Chuck Schuldiner Project

Friday, January 16, 2015

Glaciation - Sur les Falaises de Marbre

Whereas some people would consider starting off the year with a depressive black metal album review as a recipe for bad karma, I, for one could not have wished for a better way to kick things off for 2015. Glaciation are a band hailing from Paris, France, formed in 2011. The main idea of this black metal project was to pay tribute to the golden age of the genre, as stated by the band and the title of their debut release "1994". However, contrarily to what one would expect musically from Glaciation with regards to these statements, their sound is definitely one that stands out of the black metal genre, let alone the "Trve Black Metal" genre.  
 The band plays a form of depressive black metal tainted with what I would qualify as a "Post-black" metal touch: take the raw yet melancholic sound of black metal from the likes of Lifelover or Ulvers' Bergtatt, blended with the ferocity and creative ambition of post-black metal acts. Taking the core feature of the black metal genre such as the blast beat, the grim tremolo picked riffs and the buzzing distorted guitar tones, Glaciation recontextualize such elements in order to craft a sound of their own. Now, 4 years after the release of their first full-length effort, Glaciation return with this sophomore effort, titled Sur les falaises de Marbre.
First off, the album alternates between the raw, old-school, low-fi black metal timbres and some more ambitious dark-ambient landscapes as exemplified by the song  La Mer, les ruines, which transitions into a light, aetherial tone as the track dies out.  The beautifully executed production job on the album manages to keep the old-school low-fi black metal feel while at the same time making every instrument audible in the mix, including the bass and the wide range of subtle orchestrations that appear throughout the album.
Another notable feature on the album would be the superb vocal performance. Vocalist RMS Hreidmarr shows an impressive amount of versatility on this album, ranging from spoken word recitations to clean singing to screams. The quality of the vocal performance greatly enhanced the albums' sense of emotional depth and versatility, allowing the songs to string together the aggression with the sense of poetry underlying the spoken word sections.
The songs are written with a brilliant sense of composition that brings the right balance of variation and space to keep the listener immersed and engaged all the way through. Every track follows a linear structure, with each section flowing soundly from one section to the next to create a coherent narrative.

Overall, Sur Les Falaises de Marbre is a superbly written sophomore release that showcases a great amount versatility and emotional depth. Glaciation pays homage to the golden age of Black Metal while maintaining a strong sense of identity, demonstrating the strength of todays' French Black Metal Scene. I highly recommend this release to any fan of black metal, old and new.


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  1. if you like Hreidmarr vocals, check his Anorexia Nervosa's albums... made years ago, but they are still really awesome!