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A call to arms, a cry against alienated urban life - 95%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, March 27th, 2014

Plenty on this early demo by Peste Noire to like ... it features Neige on drums as well as Famine on everything else ... it has that raw production and sound reminiscent of the French Black Legions bands ... and one track "Spleen" is the poem of the same name by 19th-century poet (and critic of urban life and the modern experience as alienating and ephemeral) Charles Baudelaire! Plus the recording spews out anger, desperation, sorrow and loathing for modern industrial life and the ways in which it dehumanises people and traps them within physical, mental, economic and social prisons with spirit and energy.

The demo begins with a virtual war cry in the first very short track: it's a call to arms, a call to listeners to take up the cause against the strictures and modern institutions that keep them suffering. Immediately following is "Le mort joyeux", a furious screeching piece with vocals thick with rage, thundering (if tinny-sounding) drums and storm clouds of steaming acid-burning guitars. In a song of just over 5 minutes, the Peste Noire musicians pack in bursts of blast-beat drumming, surging guitar melodies and riffs full of feeling and intensity, and shrill lead guitar solos that race manically over the rest of the music.

Slap-bang in the middle of the demo is "666 millions d'esclaves et de dechets" (which sort of means "666 million slaves and wasted ones", my translation), a crazed mixture of thumping angry monster percussion, roaring dinosaur voices in the background, angular stuttering riffs, acid guitar showers that strip flesh and burn away bone, and madly bubbling boiling lead guitar melodies. Unexpectedly there is room for a mellow and surprisingly gentle clean-toned guitar tune in amongst the swirling music. The track comes across as a collection of short bursts of music all loosely connected and Famine finds space for some brief self-indulgent lead guitar finger-twiddling. (Trying to purge himself of all his old influences, I suppose.) This track paradoxically comes close to being quite experimental in its structure and in its musically inclusive nature.

"Spleen" is a fairly calm and settled track for what it is - the lyrics express alienation from modern life, despair and loss of hope - and the singing, concentrating on the words, is more controlled than it has been so far with few shrieks and screams. Emotion is expressed by long lead guitar soloing. The final track features snatches of found sound recordings

For a short recording at 26 minutes in length, this demo seems a lot longer, there is so much music that has been packed into it. Rarely do Peste Noire repeat themselves here. There is little to fault on this work though listeners might wish that all the tracks were a bit longer by a few minutes! The entire recording sounds as if the musicians have thrown themselves heart and soul into every moment they play. Darkness, anger, desperation and hatred surge or rush out of the loudspeakers with sheer intensity.

With this and other early recordings, Peste Noire have made a name for themselves with incredibly raw and emotional music railing against the physical and psychological chains of modern Western civilisation. As they see it, death is preferable to such a slave existence ... hence "macabre transcendance".

Insane Transcendence... - 100%

cinedracusio, November 3rd, 2005

This is for sure one of the most worthy black metal demo in the last years, maybe the best of all demos that popped up in France.
The drums sound canny, but retaining a really raw and bleak feeling, like the music is. Oh, and who the fuck said that French is an ass language in black metal? Just listen to those vocals. The vocals are a dual attack, the main vocalist is a high-pitched venom spitting machine, while the other sounds like a beast that rose from its grave: demonic, low and tortured. And there can be found several extremely powerful and hateful screams (like the scream in the opening of "The Mort Joyeux") that at first made me run and hide in the bathroom. The guitars are the focusing point of this. Obviously, Peste Noire is not a joke band at all. The riffs are diverse and complex, creating a bitter overall sound, but no wankery allowed. And solos... they are something excellent at this band, with a high, piercing tone and no slopiness.Something special amongst the black metal elite, showing that atmosphere and musicianship do together very well in a release of this type. Even if I tried, I could find no takedown in this record.
Kill them all!!!! After you bought this, of course. It will piss you off for sure.

Macabre Transcendence... - 100%

Vour_Tuer, December 31st, 2004

To a lot of people, Peste Noire is the best French black metal act since The Black Legions. The production on this demo reminds me highly of the raw, primitive production used on those early Black Legions demos, which is a good thing. This style of production fits perfectly here.

The music on this demo creates extreme feelings of hatred, disgust, anger and depression. Whenever a song starts to get a little boring the structure will change at the perfect time; something which a lot of bands fail to pull off. There is the odd clean guitar interlude, which, like Mutiilation before them, creates a rather depressing and painful sound. The vocals are utterly horrendous, sickening high pitched screams that sound very sick and really help to create the hateful and depressing atmosphere. They also have some extremely brilliant guitar leads that really fit in well.

Ultimately this is one of the best demos released in a long time and quite possibly my favourite demo released by Drakkar, which is a very hard thing to say with the plethora of brilliant demos they`ve has released over the years.

If sickeningly grim black metal is your type of thing and you`re not afraid of Black Legions style production you really owe it to yourself to get this demo. In `05 Drakkar will be releasing the new Peste Noire album entitled `Les Salisseurs de Lumiere` I implore anyone who likes this type of thing to pick it up.

Peste Noire will corrupt and destroy your soul! - 100%

Foret_Noire, December 29th, 2004

Peste Noire's 2002 demo is by far one of the most hateful and destructive demos that has ever graced the french black metal scene. The sound is completely raw and hateful. Listening to this demo, you will feel your soul being raped and destroyed by this raw assault of black metal warfare! Unlike many black metal releases, this band incorporates a good deal of solos without overdoing it. These solos are dark and very harsh. The vocals on this album are plain disgusting. The intensity of the vocals on this release is more hateful than most black metal that's coming out of france. This is the fucking black metal album. I have rarely seen something composed with so much hate and destruction that devours your soul. Peste Noire really puts themselves into this music and make something special. A rare gem in the black metal scene. I don't think i've heard anything as hateful as this demo since the days of the black legions. This is truely one of the best demos i have ever fucking heard! You have not heard black metal until this demo has destroyed your soul!

Awesome riffs with awesome leads - 87%

KayTeeBee, October 25th, 2004

Another awesome French black metal release! This contains five songs, and has awesome riffs. What sets this album apart from most other black metal bands is the use of leads. I rarely hear a black metal song that has strong leads, but the leads in this are simply awesome. Always keeping a very hateful sound in all of their songs, Peste Noire is probably the grimmest of the grimmest. Whenever I feel extremely pissed I listen to this album... you get it. My favourite song on this demo is "666 Millions d'Esclaves et de D├ęchets". Starts off with an amazing lead, and it's amazing simply because of the incredible raw riffs. It gives me a huge hatred feeling. The best thing is that whenever it starts to get repetitive, whenever you thing it should end, a NEW riff comes in, and it's always different. Just check out the lead at 5:10, and you'll
see what I mean. This song alone gives the demo a +5%. It's that simple, this demo should please every fan of the genre!