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Marred by too many problems - 50%

MaDTransilvanian, June 7th, 2010

Blackwind is another band in Québec (the province/nation, not the city)’s seemingly endless supply of black metal bands. However, where bands like Forteresse, Gris and Sombres Forêts produce godly music with actual talent, and where Monarque and Culte d’Ébola produce decent yet unoriginal black metal, Blackwind falters and fails as an extremely redundant and uninteresting band whose album, Demain, l’Apocalypse, is for almost all its duration about as interesting and original as looking at a blank wall for 55 minutes, with the added noise.

Here’s a brief summary of what is to be found here: generic black metal, consisting of acceptable, oftentimes actually good instrumental work (making decent black metal instrumentals isn’t that hard) and vocals which truly suck the big one. Instrumentally speaking, this is never actively bad and at moments it’s actually good. The band plays with considerable energy and that’s commendable, but in the end not much sticks out as being actually memorable, and I’m talking about the album as a whole. The drumming is less repetitive than is the case for a great deal of black metal albums, and some patterns are genuinely interesting to listen to. In most ways, the drumming is actually the highlight of the record when compared to the other elements. That’s because the guitar work is a bit of a paradox: it’s certainly competent and there are a few good riffs here and there, but from an overall standpoint there’s absolutely nothing amazing to be said about the riffs here; purely stereotypical black metal riffing that does in no way work to distinguish the album from the droves of similar recordings in existence.

Finally we come to what really puts this album (and its listener...) to sleep. The fucking vocals: they’re awful beyond belief. Why? Because they consist in the most annoying moaning/wailing voice which never, for one fucking second, varies throughout the album. It’s always the same irritating crap and it works very hard to overshadow any actual instrumental quality that this album might actually possess. This is rendered all the worse as it’s made evident that the vocals are pretty much at the front of the mix, way too loud, which is sad because the production for the instrumentals is actually pretty good. Unsurprisingly, whenever vocalist Nebularaven shuts the fuck up the music is immensely more enjoyable. This is actually the main reason why a highlight song actually exists: the 3-minute Je Tire Ma Révérence. This is an extremely beautiful and atmospheric instrumental track which sounds nothing like the rest of the album, instead venturing into a more melodic, cleaner direction which is just an overall outstanding instrumental, and is basically the only reason why I look at this recording on occasion when I want to hear good music. The riffs and drumming work together to create a breathtaking atmosphere; had the entire album been done in this vein (and with a competent vocalist) it would’ve been an instant classic. Oh well.

A few miscellaneous elements need to be added to the above general assessment of the music. First of all, this album is simply too long for the plodding and vocally irritating crap that it is. Second, the band’s use of mixed French and English titles for the songs just reeks of idiocy and makes them look particularly retarded; choose one!. Third, the whole part about putting 53 6-second tracks of silence so the album would have a total of 66 tracks (a very cheap reference to 666, look at how satanic and cool we are!) is extremely lame because it’s neither smart in execution nor original in concept: Nokturnal Mortum did it more effectively with their mediocre NeChrist nine years previously. Finally, Blackwind is another one of those bands who think themselves intellectual and some sort of élite because they deride society and write long French monologues in which everyone is stupid and morbid and how humanity will/does suffer, among other pointless rambling. A hint: this sucks, it has always sucked and it just makes you seem even lamer than before.

Blackwind’s Demain, l’Apocalypse is generally a very forgettable album. One exceptional song and some good instrumental moments here and there do not make for a worthy release. This is one black metal band which I can’t recommend to anyone because it’s simply so mediocre and generic in a genre so stagnant with similar failures.