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Les Legiones Noires were a group of corpsepainted weirdos from Brest, France, in the early to mid nineties, who created a scene that was the answer to the Norwegian black circle. Their lifespan was little more than five years, but in that times, they created enough deliciously raw, hateful, Satanic black metal to permanently affect the international scene and the genre in general. March to the Black Holocaust is the epitome of this misanthropic, under produced perversion, designed from start to finish to pervert and offend the Christian worms, and to bring the Black Holocaust to humanity as soon as possible.
The beginning of the CD is a brief anthem that rallies the forces to march under the Imperial Satanic banner to the distorted tones of guitar work, before percussion sets in a violent powerful beat that increases the hatefulness of the piece. The segue into the next song is immediate and seamless, and the same pattern is followed for the majority of Vlad Tepes's contribution to this evil split CD. Distorted guitar, raw (but surprisingly competent) drum work, and rasped shrieks to the glory of Satan carry me through a hateful land with their melodies and well thought out composition. A lot of black metal bands cover crappy technical work with distortion and rawness, but not Vlad Tepes. Everything comes together very well, yet the evil nature of the work comes through 100% clear, 100% of the time.
Belketre has a hard act to follow, but their contributions are just as raw and evil, yet they manage to have a distinct sound from Vlad Tepes. This is the result of black metal circles, in my opinion: like-minded artists with similar goals, views, and the ability to work together collaborate enough to create true masterpieces, but not enough to copy each other. Their response to Vlad Tepes is excellent, from cold minimalist guitar pieces with gurgled vocals like calls from Hell to noisy longer compositions that berate me with Satanic messages with their powerful guitar parts and Hellish vocals. Belketre closes out the split with one of the evilest songs in black metal, "If We Had...", which is an incoherent vocals-only piece that sounds like it was spoken by Satan himself. The abominable chant is only decipherable if you read the lyrics, included in the booklet, and the anti-Christian and misanthropic themes make it clear that Belketre's goal is the same as Vlad Tepes's.
I was very much impressed by this CD. It's not the sort of split that you should listen to piecemeal; rather, start to finish is the best way to experience this evil masterpiece. It's really gripping and it really does take me to the company of the masters behind LLN. As I listen, I see myself screaming alongside them to praise Satan, or chanting to his glory, or playing madly on my guitar so that the Black Holocaust may soon come. This is the best LLN CD I have heard, and it's a must-listen for any serious fan of true, evil, anti-Christian black metal. My only complaint is that there aren't any clean vocals or enough choirs, or any of the really creative work that I'd need to rate this album as perfect. It's pure, raw, relentless black metal from start to finish, and it does not fuck around.