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More through less. - 94%

LordBelketraya, April 15th, 2009

Up until a few years back I felt Peste Noire was a band that deserved to release proper full lengths and get their sickness more widespread to the world. Then in 2006 they released which is possibly their best work in 'La Sanie Des Siècles...' and they were on their way.

While plenty of people disliked 'Folkfuck Folie' I actually liked it a lot. Maybe it wasn't on the same level as the prior release I still like it nonetheless. But the overall consensus was that of a slight disappointment. Then we get a longer wait period between albums and a massive lineup change. Peste Noire now is practically a Famine solo project with different people to help out "his" vision. While I don't really like this I can't argue with the quality made here on the new release 'Ballade Cuntre Lo Anemi Francor'.

There's 10 tracks and you could really say that five of them are "real" tracks since the other five all clock in under two minutes. But the quality of those short "interludes" or ambient tracks don't detract from the overall feel of the album as a whole. They are short pieces which include female chanting, pianos, cymbal crashes, etc. While I'm not into females in black metal, she does lend some sort of relief or respite from the craziness and fury of Famine's voice and disturbed mind. But she does get on my nerves on track 5 (La France Bouge) with her singing. It gets to a point where we get that she can sing, but take a breather woman. She does deserve a solo release though.

Throught all the screams, disturbing sounds and sickness that spews from Famine's mind and lungs there is an absolutely BRILLIANT and creative musical talent that we have here. He is one of the most unique and boundary pushing guitarists and songwriters in black metal history. Of that I have no doubt. He does something that I always considered impossible or improbable, that is to take guitar writing and playing to new levels without "selling out" or genre changing. He is so underrated in that regard. On the title track he starts out with an acoustic guitar, slightly distorted and then slowly goes into a full electric guitar and uses folkish elements in the song, actually he tends to do this in most of his work.

Peste Noire is a deeply proud band of their homeland France, proudly singing in French and praising their deep and rich history pre-WW II. Using songs from their past poets and making them ballads of pride and even hatred. I don't think any other band really follows a similar path as them. Their songs are profoundly melodic, distorted and full of raw intense hatred. You can almost call them a "Hooligan Black Metal" band. Actually one of their songs from 'La Sanie des siècles...' is called 'Retour De Flamme (Hooligan Black Metal)' So I guess I should call it "Sophisticated Hooligan Black Metal" to be more precise.

My only gripe would be that Famine bring back Indria, Winterhalter and company in order to remain a "band" once again. I also would have liked more "songs" and less ambient interludes which took up half of the tracklisting. And lastly, less of the female singer, while she is a nice addition, less of her would be my suggestion. But then again, when you make an album this good who am I to argue with excellence? Good job Famine.