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It’s a columnist colleague who allows me to discover a young Quebec formation called Décombres, which was created at the end of 2011. This is actually a solo project led by versatile Philippe Boucher, also active in Incandescence (black metal), First Fragment (technical death metal) and Chthe’ilist (old school death metal). This finding is timely! There is already a long time since I have had the pleasure of tasting a local product.
Though, if this first album rather came from an isolated Northern Scandinavia village, no one would be surprised. Author’s aesthetic choices are transparent. He plays a black metal directly inspired from indefatigable Norwegian second wave, where Darkthrone and Burzum compete for first place in the influence race. But with a very good result!
Of course, content of this record does not reinvent a style copied a thousand times in twenty years. It was probably not the author’s intention anyway. Boucher, within genre guidelines, deploys classically shaped, but damned catchy, compositions. Good riffs are appropriately scattered on every song, giving them separate identity and memorable airs. The guitar playing is based on a strongly fuzzed high notes succession, creating icy and gloomy atmospheres. As for the rhythm section, it is quite effective, but rather discrete and linear. Its role is usually limited to support guitar layers and voice. Lyrics are in French (at least I think) but the shrill screams that accompany the music make them impossible to understand, even partially. However, there is no need to be clairvoyant to guess their nature: general atmosphere which radiates from this album speaks for itself.
This first eponymous Décombres’ opus is a pleasant surprise. It shows again that orthodox black metal allows talented musicians to express themselves without lapsing into parody or plagiarism. I encourage you to explore this interesting project, hoping for a sequel. 7/10
Originally written for Métal Obscur.