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Disparaître - Urchig Award winner

Disparaître
Urchig
by Mark Machlay at 29 June 2021, 6:56 AM

In the world of black metal, one can understand the want for secrecy and mystery to shade the members and overall message of a band, but DISPARAȊTRE have made my job very difficult in finding any information about the band at all. They have no proper Bandcamp page, no Facebook page in an official capacity and no clear website that I could find. Even Metal Archives has no members listed, yet has a nationality, French, which is coincidentally the only web site listed on the promo sheet I received from their label Naturmacht Productions. Despite all that missing information, I did manage to find out that the band has been around since at least 2018 when they released their first self-titled demo followed two years later by a second demo – succinctly titled “Demo 2” – in 2020. They were only released in limited quantities on cd – 50 copies for the former and 100 copies for the latter. Although, in the era of streaming, you can find them on other streaming platforms of course such as Youtube and the aforementioned Bandcamp, but Spotify only seems to have their self-titled first demo available to listen.

The rest of the promo for “Urchig” is just as sparse, offering only the one sentence description, “the third offering of DISPARAȊTRE dives into thick atmospheric spheres of a wintry walk in solitude through misty mountains”. It’s an aptly bleak description for this truly atmospheric black metal in the vein of TARDIGRADA, NONE, and VALLENDUSK, but also mixes in some depressive black metal with fuzzy guitars like constantly falling snow and strained, barely perceptible vocals – as if they are getting buried in an avalanche of said snow. With only three tracks to display, you would think the album would be quite short, but each track has a packed runtime – each around 10 minutes – making for a pretty weighty 30 minute runtime for an EP. The album title “Urchig” – German for “rustic” – fits right in with the cover image, conjuring up imagery of frozen tundra, isolated towns and enormous mountain peaks filled with cavernous, dark tunnels and caves to explore, to truly get lost in nature.

“Urchig” begins with suitably atmospheric synths with ambient, nature-centered background sounds of “La voûte étoilée”. It quickly abandons this soundscape for the traditional black metal sound – very fast tremolo picked guitar lines, blast beats and high, shrieking black metal vocal stylings. As mentioned, all the tracks are very long, dramatic and sitting in atmosphere of what feels like pure white noise of electric guitar havoc, evoking that blizzard of snow so thick you can’t even see a hand in front of your face. While I may not understand the lyrics, after looking them up they deal with a lot of similar themes of black metal bands – the pain of loss, grief, sadness, nihilism – but give a very distinctive flavor to them when sung in French. These are also common themes of French philosophers so it gives the whole album an air of authority. The centerpiece of the album “Nachtspinnärinnä” is wonderful, epic beast of a track starting with an oddly, discomforting opening to a capacious cavern of both ambient and atmospheric black metal. The production is deliciously modern as well, something that most black metal albums lack, choosing instead for a rather odd clarity between the instruments and the vocals. “Urchig” is an exquisitely crafted album, yet does not really reinvent the wheel. Proud, brutal, atmospheric black metal to put on to contemplate Nietzsche.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. La voûte étoilée
2. Nachtspinnärinnä
3. Tschäggätta
Lineup:
Unknown
Record Label: Naturmacht Productions
     


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