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Autumn Mist or Brume d'Automne has a rather disparate discography most likely due to Athros being a long term member of Forteresse and band companion Nordet also joining him in another black metal band Ur Falc'h. With a full length plus a couple of splits already out there, it is very tempting to check how those releases compare to this self titled album, especially as there is a seven year gap between the full lengths. On the other hand that temptation can often tarnish how the new material is viewed especially if it is radically different compared to previous work. The same applies to the band members other projects, which may be similar in style but offer slightly different nuances or song writing methods. So for this album I approached it as a solitary entity, untainted by any other material from their other bands or previous releases.
Canada isn’t really known for spewing out barbaric black metal acts and it is reasonable to state that “Brume d'Automne” certainly is an aggressive album, but tempered by folk like hints that subtly weave their way into the texture of the songs, though don’t expect some paganesque dancing round fires music here. The sound is particularly raw, very like those seminal releases of the early 90s by Dark Throne, Emperor, Satyricon to quote some well known units. The blasted snare is very blurry once opener “Tels Des Béliers” gets into full throttle. The kick drum and snare are almost synchronous as it feels as though the tune is rattling along out of control, not quite at Impiety’s war like speed but pretty close. The drop in pace is where this Canadian outfit show their creativity with a rather splendid guitar harmony and lead filtering down onto the slower speed. A short interlude that introduces the folk elements is followed by “Lésprit Du Courant” as the primal and chaotic demo like sound has that primitive cave dwelling feel. This tune also incorporates those folk aspects I mentioned earlier and for a change they work, as I’m not a great fan of folk black metal.
“Le Lieu De La Vengeance” is maniacally played with a heavier sound and some crazy double bass that threatens to career the song wildly on the edge of collapse. Again very early 90s black metal is prevalent here as the riffs have that sharp ice shard blast of ferocity smashing through the permafrost of the rhythm section. There is a chilling feel too and though much of the riffing is very familiar it is genuinely vitriolic in its approach and with the vocals torturously stripping the lining off the throat it is hard to find any criticism with the release. “Moé J’me Souviens” returns the flow of the album into a medieval style on the riffing, but generally this is bitter black metal. This track offers a more macho vocal style that has a degree more clarity and even a tad more melodious as well, which makes penultimate song “Saint Eustache - Traditionnelle V” an exceptionally violent song that has touches of Finnish black metallers Thy Serpent. In fact a lot of this album has Finnish black metal features from bands like Azaghal, Behexen, Horna or Satanic Warmaster to name a few well known ones. Closing the album is the epic “Quand les Corbeaux Crient Leur Haine” which has creepy crow cawing to get it going backed up by guitar feedback fuzz. The riff that follows is more akin to thrash and followed by a racket of double kick before settling into a slower more reasonable pace for the riff style and speed. More folk twists are added as the crow returns about half way and signals the arrival of an acoustic guitar piece and a wailing vocal chant before the song ends with harsh acerbic black riffing rage.
Originally written for www.rawnervezine.co.uk
Featuring Athros who also plays in the Canadian black metal band Forteresse, Brume d'Automne this year releases their self-titled second full length album, seven years after their debut album. Following the themes and concepts that have been shown on the related Forteresse, Brume d'Automne's lyrical themes and concepts on their new album revolves around Quebec nationalism, but unlike the usual NSBM themes, Brume d'Automne on their album focusses on the traditions and history instead. With the solid Forteresse release last year, Brume d'Automne would definitely be an interesting listen as well.
While the trademark atmospheric style that Arthros' works on Forteresse is known for is still present on Brume d'Atuomne, there is a rather significant difference in terms of the songwriting of Brume d'Automne. Unlike the trebly, trem-picked attack that Forteresse utilises, Brume d'Automne presents a more straightforward style of black metal, and this is evident with the chaotic introduction that they present to the listener with the opening Tels des Beliers. Furthermore, tracks on Brume d'Automne are comparatively shorter, with songs like Traditionelle IV being a short 1 minute long instrumental, and displays the different approach that the band takes on Brume d'Automne.
Nordet's vocals are unlike the conventional black metal shrieking style, as he lashes out the lyrics on the album in a rather tortured, gruff semi-growl, infusing a sense of aggression into the music. At the same time, the melodic aspects of the band are maintained through the riffs and lead guitar lines that are unleashed by the duo, and songs like L'Esprit du Courant have a slight pagan feel to them. To further bring out that theme of nationalism in the music, there are even some folk passages that are present like on Quand Les Corbeaux Crient Leur Haine, and these remind the listener of the folk moments of bands like Ensiferum, minus the extreme metal aspect and could throw the listener off guard. It is moments like these where Athros proves his versatility as a musician, not only handling the traditional metal instrumentation but also the folk instrumentation.
Throughout the album though, there is a rather cold atmosphere that surrounds the music, made even more so with the raw production quality on the album. For instance, the drums on Brume d'Automne are rather clanky and this fits well with the surrounding mood of the music, allowing the raw energy and emotions of the band to really seep out.
The wait for Brume d'Automne's self-titled album has been long indeed, with the five year silence after the band's debut album. But with the effort and sincerity that is present on the album, and of course, the quality black metal, Brume d'Automne has been certainly worth the wait and would certainly leave an impression on fans of the atmospheric style of black metal.
Hard not to be seduced by an album that starts with a resounding “BATÈCHE”! This ancient curse, once popularized by the poet Gaston Miron, is also part of my own repertoire for years, but its presence as an opening of a black metal disc may seem incongruous… but not on a Brume d’Automne album (which already uttered a brutal “tabarnak” on Le sacrifice des paysans guerriers). Founded in 2003, this group is the “metal noir Québécois” pioneer, a movement that combines extreme music and patriotism. After a rather successful first album (Fiers et Victorieux, 2005), many fans believed the Québec duo plunged into a deep sleep, only two splits being launched five years apart (2005 with Teutates and 2010 with Monarque). It is therefore with some surprise that I learn the release of a new self-titled album produced by Sepulchral Productions.
Much water has flowed under the bridge for seven years, but Athros (Fortress, Ur Falc’h) and Nordet (Ur Falc’h) do not care and continue where Fiers et Victorieux stopped. They are back their Finnish-inspired black metal dipped in Québécois vitriol. Le temps des béliers sets the tone from the outset with its speed and aggressivity. The guitar is marked by a playing style that relies heavily on treble, while the voice is a real possessed howl tearing eardrums with all the force of his anger. However, something prevents a full appreciation of this music. I do not know if this is the capture or the mix that is to blame, but drumming is a recurrent weakness on the album. Playing is excellent, but toms give the impression of being hollowed or muffled, limiting power and scope of the instrument. Maybe is it an aesthetic choice made by the band, but the result is unconvincing.
Apart from that, members of Brume d’Automne demonstrate their know-how with well constructed songs, never tiresome, alternating traditional hymns-inspired passages and more furious ones. L’esprit du courant is probably the best example, with its changing rhythms, its pace and its epic, martial-style conclusion. The album closes with Quand Les Corbeaux Crient Leur Haine, a song punctuated by a short acoustic jig air interlude. If traditional music fans wanted to dust off their repertoire, this song would be appropriate!
This self-titled album, despite seven long years that separates it from its predecessor, shows that Brume d’Automne has lost none of his fighting spirit and is a must Quebec black metal ambassador. In conclusion, the group also inserts a famous phrase uttered by René Lévesque on the evening of the referendum defeat of 1980 (“If I have understood you correctly …”), a note of hope, so maybe we can expect not having to wait so long before enjoying a new album. 7/10
Originally written for Métal Obscur