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Atmospheric hypnotizing mediocrity - 69%

kluseba, October 24th, 2011

Mêlée des Aurores is a side project of the famous Quebec underground black metal band Chasse-Galerie. Their first release called Errances is a piece of calm and atmospheric black metal that has some addicting interludes with some folk vibes, a very hypnotizing flow and a few interesting tales to discover. The problem with is album is that there are not enough memorable moments on it and I also miss some emotions within the tracks.

The record has a good flow and some atmospheric moments but nothing truly gripping or outstanding to survive among many other promising acts from the underground extreme metal scene of Quebec with acts such as the diversified Putamen Insula, the more folk orientated Pagan Flame, the great death and black metal act Seventh Section, the engaging symphonic extreme metal act Alpthraum or the epic, fast and brutal Gothërfall that focusses on some slightly industrial and dystopian sounds. There is so much talent in Quebec's extreme metal scene, even with the well known and established acts such as Voivod, Martyr or Augury, that Mêlée des Aurores has some difficulties to find its very own place and convince next to such a huge competition.

The band has some talent but they must improve and should focus on their epic and atmospheric factor as the beginning of the rather hypnotizing and somewhat depressive "Runes" or the first moments of the slightly folk influenced and dark "Énigme" to not get drowned into exchangeable mediocrity. Let's note that the low budget production sounds like mysterious wind and wuthering and seems appropriate to the atmosphere at first try but keeps the individual instruments from shining and also takes a lot of the possible dynamics. All sounds are mixed into a strange and atmospheric melting pot but this effect gets rather frustrating after a while and is the main problem next to the one dimensional song writing that keep me away from being convinced by the band's first effort. Many songs kick off in an interesting and atmospheric way but can't evolve and get quite random after a while even if they all are of a rather short length. The quality and potential of the music seems like a raw black diamond that the band can't yet bring to shine. If they keep the focus on the atmosphere, try to vary plus and get a better production, the next effort could be fairly better.

That's why this band makes some good and inspiring dark background music and could easily open for some atmospheric extreme metal bands I have mentioned before but never be on the top of the list and headline a concert. This album is rather a great gem for big fans of Chasse-Galerie, especially as the album has only been sold in very limited quantities and could become a nice collector's object. Any black metal fan should check out the regular Chasse-Galerie releases and discover many other black metal bands that already sound more inspiring than this mediocre low budget release project.