Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Peste Noire – L’Ordure a l’Etat Pur

I’m just going to right up front about this.  French black metal makes my dick hard.  Give me some Blut Aus Nord, Merrimack, or Deathspell Omega (best band name ever IMHO) and I’m a happy, happy guy.  I can’t tell you what it is that the French do with black metal that makes it a little bit different than other countries, but it definitely hits the sweet spot for me.

And lo and behold, here is a French band that I’m not familiar with, Peste Noire, but they definitely do it for me.  This is not for the faint of heart, as there are some long track lengths to deal with, the music is schizophrenic at times, and some of these tracks go down a rabbit hole that seems to just go deeper and deeper.  But it always ends well and it’s a very entertaining ride.

I got a chuckle out of the band credits, because one guy is actually credited with “chicken imitation”.  I kid you not.  Bet you’ve never seen that before.

Opening track “Casse, Peches, Fractures et Traditions” is ten minutes plus that will leave you wondering what you got yourself into.  It opens with very traditional black metal stylings that have you totally unprepared for what is coming.  That would be a section of the song that veers into very traditional sounding French accordion music.  Pretty sure there’s a tuba and trombone in there too.  Then back to the black stuff like nothing ever happened.  With the aforementioned chicken imitation.  And it totally works.

Next up is “Cochon Carotte et les soeurs Crotte”.  I remember enough high school French to know that cochon is “pig” and les soeurs Crotte would be “the Crotte sisters”.   The song breaks with tradition with a middle section that features an almost disco drum beat with all the normal black metal tremolo guitar and screams going on.  It’s these types of change ups that make this a very interesting album and easy to stick with through the song lengths.

In the middle we have 20 minute track “J’avais reve du Nord”, which I think has to do with dreaming of the North.  Again, an interesting treatment to this song in that it is several musical vignettes rather than one seamless track.  The first is almost industrial, then moves through various metal styles and even an acoustic section.  If there is a section that doesn’t appeal to you, wait 3 or 4 minutes and something else pops up.

Tracks 4 and 5, “Sale Famine von Valfoutre” and “La condi hu” respectively, stick more to traditional black metal, which, after everything that has gone on in the previous 3 tracks, is not a bad thing at all.  These folks are definitely good at what they do and the individuality of the music stands out all the way through.

I totally dig this album.  I will be the first to admit that it is not for everyone but what fun would that be if it was?  If you like black metal that takes some chances and even has a sense of humor you really should give this a shot.  Music should be more than something just playing in the background, and this will definitely make you perk up and pay attention to what is happening.  Highly recommended. 


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