throane – derrière nous, la lumière (2016)

just look at the cover. gives an excellent clue about the nature of the music one is about to experience. i love french black metal, i love one man bands and i love gloomy music. so i would love throane, right?

right. such a happy coincidence that i came across the debut album (behind us, the light?) just 2 weeks after its release. the man behind the project, “dehn sora”, is noted for the artwork of other black metal album covers, including none other than blut aus nord.

the album, more of a collection of beautiful black metal soundscapes rather than conventional “songs”, conveys a heavy and thick feeling of darkness, desperation etc. to the listener. not one upbeat moment. the sound is deliberately deep, down tuned and cavernous, which gives a claustrophobic and uneasy feel. again, the sound and feel reminds the haunting moments of blut aus nord, which is a good thing, but without the avant-garde element. this is stripped down, untraditional, low to mid-tempo black metal anguish with sharp and unexpected turns and experimentation.

the album opens slowly and progresses ever so gradually and the songs take up where the previous one left. this continuation of themes and melodies lends the album a coherent structure, yet remaining chaotic and confusing. the layered and blending guitar sound is so 90’s black metal. reverbed high-pitched tremolos and occasional power chords. awesome. the drum work is masterful. anything but monotonous, the drumming follows the melody, leads it, strays from it, adding further elements into the fragmented soundscapes. the rhythm defining bass sound is loud, rather raw and brutal and complements the music wonderfully. the progression of the tempo, from ambient to mid-tempo, syncopated, puts the listener in expectation of an explosion of blast beats, which never come. oh and the vocals. again, look at the cover.

the feeling intensifies as the album progresses, with longer ambient passages of noise effects and finishes off with a peak experience closing song, just over half an hour, leaving me in awe and anticipation of following works. definitely the highlight of my week.

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