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It is pretty uncommon that I start an album review discussing a cover art, but I’m feeling frivolous today. By choosing the famous painting « The Fall of the Rebel Angels » by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) to decorate its record, the Quebec group Acédia clearly shows its intentions. Indeed, Rubens’ baroque masterpiece is a real maelstrom, which multiplies details and requires a careful observation to be fully appreciated. The same can be said of L’exil, a complex album that really unfolds itself after many listenings.
Clearly inspired by European avant-garde music, Acédia harmonic constructions are based on multiple rhythmic breaks created by a frenzied guitar playing, especially on tracks like Malade et gavé and La mort me guette. These aesthetic choices certainly evoke some Deathspell Omega songs, but without the same degree of chaotic madness as the famous French band.
The Quebec trio can also slows the tempo and put more emphasis on atmospheres. Thus, longer pieces are also slower and develop a gloomy and oozing ambiance. Éternelle léthargie and Tout est ma faute are perfect examples of this, with their dragging and anxious pace, accompanied by the singer’s possessed howl. It is, in my opinion, the album’s best moments, during which the group most effectively displays its know-how.
L’exil is an ambitious record with complex song writing. Connoisseurs will enjoy this dense and sometimes difficult to access brand of black metal. Despite this, members of Acédia show a great mastery for composition and playing, offering a high quality debut album. Do not be fooled by its recent creation: this Quebec City’s trio is promised to a very interesting future.
Originally written for Métal Obscur.