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Abgzvoryathre, by the Les Legions Noires band Moëvöt, is seriously the one of the most spine-chilling pieces of music ever to be recorded (IMO). I don’t know how I can put this masterful sound into words, but I’ll give it a shot.
First of all, despite hailing from a black metal cult known as Les Legions Noires, Moëvöt does not play black metal or any kind of metal for that matter. It can be described as dark ambient or even black ambient. The music is able to achieve scariness at a new level without even playing metal.
The demo consists of two main features; vocals and guitar. Let us discuss the bloodcurdling vocals first. “Notre Pere” is a very good example of how vocals on this demo are used. Haunting clean vocals and tormented blackened shrieks dominate this song. The clean vocals are probably more freighting than the harsh vocals. They are very high-pitched and ghostly sounding. It sounds like a choir of ghosts is performing them. Vordb has excellent range and should have sung like this more often. In “Notre Pere”, Vordb utilizes his voice as an instrument and performs a haunting chant that repeats the same creepy melody over and over. While he sings, he recorded his black screams over the singing and they blend beautifully. His harsh vocals are great, sounding very tortured and gloomy. “Notre Pere” is probably the most petrifying song I have ever heard. Every time I hear it, I feel really uneasy and paranoid for a good period of time. This song is definitely the creepiest and it opens the demo, so you get a chance to calm down some.
Don’t expect to calm down much though. The rest of the demo isn’t exactly relaxing. This is where the other feature shines; the guitar. Vordb plays some of the most eerie guitar melodies you’d ever want to hear. Creeping, crawling melodies to chill the bone. Cold, atmospheric ambient style riffing that could scare the world’s toughest customers. There are quite a few instrumentals and they place you in a sea of blackness. Very dark stuff.
When an instrumental isn't scaring the fuck out of you, it tends to be a cappella. There are two songs with nothing but clean singing. Again, ghostly choirs haunt your nightmares. These two songs are beautiful and well done by Vordb. He can really sing!
Every song here is amazing. Afore mentioned “Notre Pere” is the best (IMO), but every one has its moments. Please download this magnificent piece of art if you were intrigued at all by my words. You won’t be able to buy it anywhere. But download it and try listening to it in complete darkness and try not to get a little antsy. P.S., it’s impossible!
Let me start by saying that Les Legions Noire actually released some fine material, especially March To The Black Holocaust. Both Vlad Tepes and Belketre were excellent bands, but unfortunately Vordb is not able to capture the skill he put into Belketre in his solo project Moevot. This "demo" is so riddled with questions as to what is going on with each song and what the point of this 25 minute journey is. It's hard to understand how many see Moevot as one of those cult acts, unless a huge amount of black metal fans are dumb enough to fall for the whole "we're the LLN we live in a forest hail the black holocaust and satan" gimmick.
This demo sounds as though it was recorded spontaneously. The riffs sound like someone sitting in their room noodling away. No sense of rhythm, no sense of time, no sense of structure, just spontaneous playing. Sure it's an idea that one might find worthy to explore in an experimental environment. This demo, however, is supposed to be atmospheric. I can't think of one way that a clean guitar noodling away is atmospheric, it just reminds me of sitting in my room back when I started guitar and playing around. Another annoying aspect of the demo is the whole "evil half step" exploitation in several songs. It basically goes like this, take a minor chord, then raise or lower it a half step and you have an ominous sounding riff. Now when you just go back and forth between those two chords that gets pretty goddamn annoying and even though I can appreciate the brief seconds while the progression is being introduced, once it is repeated to death it becomes cumbersome to listen to.
Sure this music is dark and evil in sound. The thin textures of the all the songs are rather ominous, and the clean vocals on the fourth track are even pretty well executed (except for the harmony which sounds pretty major/funny if you listen to it by itself) in the style of a plainchant. The rest of the clean vocals on the album are laughable, little more than groans or wails that could be the soundtrack to any old B-list horror movie. The ridiculousness of most of the songs really ruins any good parts that the demo offers because it's hard to take Vordb serious by then. He really kinda just meanders around doing random riffs and groaning, and then when a good song like Chant d'Eternite actually appears, well you can't really take it seriously and appreciate the eeriness of it.
I can't really recommend this album to anyone. There's no atmosphere, there's no evil feel in the music, the music is more comical than evil. The minimalism fails dismally due to the lack of a strong repetitive theme in the songs, instead there is simply a meandering pointless array of noodling and moaning. Perhaps some sort of visual accompaniment would help stimulate the right reaction in a person, but when you need visual for ambient music to be effective then you know you have a weak atmosphere at hand. I still can't decide whether this album is a serious attempt or not. Unless you are really fooling yourself by buying into the whole bullshit gimmick that is the LLN (A group of mostly shit music that decided to make themsleve interesting by concocting ridiculous stories about themselves) you really can't take this seriously. To be fair to Vordb, this was apparently never supposed to leak in the first place, so maybe it is just a recording of him sitting around improvising on his guitar murmering random things for his own enjoyment. We will never know.
A few years ago I introduced to Moevot by a Canadian friend named Bruce (also known as Mitch). I didn’t really know what to expect, he’s a really odd guy. So when he told me to give this band a listen I was a little apprehensive. This whole album is very dark, a bit creepy, and unique. All of this, to me, makes a decent album (depending on other factors, of course). Now, let’s talk about Moevot. Moevot is part of something called the “Les Légions Noires”(French Black Legion). What does this mean to you? Perhaps nothing but at least it’s something… Anyways, the legion is a part of this French underground black metal “circle” that has musicians and bands in it. What makes this “Legion” so unique is the reason why they have small limited releases and why you have a hell of a time finding an album on Ebay. All of the musicians in this Legion come and go in many different bands that actually made quite a few releases. Some other bands, besides Moevot that were part of this Legion were: Black Murder, Mütiilation, Torgeist, and Vlad Tepes to name a few. But I digress. I do hope I made it somewhat clear as to what the French Black Legion is to some of you who didn’t know and saw it being used over and over again. Back to the album;
The opening track is “Notre Pere” (2:26). This song begins with a two sets of vocals: one female the other male (growling). In the background you can hear the keyboard. This song gives you a sort of feeling of despair like that thing that you are really afraid of is going to catch up to you, soon at that. The next track is “Voultehtr Voaguprueed” (3:04). This main instrument on this track is the guitar. It’s clean and doesn’t fail to give you the feeling of being insecure. “Voultehtr Voaguprueed” is an all-instrumental track and the “weapon of choice” is the guitar. It’s beautifully done. “In Einen Friedhof Errance” (3:42) is next up. In this song not only is French being vocalized but also German is being mixed in as well and may seem like an odd combination. The music is slow and drawn out. It gives you the kind of feeling of walking in the woods and something is following you or you are trapped somewhere, finally realizing there is no way out. There are occasional vocals throughout this song that add to the mood. “Zurghtapre-Chant d’Eternite I” (3:05) is just vocals. Two males with clean vocals are harmonizing in the most haunting way. They sound like they are almost trapped and are singing hopelessly.
“Wolken, Ma Vie” (4:43) is yet another instrumental track that is done only on acoustic guitars. Together the two guitars create this most haunting sound and gave me an odd chill the first time I listened to it. When you think things couldn’t get creepier (I need a new word, I know) we move into “Urasion” (4:20). In this song the keyboard is the culprit that partners with the haunting vocals that give you a feeling of insecurity. The keyboard takes up a new “life” in this song not sounding much like a keyboard at all but like another instrument. When the vocals are introduced the music takes the “back seat” but can still be hear and are far from being forgotten. The last track is “Ehepr Abgzvoryaerv- Chant d’Eternite II” (2:09). Some soft, sweet type voices are played in this song and it’s kind of weird. The vocals are in harmony and although they sound sweet they seem extremely haunting.
Moevot is a very unique band and definitely isn’t for everyone. Either you love this band or you hate it. With its haunting notes it may even captivate you.
Of the various demos I've heard that were made by some of the lesser known projects and side-projects of the French Black Legions, this early Moevot demo is quite good. Each track featured is a mini-drama or mood piece with a bare melody (maybe two) that usually repeats over and over, and which conjures up a lonely or sinister atmosphere or feeling with a quality of stillness. This is music that can make some claim to being taken seriously. In spite of this and other efforts, I don't think Moevot ever got to the stage of making a "proper" album but that maybe because the Moevot men always regarded this as an ambient music side-project and no more.
As with a lot of Black Legions recordings, some of the songs here have titles written in that confounding secret language rich in a lot of the unused letters of the French alphabet. "Notre Pere" ("Our Father") sends the cheefulness index plummeting to zilch with a gloomy organ tune, tape loops of a groaning woman's voice and a gloating, growling Nosferatu voice speaking over the lady's moans. This is followed by an instrumental track done entirely on bass guitar: there are many strummy arpeggio bits but the track feels as though time and everything else are standing still. "In einen Friedhof errance" brings back the vampire vocals and with them a really plaintive keyboard melody that's so mournful everything, even the air itself, stops dead.
"Zwightrape, chant d'eternite" is unusual for the Black Legions in that it's performed entirely a cappella by two male singers with clean, almost operatic vocals. It sounds very like a lament though the emotion is restrained. We go into "Wolken, ma vie", another instrumental but this time done on guitar: it seems like a long track if only because the melody wanders around a lot and the atmosphere is very quiet. Things get creepier on "Uraison" with keyboards that sound a bit like clarinetes and other deep woodwinds, and soon enough, the guys with the swamp creature growls come out of their lagoon in the woods to mutter between themselves. Sombre angelic voices round off the demo in "Ehepr abgxvoryaerv, chant d'eternite".
I have the impression that this whole recording could have been a mini-opera; the sequencing of the tracks and the way the vocal pieces alternate with the instrumental pieces seem to suggest this. The whole demo is dominated by an extemely narrow range of moods and the style of music is very spare. About halfway through the demo, you definitely feel that someone has passed beyond death into another realm. Moevot could have made something more out of this demo but as it is it seems quite complete in itself and I suppose if they had fleshed it out more they would have risked making it look pretentious.
A quick warning: this cult demo is definitely not for weekend black metal fans! Moëvöt represents the vision of black metal in pure form. One will immediately notice the complete absence of drums, distortion, or in most of the music, vocals. I would call this obscure release bizarre, otherworldly, and surreal; the perfect soundtrack to the carpathian domain of Nosferatu. Definitely unique!
Prevalent bass and acoustic work forms the backbone of the disc, with simplistic atmospheric keyboarding on a few tracks. Occasionally repetitive, hauntingly minimalist passages drone onward like ghosts wandering some distant dark forest. The production is indeed quite distant; not fuzzy of course, and certainly not horrible by any means, since afterall, there isn't much there to actually produce. Sparse tremolo picking gives the acoustic songs an eerie, ancient-sounding edge. Black metal vocals are used sparsely, but when they are present, most notably on the first track "Notre Père," they take the form of a grim, tortured, and detached grumble. Intermingled with the acoustic and keyboard tracks are a couple of vocal pieces (Chant d'Eternité I & II) composed of eerily choir-like clean singing and chanting. No lyrics could be found.
Moëvöt has created a truly occultic work here, once again proving that the French are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to black metal. There's only a single disparaging note: this 1993 self-release seems to be practically impossible to find, even moreso than Belketre or any other of the big eBay bands. If you can run across a copy, snatch it up immediately!