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Seide – Auakistla Award winner

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 01 March 2021, 9:46 AM

SEIDE is a French black metal band who formed in 2007. "Auakistla" is their third full length album. They also released a demo in 2009. When people think "brutal", death metal is the genre that comes to mind. But SEIDE begs to differ. For crushing power "Auakistla" rivals just about any death metal I've heard in the last year. It isn't one particular element that makes this album so goddamn musically dense. All the instruments and vocals as a whole come together for a huge cataclysmic sound. This album has layers and many nuances among its varied nook and crannies that just give it a rich, full sound.

Despite that, this album does not sound huge in an epic or extravagant way. No…this is black metal and it sounds dirty, dark and just…threatening. Imagine, if you will, a hole that leads to some unending abyss of pain. Now, again, imagine you fell down this hole. Now imagine once more that music is playing during your descent. This album is what you would be hearing.

The first track "Les Repus d'Avant l'Apocalypse" slathers on the hard riffs immediately. Drumming that is both chaotic and tightly focused takes the helmet along with truly fucked up vocals. Moments later the band dials it back with clean notes that allows the bass to take front stage. All the while, the vocals change, each form more twisted than the last. The song builds back up, each filthy piece coming together as the speed builds ramps up once more.

As evident by this song, nothing about this album is comfortable. Even the "lighter" moments where the guitars or bass dial back are designed to keep you feeling uneasy and on guard. "La Bête humaine" is already at the mouth of madness with guitar that swirls and wraps around the drums before allowing the song to rip loose into this wild, not at all calmly groove. The band settles into this movement for awhile, the bass taking a separate walk from the guitars but it all somehow works correctly.

Around the 1:50 mark, the song subtlety switches gears, like a mind slowly succumbing to madness over time. The songs mid portion is partly riff based but then the lead guitar takes over to provide what amounts to melody on this album. "Noche Triste" is weird from the start, what with the spoken repeating words. Parts of this song are more along the lines of straight forward black metal but the stopping and starting in the song's early moments ensures the band won't play it safe. The mid section is a cacophony of vocals stretched beyond human limits, a blitzkrieg of drums and sick riffs that give the sing a feeling of slipping away.

The last track "Sécheresse" is creepy and gives off uneasy vibes. The build up is clever and almost post like as it leads into blackened fury around the minute and a half mark. At its height, the lead guitar goes crazy before the song slows down to a swampy dirge with groove laden riffs and rumbling drums. The saxophone that appears around the five minute mark is a nice touch. Sometimes I feel the instrument is over used in metal but it is wholly effective here.

All in all this one of the better black metal albums I have reviewed this year.  The journey it took me on was hellish and even scary but it also offered plenty of reward. Highly recommended.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Les Repus d'Avant l'Apocalypse
2. Exécrable Créature
3. La Bête Humaine
4. La Danse des Pendus
5. Feu De Joie
6. Noche Triste
7. Insectes
8. Sécheresse
Count D. - Vocals
Shub Niggurath – Guitars
Wotan – Bass
Naar Zeroth – Drums
Record Label: Throats Productions


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Edited 11 April 2021

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