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Neige Morte – IIII

Neige Morte
IIII
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 19 June 2020, 11:48 AM

NEIGE MORTE is a Black Metal band from Lyon, France. This is their fourth full-length album and first since 2017. For people that don’t know, NEIGE MORTE means Dead Snow in English. In my first listen, I can safely say that they are not only a Black Metal Band but they have integrated a number of Avant-Garde Noise elements in their music. I am really not a fan of Black Metal and it’s been my Achilles heel for the last two decades pretty much but I can enjoy some Atmospheric Black Metal bands and bands that can bring something else to the table. Away are the times of bad production values and the minimalist approach to this kind of music.

I think their approach is refreshingly unique and menacingly sinister. There is a morbid intensity that I haven’t seen in a Black Metal band in some time. It’s not something you really listen to, you are meant to experience the whole album like a thunderstorm or something equivalent. You really have to be in the right mindframe to understand this album. You have those agonizing screams, screeching backing vocals and sometimes noise coming out of the guitar that you can’t pinpoint. It’s a bit creepy but the fact that it clocks under 30 minutes is the right decision. It could have been drawn out to something twice as long and thankfully they stuck to a very short album.

You absolutely have that shock and awe factor wailing down on you throughout the album and those occasional whispery growls sound a bit too much for my taste but it does give the intended effect on the listener persay. The alternate screams and wailing does get on the nerves after a while but the overall atmosphere of the Noise and the Black Metal elements kinda leaves that in the dust. The uniqueness is the primary factor why it does work and you are drawn to this horror-esque escapade. It’s very gloomy and yet quite chaotic at times. Sometimes I feel the music is directionless and there is no rhyme or reason. I know you want to do something different but going each way at the same time is not the right approach.

It’s an abstract way to present the material and a bit more refined Black Metal than we have been bombarded this last decade or so. It’s disturbing, it’s haunting and it gives you the chills. The Noise elements are brought to the masses and give it that extra gear. It goes off in a tangent that you are not accustomed to and draws the listener into this void of evil and disturbia.

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Call
2. Hlcst
3. Svart Hal
4. And Beyond
5. Lamna Inga Spar
6. Iceage
7. IIII
Lineup:
SA – Guitars and Vocals
JG – Drums
SG – Bass
Record Label: Division Records
     


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