to let it slip through the cracks.
03. Le Premier Éclat
04. Noctifer - De l’Homme Au Loup
05. Noctifer - Le Porteur De Nuit
06. Noctifer - Démonarque I
07. Noctifer - Démonarque II
08. Noctifer - Ogres
11. Indigence I
12. Indigence II
13. La Dernière Empreinte
Emilie - Vocals
Sébastien - Drums
Timothé - Bass
Alexandre - Guitar