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Upon first hearing 'Retour de la Noirceur' online, I knew I was going to like this band. Then I got 'Sur le Chemin de la Noirceur' (their split-CD with the also excellent and equally enigmatic Heretic Blood), and liked them a hell of a lot more - too much in fact!
Openning with marching theme 'Bacchu Ber', it sets one up for what the rest of the album has instore - pagan metal played just like it would have been back in 1568. Its production certainly suggests this, but there's always an exception. Normally albums as diverse and multi-dimensional as this fall flat on their face with anything less than a crisp, lucid recording but this is what Ur Falc'h have seemingly - and undoubtedly successfully - set out to do.
Musically, like a seemingly unending throng of peers, all equally as good (please notify me of any bad progressive pagan metal bands please; there just doesn't seem to be any!), is based entirely in a spectrum of ancient folk crafted with the care and subtlety akin to what Lofn would have bestowed upon it, melancholy ambient most nocturnal and progressive Nordic black metal that instantly brings to mind the ice-ravaged yet profusely beautiful and alluring devoid of Nunavut's plains. Each piece taking you to a different time in a different land where there was only man, his sword, his journies and the battles he faced to survive the day - no added anything, no stupid ideologies, just candor and truth to himself. All befittingly complemented by Athros' throaty screams and occassional operatic hums.
Whether it's the folksy ambient of 'Nuit Palenne' or the dogged progression of 'Quand les Corbeaux Crient Leur Haine', their side of the split puts no foot wrong, something that puts the Qubec duo apart. Utterly supreme.