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A tough, uncompromising raw BM work - 73%

NausikaDalazBlindaz, February 15th, 2015

Sombre Chemin's first recording is a tough and uncompromising work of harsh black metal. The band lets fly with the title track which covers extremes of frenzy, aggression and unbearable anguish in its acid-attack tremolo guitars, blastbeat drums and ghostly vocals. This song sets the tone for what's to follow in other tracks: angry minimalist music in a hurry with streams of distorted biting guitar riffing in downpour with voices in torment, synthesiser wash drama and the occasional moment of quiet. Occasionally the singing gets carried away with itself and the yelps veer a bit to close to hammy kitsch. "Lumière d'un matin" provides a brief minute or so of tremulous dark ambient stillness, a short glimpse into the light of otherwise unending blackness and despair. As the album resumes its runaway rocket approach, melody becomes prominent ("Sombre chemin") and a sense of desperation builds up in the repetition, the addition of organ backing and the ongoing screaming ("Ma fosse sera glaciale").

The singing does get quite ragged and monotonous, and more variety in the vocals would have been welcome. The overall sound is generally clean and gives the songs a cold clarity that suits the menacing nature of some of the vocals. It also makes the guitars feather-light and while this means the bass can be heard very clearly, this does lead to there being less power and aggression in the songs than the band might have wished for. The drums are fairly light as well and again this robs the demo of the force it should have.

What stands out most in the demo is the raw expressive nature of the music: most of the time it's intensely brutal, angry and belligerent but there are moments of deep heartfelt sadness. In spite of the general lightweight style of the recording, this is still a good introduction to the band's music.