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Herrschaft - Le Festin du Lion Award winner

Herrschaft
Le Festin du Lion
by Ricardo “Lebzul” Brenes at 18 July 2021, 9:03 AM

This review has turned into something special for me in many ways. Let’s start by saying that this is not what you’ll usually find in my playlist, or at least, it wasn’t till now. Even though I can listen to most rock related styles and genres, mixes and experiments even out of the metal realm, the last few years I’ve reduced somehow, how much time I dedicate to those genres or styles where not too many artists have found their way into my daily dose of music. Through the years, as well, there have been “seasons” where I haver explored some genres deeply and have found some personal faves that I like to play every now and then. That was the case with the whole Darkwave, Synth and Electro/Techno-metal stuff I used to listen to in the early 90’s. Nowadays, the closest I’d be to listening to an Electro-Industrial or Techno- Metal sounding band would perhaps be Fear Factory, which I like a lot, and are far from being the case here.

Back in time, the likes of HOCICO, VN NATION, VELVET ACID CHRIST, WUMPSCUT and GOD MODULE, to name a few, would be a part of my regular sonic dosage, and I enjoyed it much, till it just became something else, and my deeper roots into pure metal brought me back to the original path. “Le Festin du Lion”, by French duet HERRSCHAFT, who have been active since 2004, brought me back to those days and even made me somehow, yearn them. The album is a pleasing experience. It is evil, it is very varied yet well-aligned with a thematic and purpose. Every song provides a different experience. Most metal records are too straight-lined when it comes to sound and compositions, yet here, I have found an enormous flexibility to move from one extreme to another, without losing identity. You just can’t judge this album by listening to one or two tracks.

Even if it is not the sound of a new age of metal, because it has been successfully done before, it is pretty much, style defining and outstanding among its peers because there is not that disgusting Pop vibe in it that I personally dislike a lot. This is metal at its core, with a futuristic twist, mean man and mean machine put together into one real badass monster, separating them from other modern acts in the field like SEMGRL or BLUE STAHLI or CELLDWELLER.

I will do my best to dissect a few of my favorite tracks and provide some other details on the run. Starting with the opening track “Technosatan”. You might take this titlet as a joke or a fun game of words to fit the music, but it goes way beyond that. Not only on this song, but across the album you get to see things from the God and Satan perspective. In “Technosatan”, it is the devil who mocks his friend God about how he’s been a major loser in the gambling for souls for quite long. It is an upbeat track like most in this album, there is an interesting balance between the electro-techno elements and the metal part of the whole. The vocals are raspy most of the time, I like them, there is evil and there is suffering in them.

There is quite a good dose of nihilism in the album, songs like “Stray Dog”, “New World Order” and “The Great Fire” are good examples of this. “The Great Fire” is my favorite so far. Lyrics are written from the God perspective on this one, looking down on his creation, sick with regret, wanting to end it all. I am from Latin America, Panama to be more precise. We, are not particularly known for our metal scenes but rather for the cumbia, reggaeton and other filthy crap that comes out of this region, music you “dance” to. I am not much of a dancer, but if I ever feel like dancing, it would be to this type of music and songs like “The Great Fire”, it is a mixed sensation of wanting to party, dancing and headbanging all at once.

Most of my favorites are on the second half of the album, yet I wouldn’t skip a track when listening to it. “The White Russians” offers a trippy but energetic song with a mysterious atmosphere and a motto to live by: “just go die and party hard” and which probably best describes the whole album. “Hate Me” closes this chapter with very nice guest vocals and a little more of a goth/darkwave vibe. Even though this may be the most “Disco-friendly” song here, the lyrics are filled with venom, contrasting beautifully with the music… “My love is a flower which needs your tears to water which needs your pain to blossom which needs your hate to grow higher, I said my love is a flower, of which your hate gives the colors, its roots go deep into your heart, I will make you suffer”.

There many are great things about this album, which is now being re-released by Time Tomb Prodcutions on transparent red vinyl, limited to 100 copies. If you want to get out of your comfort zone metal-wise speaking, for most of us, you have to try this album. If you are already a fan of the genre, then this is a jewel you will cherish. I do, and now among all the doom, death, grindcore and other atrocities I listen to, you’ll also fin this band.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship:  0
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Technosatan
2. How Real Men Do
3. Stray Dog
4. But I know
5. Le Festin du Lion
6. New World Order
7. Behind this Smokescreen
8. The Great Fire
9. The White Russians
10. Hate Me
Lineup:
Max – Vocals, electronics
Z(O)E - Guitars, Bass, Effects, Electronics, Programming
Record Label: Time Tombs Productions
     


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