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Straightforward primitive BM for Akitsa - 80%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, August 19th, 2007

This is a nationalist / pro-Quebec-separatist recording made several years ago by Akitsa. It's a very raw garage-rock BM album all the way through apart from the last track. It's likely that O.L. and Neant had been listening to loads of French-language BM from across the Atlantic Ocean, especially recordings made by the Black Legions bands in southern and western France as many of these recordings have definite punk and garage rock leanings and now and again throw up a real rock'n'roll melody or groove, and similar things pop up on "Sang Nordique". If you're not familiar with French, the album's title means "Nordic Blood" in English and that should give you some idea of the album's aim: it's a rallying cry for the defence of blood, culture and country. (Not going to comment on any implied white supremacy here - "Nordic / Nordique" could just mean "northern" in this context.)

The first track "Introduction" sets the tone with a series of heroic yet slightly melancholy riffs that are like a call to arms: this is a completely instrumental piece done entirely on clean-toned electric guitar. BM proper appears on the second track "Riposte" which is a very punk-influenced song, all monotonous banging drum beats and seesawing walls of tremolo guitar noise moving at hurricane pace while O.L. goes berserk on vocals. The rock'n'roll stuff comes to the fore on "Frontiere" which sounds a little weird here because the wiggly tune sounds a weeny bit like an old Judas Priest song "Deliverin' the Goods" and unless I miss my guess that must have been about 30 years ago. The song is almost obscenely danceable for something supposed to be raw primitive BM. Let's press on ... the title track settles into a slow to mid-paced groove with powerful riffs and O.L. calms down enough to sing all the way through without screeching every time he finishes off a particular lyric or word.

All songs have a primitve structure, basically one or two guitar riffs that repeat over and over with very little variation (apart from "Sang Nordique" which changes key) and a pummelling drum beat so they can be quite monotonous unless the riff or melody to start with is distinctive and catchy. "Vers la victoire" has a punky riff and is energetic and short so it's not a bore to hear whereas "La nature de mon pays" is quite a slow song and the clean singing is languid and bland after all the screaming so the track seems longer than it is and I can't wait for it to hurry up and end.

"Fin" which (of course) ends the album is a formless dark ambient drone piece with a quivering tone that laser-like pierces the stuff between your ears. There is a regular booming beat pattern which reinforces the torture. O.L. can be heard in the background groaning and cursing as if he is already in Hell being punished, his singing becomes more agonised as the song continues. The atmosphere on this track is very heavy and oppressive.

The instrumental tracks, "Riposte" and the title track are perhaps the best on the album, and "Vers la victoire" and "Frontiere" have a lot of energy. The most basic structures and musicianship are at work and there's no room for anything more elaborate than the loping rhythm on "Sang Nordique" and the choppy chords on "Frontiere". The singing is aggressive, hate-filled and full of spit and sometimes I get the impression O.L. can't resist hamming up things by screaming or spraying fine mist whenever he can.

I'd say "Sang Nordique" the album is best suited to those who like their BM primitive and raw with lots of energy and the occasional melodic line.

Not Bad ... - 79%

JunaidKhan, February 14th, 2006

Akitsa's always got a very underground sound and that's one of the primary reasons why I decided to check out this album. It's mostly paced Black Metal with tremelo as well as chunky, heavy riffs. The slow drumming further adds to the atmosphere of grimness.

The intro is very well done. It's not just the sound of wind of the keyboard but a very well-performed guitar piece. The pace is set with the very first song of the album - Riposte. It's good, appealing Black Metal. It's probably been influenced by Darkthrone a lot This is, by the way, one of the faster tracks of the album. I don't see too many riff-changes and that's one of the major drawbacks of this album. The feeling of darkness prevails throughout the album without making it too cheesy and I give Akitsa credit for it.

The title track is a solid paced song and it's followed by another blaster - Au Combat. I like this track because it's not only fast but there's versatility in the tremelo riffing. Vers la Victoire is another great track but the following tracks, La Nature de Mon Pays and Fin are just time-wasters and they pull the album down.

Overall, there are moments of greatness throughout the album but there are plenty of weaknesses as well. I don't want to give this album a very low rating but I can't rate this very highly either. It's an interesting album by it's by no means a monumental one.