Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake2nd November 2016
Oceanwake – Sunless8th November 2016
Label: Antiq / Release Date: 22nd October 2016
Créatures represent one of those types of bands of which I, at at cursory glance, at least, have a severe penchant for. It is a French Black Metal band (to which I believe that I have admitted on at least quite a few occasions that I am partial), as well as a concept band (and you rarely go wrong when dealing with one of these). The bands name of Créatures refers to, as far as I have been able to gather at least, the severeal partially described monsters that is assaulting the fictional Le Noir Village, that the records title refers to. The concept part of the band, mind you, revolves around the fact that Le Noir Village is a six-track opus telling the story of a city under attack by various classical horror monsters. Each track represent a different version of the story told by a different narrator (symbolized by a different vocalist on each track), as well af several odd-found instruments found within the Black Metal genre to different tracks in order to give them a distinct, traditional horror feel. Among these unusual instruments can be mentioned a thomine, a churh organ, a trumpet and the slightly more common piano and violin. Overall this makes each track radically different from both its predecessor and successor (due to the varying difference in musical outlet as well as the introduction of a new, either male or female, vocalist on said track). This is, however, very well fitting with the overall chaotic feel one might experience when being under siege by one or several unknown monsters of unknown intent. This difference in sound also means that the one-man band takes in themes and ideas more commonly found in other types of music, such as Death Metal, Doom Metal and Gothic Metal, to some extent. It should be noted, however, that at its core Le Noir Village is a Black Metal album, albeit a very experimental one at that. It is very well developed and executed however, with an eye for detail which makes it work quite well. An example of this can be found in the fact that, despite being performed solely in their native French (and with me not understanding a single word), Créatures still manage to convey their intent quite efficiently through emotional cues within the music.
As is always the case with concept albums of this type, I will recommend listening to the first track on the album (which is entitled ”L’Horreur des Lunes Pleines”), and then listen all the way through the hour for the best and most intense experience.
Recommended for fans of Malevolentia and Who Dies in Siberian Slush.