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Anonymus > Ni vu, ni connu > Reviews
Anonymus - Ni vu, ni connu

A refreshing Quebecois thrash metal album - 85%

drjuyss, May 12th, 2021

Released in 1994, Ni vu, ni connu (EN : Unseen, Unknown) is the debut album of the Quebec thrash metal band Anonymus. Even if it is not the best record from their discography, it is still a great metal album that received critical acclaim during the time of its release. By 1994, thrash metal had been surpassed by groove metal and its popularity was over since the beginning of the decade. The bands that defined the genre in the 80s went through other musical directions in the 90s. Therefore, the arrival of a band like Anonymus, and its eventual success of their debut album, was refreshing for the North American thash metal scene at the time.

Ni vu, ni connu is obviously a 100% Quebecois metal album. All songs are written in a slangy French Canadian language, and they are mostly engaged, witch is something you see a lot in the Quebec musical scene in general. Even if sometimes they lack of strengh and are a little bit clichés, exploited themes are quite diversified : critics of religion (Crémoécrémoépas), horrors of war (Balle d’Or), pollution (Mer Noire), domination (Prosternez-vous), etc. The debut album starts a trend of pun titles that will stand througout the entire career of the band, showing their capacity to play a lot with their native language in songwriting (Amen Toé, Démonomane, Crémoécrémoépas). Even with a French language that the vast majority of the followers of the Encyclopedia would not fully understand, one can tell that the same album written in English would still have been a great record, because the instrumental work still remains great for metal standards.

Sonically, the debut effort of Anonymus seems to be inspired by the technical approach of bands like Voivod, but played out in a more straightforward way. The recurrent song structure on the album is an introductory theme followed by a long instrumental bridge and a comeback to the primary idea. Sometimes, you get a little bit lost in the huge instrumental passages, even if your attention has already been got by the catchy themes introduced on each track. However, a lot of ideas are incorporated within those passages ; the band will come up with some French Canadian rigodon-like melodic lines, but also with a lot of foreign musical influences especially in the melodies of lead guitarist Marco Calliari. Bassist Oscar Souto will also have a lot of presence on the album complementing very well the complex guitar work while having his own parts and solos. Besides, like every Anonymus album, vocal arrangements are great. Oscar Souto and Marco Calliari have two distinguishable voices with different timbres still well balanced between harsh shouted vocal and raspy clean vocals. The tone is clean and everything is quite audible despite being sung in a quite familiar spoken language.

With Ni vu, ni connu, Anonymus made a huge statement by showing what they can do in terms of musicality, technicality and performance. For an Anonymus standard, this album worths a note of 80% because the next albums will improve a lot in terms of arrangements, lyrics and songwriting, but as a metal album, I would give it a note of 85% because it is a very enjoyable record. It has a unique sonic approach while keeping a solid thrash metal root, reminding us the great times of the 80s, without being a diluted copy of it.

Favorite songs : Ni vu, ni connu (Unseen, Unknown), Prosternez-vous (Bow Down to Me), Choisir ou Moisir (To Choose or To Rot), and Cyclope (Cyclops).

Gravely under-estimated band. - 95%

paranj, July 22nd, 2009

Anonymus is a band with a lot of talent yet no appreciation. They have never retreated and they have kept on releasing great albums, one after the another. This, their debut album, is one evidence of their talent and skill. You can say that the album is going to be awesome from the moment go. The album is pure thrash but a little on the melodic side.

The instrumentation on this album kicks ass. The guitar riffs are awesome and versatile. Most of the album is on the speedy side. The riffs are decently technical but they are wicked sounding and very catchy. They are melodic too! The album makes sure that you bang your fucking head from the start till end with it's relentless riff attack. The album never feels boring, never feels generic. The solos are orgasmic and blazing fast. The drumming is a complement to the album. They are fast, they are brutal and they are spot on. The drummer never falls behind the guitarists and always keeps up. His drum lines are quite interesting too! They never feel monotonous or boring. The bass is not too audible but that's quite usual with cheaply produced thrash albums. That was my main greviance with it and my main qualm for deducting some score. Though at some points (like the intro of 'Amen' Toe`), the bass emerges out and it sounds quite decent and up to the mark. The vocals are low pitched yet quite clean. They aren't too screamed or distorted and therefore, they feel different, good and unique. The lyrics are non-English and non-decipherable by me.

I really hate that bands such as this are really under-rated and unpopular. This band has immense talent and a potential to release quality material (their present discography proves it.). I have most of their albums and they have never failed my trust. If you love thrash, pick this album up!

good debut - 92%

Thrash_Till_Death, December 3rd, 2002

Anonymus is a band of many talents and prove it with each release. This is their debut and its one great debut. It is all in French, but over the course of their next three cds they use French, English & Spanish.

The cd is generally a fast paced cd, with songs that sometimes are similar sounding to Metallica, Justice for All era, though in French and better. The singing is similar to that on the above mentioned ...And Justice for All cd, but only at times. There are a few musical moments that sound like they are from a 80s Metallica cd(see Crémoécrémoépas, Choisir ou moisir). Don't be thrown off by this though, as the band still maintains credibility in their own sound and by singing in French. The music is great on this cd and all instruments shine. There is lots of solos, fast double bass and you can almost always hear the bass, which is a nice touch. Also, all the songs have an average playing time of about 4 minutes, which is a good length for a song. The cd clocks in with a total playing time of 46:06.

Overall this is a really good cd, even though if you don't understand French, you don't know what they are saying. The production is good, but could maybe be a tad better. I can't really complain though, I love this cd. I love all the cds from Anonymus and they are definetly one band from Montreal to look out for (they've opened for Anthrax & Blind Guardian). Best songs: Choisir ou moisir, Ni vu, ni connu, Démonomane.

On a side note, if you get the chance to see these guys live, do it. They are a very energetic live band and play their songs faster and more aggressivly than they are on the cds.