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Another black metal force from Quebec - 75%

Paganbasque, May 18th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, Digital, Sepulchral Productions (Bandcamp)

It´s time to return to one of the most prolific and respected black metal scenes in the world, the one of Quebec. This Canadian region is well-known due to its strong pro-independence movement. This time and contrary to other highly rated bands, I am reviewing a band with, as far as I know, no political connections at least, if we speak about the lyrical contents of their albums. The band is called Délétère and it was formed in 2009 by Atheos and Thorleïf, who have been the unique permanent members of this project, only accompanied by several musicians who helped them in the studio or on stage. Both members have previous experience in excellent bands like Forteresse or Utlagr, just to say they are strongly connected to the extreme metal scene of Quebec. Though the band exists for nine years, they have only released two albums, the excellent debut 'Les Heures de la Peste' and the new opus 'De Horae Leprae'.

The new effort has a similar concept as the debut album. The lyrics deal with medieval times, and specifically with death and mortal diseases. This time, the album´s concept seems to deal with leprosy, another disease very frequent in the medieval times. Musically speaking, Délétère continues with the tradition settled by other bands of the scene. The band plays a kind of aggressive black metal, focused on powerful riffs melodic and atmospheric. If I should compare the band´s sound to, for example, Forteresse, I would say that Délétère has a darker approach fitting perfectly well with the tenebrous lyrical concept the band develops. The second track, “Cantus II-Sagina Caedencis”, is a fine example of somber guitar chords, which open the song and later accompany the main guitar riffs. But it´s not the unique example of this somber tone as a song like “Cantus V-Figura Dysphila” has also some especially dark sections. Though the album has in general terms a very aggressive tone and was very focused on creating powerful riffs, the band adds, from time to time, some elements to enrich its musical offer. For example, the opening track, “Cantus I-Teredinis Lepra” or the fourth song, “Cantus IV-Inopia et Morbo”, have occasional keys sounding like an organ, which of course fits with the medieval concept behind the band´s music. This use is increased in the last track, “Cantus IX-Oratio Magna”, my favourite song, as it sounds more medieval and atmospheric than any other song of the album, mainly thanks to these organs. What about the vocals? Well, I can safely say that Thorleïf delivers as a vocalist. His screams are powerful and high-pitched, they are easily audible as the production is quite good, raw enough, but with the majority of the instruments and the vocals themselves, easily distinguishable. Vocally speaking, we also find tiny tries to add some variety as the band introduces some clean vocals, which sound like a dark choir, very medieval yet again, tough they are scarcely used in songs like “Cantus II-Ichthus Os Tremoris”. The album has overall a quite fast pace, though the drums have a healthy combination of blast-beasts and slightly slower sections, almost never really slow but something between fast and mid-paced patterns, which obviously help to create non-monorithmic songs.

To sum up, Délétère has released a very good sophomore album which I wouldn´t define as a masterpiece, but a very enjoyable black metal album with some nice touches, which make it an interesting listen. Very recommendable if you follow the excellent black metal scene of Quebec.

Originally written for "www.thepitofthedamned.blogspot.com."