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Magnificent in its own right - 95%

coffinfodder666, July 11th, 2018

Clair Cassis's debut album is nothing short of “interesting”. It's one of those records that grows on you with every listen. This 7 track album that spans a little under 36 minutes was released back in 2010 and truth be told, it still sounds the part in 2018.

I'm not going to bore you with details of how the band got together or talk about the drama surrounding their previous congregation, "Velvet Cacoon". What I will talk about is how this album is has managed to go unnoticed by many, including myself over the years.

The band claims to be the creators of luxurious black metal, a Versace of the dark arts perhaps? But to me, they sound more like a cheap knock-off, one that at times, manages to do much better than the original itself. Let me put things in perspective here, the first thirty seconds is all you need to figure out who their influences are.

There's a hint of Abyssic Hate, a whiff of early Leviathan, a dash of older I shalt become followed by some Xasthur and Striborg. What I did find quite intriguing was how the band managed to fuse all of the key elements of these bands to create something quite unique.

The vocals are very much reminiscent of earlier I shalt become, raspy, guttural and quite capable of complementing their sound. The overall composition and the way it ebbs and flows is the bread-winner here.

The guitar tone and some of the riff structures remind you a lot of the bands mentioned above. What Clair Cassis have going for themselves throughout this record though, is their ability to quickly implement drastic changes to the soundscapes they create. What might start off as a gloomy grimy track could soon take the form of a vicious and brutal thrash metal inspired riff only to become very mellow a couple of seconds down the line.

I found the riffs to be reasonably catchy (for a black metal album i.e.), the fact that they manage to throw in a bit of acoustic guitar work against the wall of sound they create was something I found quite fascinating (and I’m sure you will too). You’ll also find that some of the tracks on the album have amazing breakdowns that come complete with intricate bass-lines and guitar strums that gently flow throughout. The drumming on the album is more complementary than anything else, just like the ambient soundscapes and sound clips they incorporate to complete the picture.

The bottom-line is that this debut is amazing in more ways than one. It's a shame it took me so long to find them. I know I’m not the only one, so if you still haven’t heard their music, let this review be the one that gets you there. If you overlook the pretentious luxury label and you'll uncover something grand and understated.