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Les Discrets - Prédateurs Award winner

Les Discrets
by Erika Kuenstler at 22 May 2017, 8:21 PM

Towards the end of last year, I got the opportunity to review “Virée Nocturne”, the new EP of LES DISCRETS, a French Post Black Metal/Shoegaze band. The EP unfortunately left me less than blown away: striking off into fairly unchartered territory on that release, I sometimes got the feeling that they were trying to be too unique, merely ending up with an assortment of influences that didn’t belong together. Given that they were using this EP to whet the appetite for this new full-length album “Prédateurs”, I was honestly expecting the worst. But yet again, LES DISCRETS manage to surprise, conjuring a unique and multifaceted release out of the ether.

Starting off with the intro “Prédateurs”, a macabre story is underpinned by an uneasy atmosphere, setting the stage for the story to come. This gives way to the dreamy and lugubrious “Virée Nocturne”, which was previously released on the EP bearing the same name. Velveteen somber tones are borne on soft guitar work, which is carefully interwoven with filigree celestial samples, tying ethereal realms to the world through minimalistic and down-tempo drum-work. This seamlessly melts into the faster-paced “Les Amis De Minuit” in which an almost tropical atmosphere is combined with a gossamer melody with crooned vocals in French, giving rise to a completely unique sound. “Vanishing Beauties” on the other hand has a completely different feel again, weaving almost psychedelic tones into a tapestry of bittersweet sadness. In contrast to this, “Fleur Des Murailles” sees a fragile melody gradually blossoming into a darker yet minimalistic song. “Le Reproche” will also be familiar to those who have listened to the “Virée Nocturne” EP, with a sensual song taking wing. “Les Jours D'Or” features some really sublime work, although I can’t shake the feeling that I recognise the main guitar riff from somewhere. I can’t place my finger on it, but it definitely has a very familiar feel. That aside, this song is truly beautiful, with guitars and vocals duetting back and forth, weaving an ethereal melody. “Rue Octavio Mey” has a gentle innocence to it, although the synth sections can be a bit overly piercing here when compared to the tranquility of the remaining instruments. Taking the penultimate spot is “The Scent of Spring”, where LES DISCRETS take minimalism to a completely new level, all the while managing to keep the song gripping and spellbinding. Finally we have the dreamy “Lyon - Paris 7h34”, a short affair consisting predominantly of crackling white noise, but providing the perfect bookends to the album along with opener “Prédateurs”.

My biggest gripe with the “Virée Nocturne” EP was that LES DISCRETS had bitten off more than they could chew in terms of trying to combine too many influences and sounds into a coherent whole. I was hardly overly impressed by the EP, and honestly was half expecting to have the same opinion of “Prédateurs”. However, what we find instead is a stunning album that really ties together all of the influences perfectly. “Prédateurs” makes us reflect not only on the world we live in, but also on our place in this world and the impact we have on it. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for an immersive listen that will take you on a journey through myriad different soundscapes.

Originality: 9
Songwriting: 8
Production: 8
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Prédateurs
2. Virée Nocturne
3. Les Amis De Minuit
4. Vanishing Beauties
5. Fleur Des Murailles
6. Le Reproche
7. Les Jours D'Or
8. Rue Octavio Mey
9. The Scent Of Spring (Moonraker)
10. Lyon - Paris 7h34
Fursy Teyssier – lead vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Audrey Hadorn – spoken vocals
Record Label: Prophecy Productions


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