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one of the best depressive/ambient black metal rec - 99%

MFGReview, April 10th, 2008

What I appreciate the most in metal music is the fact that there is one style for every mood. When I am angry I listen to Cannibal Corpse or Strapping Young Lad, When I am happy (like hippies) I listen to Finntroll or Die Apokalyptischen Reiter… and when I want to be alone for a while to reflect, I listen to Katatonia or, since I’ve discovered them recently, to Gris.

Gris, previously called Niflheim, is a two-man band from Canada. They have since released two full-length records: First “Neurasthénie” and, in 2007, “Il était une forêt”. I would describe their music as Depressive Black Metal with Ambient influences and you can compare Gris to bands like Burzum, Silencer or Trist. The CD consists of 6 songs and has a length of 60 minutes (+/- 10 minutes per song).
In the style of Burzum’s Filosofem(first song), Gris manages to hypnotize you with their repetitive riffs and the strong atmosphere, produced by the keyboard in the background. On, I’ve found as lyrical theme “…Balance between Depression and Joy”, and I think that’s what their music is about. On the one side the created atmosphere is highly depressive, but on the other side Gris gives you some room to stand up and see the light at the end of the tunnel, only to smash you down again, a few seconds later.
The absolute highlights of “Il était une forêt” are the moments in the songs, which distinguish themselves from the repetitive riffs. These moments you recognize in their intensity and melancholy, and I think if you have some experience with depressive black metal, you won’t have problems to hear these special moments (just listen at 4:31 in the song “Cicatrices”).
But not only the great songwriting is a virtue of this record, Icare (Vocals) has managed to give his music with his doleful vocal-style, which you could compare also to Burzum or Silencer, an even more melancholic touch.

Personally, I’ve found nothing negative to write about! Yeah o.k. if you are a fan of well produced records, you should not listen to “Il était une forêt” and if you hate depressive black metal, “Il était un forêt” won’t change your opinion, but if those two things don’t apply to you, this record is an absolute must have! For me, it’s one of the best depressive/ambient black metal records ever, because “Il était une forêt” has a soul and isn’t one of these “Hell yeah let’s make some noise and call it black metal”-bands.

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