This particular Split album is, as the name aptly suggests, a near-even split between two French Black Metal acts with similar enough soundscapes for it to make sense that they are present upon the same recording (much like an ‘A’ and ‘B’ side in days of old), yet at teh same time distinctively unique enough to be easily told apart.
The first act I want to pinpoint is Archvile King, a one-man act with a very thrashy feel that I previously had the pleasure of reviewing – And I can confidently say that he is riding his chosen musical approach more strongly than ever – His by now three years worth of experience under this particular moniker has definitely paid off. The music is fast tempo, catchy and not too overly serious (as is most evident by the inclusion of the track ”Gwyneth Paltrow Is A Lich”). Everything about Archvile King, to me, screams a live act, from the simplistic riffs, ludicrous lyrics and down-right ear-worm-adjacent overall feel can only be done full justice played at full volume in the middle of the night from some (preferrably) outdoor stage. All in all Archvile King donated four tracks to this particular release, adding up to a total runtime of roughly fifteen minutes, making it the shorter, but by far the more energetic tribute of the two present upon this erstwhile Split.
Archvile King is recommended for fans of Aura Noir and Agrypnia.
Simulacre, on the other hand, is far more traditional, being a French modern Black Metal quintet, one that I have sadly never dug my teeth into before – But thankfully, it is never too late. The band has been around, releasing recordings and performing live since 2014, with emphasis on the ‘lice’ part. So far they have an EP to their name and now, this Split with Archvile King. And while I sadly cannot compare their newest work to their former I will point out that the four tracks offered on this release paints a picture of a relentless, meticulous and intense group of people who know what they like and how they like it – And are willing to share it with the world, in their own pace.
Now, in case it didn’t come across clearly enough above (which is very possible; I have a tendency to be longwinded and go off on tangents), Simulacre offers very little new to the Black Metal genre as a whole. Instead, they have dug deep into what the modern Black Metal sound has shaped itself into and made a perfect example of it, spread across four tracks. As such, their contribution to this collaboration is fast, dirty, heavily distorted and with the occasional riff. Everything I know and love about the genre, all wrapped nicely around that evasive yet for me ever enticing hint of the French.
Simulacres addition to this record adds up to a grand total of twenty minutes and is heavily recommended for fans of 1349 and Ordinul Negru.