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Baume – Août Approche

Août Approche
by Gary Hernandez at 16 November 2020, 4:40 PM

BAUME is an Experimental Post-Metal project hailing from Paris, France and the mind of Juif Gaetan. On October 09, 2020 Juif released the project’s fourth EP, “Août Approche” (trans: “August Approach”). The EP is a significant departure from the darker and heavier Atmospheric Black Metal that you may be accustomed to from Juif, including BAUME’s earlier releases and those of CEPHEIDE and RANCE.

“Août Approche” spans five tracks and just clears the 30-minute mark. It’s an amorphous ecosphere of synths, electronic drums, melodic but distant tremolo, and a functional bassline. Woven throughout is a French spoken word narrative recited in a laconic, dispassionate meter that suggests poetry. As I don’t speak French, I can’t really give pass judgement on the content.

If you purport to be an experimental project, then experiment is what you gotta do . . . and not all experiments are destined to be great. As the project’s name translates to “balm,” perhaps Juif’s intent is to step into the space that word evokes and explore the softer side of the music continuum. If that was his intent, then he succeeds. We’re talking relaxing, calming stuff that reminds me of crystals, incense, and over-priced herbal tea with no caffeine.

Juif seems to be an artist dedicated to his craft and whatever his statement happens to be. I am not questioning his creativity, just his delivery within the fluid parameters of what is generally accepted as Metal. And, yes, I understand that as “experimental” and “post-metal,” things like parameters and boundaries don’t really count. It’s not about coloring in the lines, but outside of them and even off the page and into transcendental, liminal space Got it. Still didn’t like it.

I should note that Juif also created the album artwork, which is haunting and emotive. In addition, he collaborated with Thomas Soudan on fairly riveting video for “Rien Ne Dure” (trans: “Nothing Lasts”) linked below. I believe the plan is to create one video for each track.

I’m going to leave off this one quickly. Personally, there weren’t any tracks that appealed to me, but you can’t argue taste or opinion. Well, you obviously can, as the entire social media universe will attest to, but I won’t. My recommendation is to check out the video linked below, give them a listen on Bandcamp, and judge for yourself. If you like them, voice your view by purchasing their work and supporting the scene.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 5
Memorability: 2
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1.    Rien Ne Dure
2.    Blessures Nuptiales
3.    Un Calme Entre Les Tempêtes
4.    Dans Les Mystères De La Dissolution
5.    Août Approche
Juif Gaetan – All instruments, vocals, guitars, keyboards, drums
Record Label: Mallevs Records


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