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One that's for the fans who know what to expect - 65%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 1st, 2013

Quite why Forteresse released this demo after several other releases puzzled me at first as it contains no new material but then I found they released it just before a tour with Celestia. At least two songs on the demo come off the first album "Metal Noir Quebecois", one from the second album "Les Hivers de Notre Epoque" and the fourth from an EP "Traditionalisme" so the release is a fair summary of the band's first couple of years.

The first song "La moisson de la Liberte" plunges straight into what Forteresse do best which is dense showers of acid black metal guitar minimalist noise clothed in righteous aggression and the love of the land of Quebec, its forests, tundra plains and snowy winters, and the desire for Quebecois autonomy. The track rarely varies and trills along at speed while a harsh vocal screeches at the top of its range. The music is consistent and solid throughout. Just as the song ends, the next track "Foret d'Automne" picks up the speed and mood of the first track and races along, albeit with a slightly different rhythm and set of riffs. There's hardly much room for instrumental soloing or developing a melody. At one point in the song, the pace actually slows down a little and goes into a different riff loop.

"Deluge Blanc" continues the barrage and screaming at an even more shrill and manically trilling vibrato strings pace. The vocals are even more screechy and urgent, especially towards the end where someone picks up a megaphone and yells declamations while lead guitar repeats a trilling loop continuously. The title track distinguishes itself by more complex percussion than in the previous three tracks put together and a driving rhythm guitar that's a welcome relief from the shrill repetitive looping.

Not much variety in the songs is to be found here and the quartet tends to sound like variations on one mega-work with each succeeding song outdoing the previous in urgency, screeching and manic tearaway guitar-strumming. Perhaps the intended effect is to flood the brain with such speedy and harsh looping evoking a huge snow-storm that a trance-like mood is engendered. While the playing is consistent and good, and the singing verges on nutty and deranged melodrama, I can't see that this short release will attract and please anyone other than long-time fans who know exactly what to expect.