Thursday, June 16, 2011

Peste Noire - "L'Ordure à l'état Pur" (2011) [La Mesnie Herlequin]

Oh, French black metal scene, how I love you so. Bringing about some of the greatest black metal bands around, such as Deathspell Omega, Blut aus Nord, Antaeus and of course Peste Noire (and many, many more). One of the greatest things about this black metal scene is that there is such a staggering amount of variety and exploration, and none present that moreso than Peste Noire.

From a quick glance at the tracklist, one can note that there are only five tracks on the album, clocking in at a total of just over one hour, and with the shortest track being over eight minutes. For Peste Noire, that’s something very different. L'Ordure à l'état Pur starts with Casse, Pèches, Fractures et Traditions and one soon notices that there is a fairly more crisp production than in previous records, and one which proves to suit the music very well. The song jumps around a lot, as does the album as a whole, but not in a rushed or speedy manner; in fact, it all blends very well together. From the wolves howling at the beginning of the song, to brass instruments and folk-like interludes blending along to Famine’s shrieks, and even brief operatic vocals, as well as much more; Casse is a great introduction to the album.

With the beginning of the second track, things start to change. Just moments after the guitars begin, we hear… electronic beats? I personally don’t find the beats in this song enjoyable, they just don’t mix well, and bring down what would otherwise be another good track. This changes, however, with the third track, a 20 minute epic entitled J’avais rêvé du Nord. Following sound samples of guns being cocked and a shot fired, the song delves into a sinister and very appropriate beat along with equally dark guitar riff, later developing to acoustic interludes with Audrey’s beautiful vocals, and of course a variety of grimy and not so grimy Peste Noire riffs.  The rest of the album continues a similar fashion (sans anymore electronic beats) with long, drawn out songs that manage to keep the listeners interest without a problem.

Some fans of Peste Noire might not be happy about the cleaner production, or about the electronic beats, and so on, but of course, Famine doesn’t care, and neither should you. My initial impression of L’Ordure was weird. It’s different, but a good different, and one worth exploring through a good few listens. This is an album that needs to be digested well in order to fully appreciate it.

Listen to the first track Casse, Pèches, Fractures et Traditions and order it as well, straight from Famine’s label La Mesnie Herlequin at:


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