What happens when two experienced musicians put their heads together, grab a friend to play the drums and they begin to write new material? Well, in this case, the French trio took on the name Heaume Mortal, and their creative input has taken on a shape and size entitled Solstices – Marking them as a slow and somewhat monotonous Black Metal band.
Musically it quickly becomes clear that the band is a product of their time, drawing in heavy inspiration from many of the more modern, atmospheric approaches that Black Metal taken taken these days – Which is good news for me. Powerful atmosphere, melancholy (which they slightly delve into but by no means have as a primary focus), France and Black Metal are all wins in my book when done correctly.
The album itself has a very interesting composition, consisting of six tracks spanning almost an hour. All odd-numbered tracks are generally very long, ranging from between twelve and thirteen minutes, while the even-numbered are significantly shorter (half as long as a minimum).
This has the (I assume) benefit of the shorter tracks serving almost as a small introduction to the longer tracks, which is where Heaume Mortal truly shines – They expertly build up tension to a pressing degree and succesfully manage to keep the pressure constant (this also goes for the even-numbered tracks, mind).
As an added treat for fans of the Old-school Black Metal scene, Heaume Mortal has added a cover track from Burzum to their album – And quite a decent one at that. My favourite, however, would have to be the first track on the album entitled “Yesteryears”, which can be found below.
Recommended for fans of Burzum, Trautonist (to some extent) and Baume.