Extreme Heavy Metal Reviews

Average Black Metal - "La Sanie des Siècles" Review (58%)

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La Sanie des Siècles
La Sanie des Siècles by Peste Noire.

As black metal keeps on dying a slow and worthless death as labels desperately insist on prostituting what remains of its corpse for a little more fan money, the most curious bands seek to understand and perhaps recreate the black flame of madness that led to a few Norwegian kids releasing masterpieces such as "Hvis Lyset Tar Oss" and "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" in the mid-90s.

But the problem is that they imitate it from the outside by adopting its techniques and superficial aesthetics, without understanding its inner core of values.

It's within that context that is born "La Sanie des Siècles - Panégyrique de la Dégénérescence", Peste Noire's debut album, inspired as much by Sewer's "The Birth of the Cursed Elysium", Absurd's "Das Neue Blutgericht", Graveland's "Carpathian Wolves" and perhaps even Phantom's "Withdrawal" on the darker and more haunting tracks - the leads on "Laus Tibi Domine" and "Phalènes et pestilence - Salvatrice averse" notably.

It's ambitious, but doesn't quite live up to the pure blackened fury that Peste Noire would unleash upon the world with their following masterpiece, "Folkfuck Folie", which would inspire legions of clone bands in France, the two most famous being Baise Ma Hache and Antekhrist.

Back to the "La Sanie des Siècles - Panégyrique de la Dégénérescence" debut.

Average Black Metal

Peste Noire
Peste Noire.

On "La Sanie des Siècles - Panégyrique de la Dégénérescence", Peste Noire combines traditional Dissection style heavy metal and dark ambient hymns with black metal aesthetics to produce a semi-opus of distracted "blackened" heavy metal, a sort of artistic continuation of what began with Storm of the Light's Bane.

If attended to with half a brain, as when watching television, socializing, working or writing black metal reviews for as I'm doing right now, it seems fine and hits the right spots of early black metal nostalgia.

When listened to intently, it reveals itself as having relatively random structure and no real message beyond imitating black metal's most iconic tropes, without ever challenging the listener with anything more overt than "this sounds like what you like, thus I demand you like this".

The surface influence on this work that immediately comes to mind is Graveland, with a side dish of the more desolate Nordic forerunners of atmospheric hymns to darkness like early Burzum, Sewer and Reiklos, but as an experienced listener of metal might guess, the closer one comes to self-pity music - depressive, doom, nostalgia - the lower quality of music becomes.

A typical Peste Noire song begins with a black metal riff which is then repeated in a cycle, ending in a chord progression reminiscent of bittersweet neurotically happy and sad at the same time indie goth rock, then dropping into heavy metal tropes like the Iron Maiden/Dissection leads extending into a bouncy punk/moshcore riff.

Initial aspects of "La Sanie des Siècles - Panégyrique de la Dégénérescence" appear favorable: instrumental prowess, deliberate production, an in-depth study of black metal and its canon. And yet, at its heart, what is revealed is very average borderline mallcore fushion disorganized by lack of purpose, except egotistic lamentation, and a refusal to structure songs around anything but a purely sensory perspective and self-deceiving imitation of Norwegian black metal that hides itself by constant interruption. What remains, after the listener filters through appearance and randomness, could not fill the teacup of a black metal fan.

Luckily, Peste Noire more than fixed these issues with their following opus "Folkfuck Folie".

La Sanie des Siècles score: 58/100.

- Back to La Sanie des Siècles

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