Archive for french

Interview with Akitsa

Posted in Akitsa, black metal, interview with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by GRAMPS Pantheon

For over 10 years now, Canadian black metal band Akitsa has been been crafting their unique style of eclectic punkish black metal.  Their newest album “Au crépuscule de l’espérance,” the first in four years, continues their unpredictable and unique approach to heavy music.  Pantheon performs an interview with Akitsa member O.T. to gain a deeper knowledge of their sound.

Akitsa’s new album “Au crépuscule de l’espérance” has just been released.  Are you pleased with the result?

Yes, we are pleased with the final result of the album. It possesses the deepest, most sincere lyrics we’ve ever written. Musically, it is evolving toward new ground while retaining the fundamental roots of Akitsa.

The lyrics of Loyauté and Vers La Mort seem to be both prideful and courageous, such as “Prends garde! La peur amène le déshonneur” (Beware! Fear brings dishonor).  Are these the types of lyrical themes that Akitsa typically wishes to address?  What else do you write about when creating lyrics for Akitsa?

“Loyauté” is about standing tall with your head high in any situation. Even in defeat, don’t act cowardly. Stay true to what you are. So yes, it’s about courage and pride. “Vers la mort’’ is about death.

It is noted that the lyrics for La Voix Brutale were borrowed from the poet Albert Lozeau.  Why did you choose to use this poem and do you often draw from poetry and/or literature when writing the lyrics and music for Akitsa?

This text from Lozeau is amazingly crude. It also reflects the overall mood of “Au crépuscule de l’espérance”. “Don’t wish, be not or from bones and flesh and have no remorse.” This is the only text we’ve borrowed from what I can recall. Our lyrics come as Akitsa does; we don’t rely on any specific thoughts when we create.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it sounds as if the audio quality changes from song to song on Akitsa albums.  Are all of the songs on Akitsa albums recorded at the same time and with the same equipment?

The songs were sporadically recorded at different time periods. This should explain the changes and variation in our sound as the settings were changed for each composition in order to reflect the exact sonic essence we were looking for. We normally use the same equipment every single time. Almost all of our recordings were made using an old 4-track that I have owned for years.

I see that you commented on the black metal scene back in an older interview, circa 2001/2.  But being that it is nearly a decade later, I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on the current black metal scene.

To be totally honest, I don’t believe that there is any scene right now. The state of black metal has changed enormously in the past decade, and it has evolved into something huge. Nowadays there are so many subdivisions of the genre and strangers who do not fully understand the basic spirit of black metal. It’s definitely impossible to talk about a single scene. Everyone is doing whatever they want on their own.

Have either members of Akitsa had any formal training in music or are you self-taught?

Néant is self-taught while I had some formal Piano classes at a very young age.

In your opinion, what is the best live show that you’ve ever played?

The New York City concert was our best.

Does Akitsa have plans to tour any time soon?

There are no plans as of right now, but we will see what the future holds.

What do you do outside of Akitsa?

We live our lives.

What are some of your favorite albums of all time?

This is a hard question and it could go on forever, I’ll name the few that come across my mind right now:

Absurd “Facta Loquuntur” and “Asgardsrei”, Arkona “Imperium”, Boyd Rice and Friends “Music, Martinis and Misanthropy”, Behexen “My Soul for His Glory”, Bethlehem “Dark Metal” and “Dictius Te Necare”, Brighter Death Now “Necrose Evangelicum” and “Innerwar”, Burzum “Det Som Engang Var”,“Hvist Lyset Tar Oss” and “Filosofem”, Darkthrone “A Blaze in the Northern Sky”, “Under a Funeral Moon”, “Transilvanian Hunger” and “Panzerfaust”, Deathspell Omega “Inquisitors of Satan”, Disembowelment “Transcendence into the Peripheral”, Genocide Organ “Remember”, Gontyna Kry “Welowie”, Ildjarn “Strength and Anger”, In the Woods… “Heart of the Ages”, Kaosritual “Svøpt Morgenrød”, Katharsis “666” and “Kruzifixxion”, Mayhem “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, Monumentum “In Absentia Christi”, NON “Blood and Flame”, “In the Shadow of the Sword”, “Might” and “God and Beast”, Peste Noire “Ballade cuntre lo Anemi Francor”, Rotting Christ “Thy Mighty Contract”, S.V.E.S.T. “Urfaust”, Samael “Worship Him”, “Blood Ritual” and “Ceremony of Opposites”, Varathron “His Majesty at the Swamp”, Veles “Night on the Bare Mountain” and “Black Hateful Metal”… The list could go on.

Thanks a lot for the interview, O.T..  Do you have anything that you would like to promote? Feel free!

Our new album is available right now on cassette and CD. Visit www.t-d-g.net to get your copy. Thanks for this interview.

 

Max

Celestia – “Archaenae Perfectii” Review

Posted in album review, Celestia with tags , , , , , , on June 12, 2010 by GRAMPS Pantheon

According to Mr. Varg Vikernes of Burzum, black metal was never meant to last beyond the Norwegian movement of the early 90s.  All of the bands strived to have a different sound, a different image, and a different purpose.  As with any burgeoning genre though, a string of copycats arose playing this Norwegian style to death.  Nearly twenty years later, we stand amongst a sea of black metal bands, knowing that the vast majority will be uninspired copies of some classic artist.

With their newest release, Archaenae Perfectii, Celestia toes the line separating “been there, done that” and something fresh and interesting.  Celestia borrows heavily from the typical black metal sound, featuring an abundance of tremolo-picked, dissonant guitars on every track.  At times, this sound can become grating on my ears for the very reason that I’ve heard it done many times before.  The bass is mostly inaudible (other than the final track), the drums merely do their job, and the vocals are standard-fare, high pitch screams.

With those gripes out of the way, Archaenae Perfectii actually has a lot going for it.  Each track contains moments of beauty, ranging from the addition of a subtle atmospheric keyboard in the background to the various acoustic guitar melodies.  Never sounding out of place or over-used despite their frequency throughout the album, the use of acoustic guitars prove to be welcome diversions from the otherwise entirely metallic sound. Though I find their dissonant black metal moments to be mediocre, Celestia crafts some damn fine melodies!  The acoustic melody played in the backdrop of “Dogmatii Duality / Au Crepuscule Sous Les Larmes” breathes life into a track that would have otherwise been entirely average.  The high point of the album is probably “Dominus Crux Spiritus” which contains a blissful acoustic interlude, coupled with ethereal keyboards that pave the way to a graceful conclusion.  However, the finale “Nuit Qui Brille Comme Soleil” provides some competition, being undoubtedly the heaviest track on the album.  It contains some surprisingly dynamic percussion that had me air-drumming and headbanging like some sort of freak.  In fact, it’s probably the only track on the album to which one can head bang.  Hey, that’s fine with me.  In general, I find black metal to be more of an experience that envelops the listener in the overall atmosphere rather than music to pump your fists to.  In small and tasteful doses though, as on this album, some high energy moments can prove to be exciting and unexpected!

I can foresee Archaenae Perfectii being an album that will sneak onto various top ten lists for 2010, and I wouldn’t have beef with that.  Celestia has crafted a fine album that transcends its various moments of mediocrity by wisely inserting a sublime melody here and there or switching to the acoustic guitar for a quick breather.  It does just enough to separate itself from the festering carrion that is the black metal genre.  Not quite the reinvention or evolution that needs to occur for black metal to stay alive, but eclectic enough to be applauded.

-Max

Amesoeurs – “Amesoeurs” review

Posted in album review, amesoeurs, black metal, French black metal, metal reviews, shoegaze with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2010 by GRAMPS Pantheon

Imagine The Cure with blast beats and female vocals.

If that doesn’t sound awesome to you, you should probably stay away from Amesoeurs’ self-titled album. For everyone who is a fan of Neige’s ‘shoegaze black metal’ experiments, though, Amesoeurs is mandatory.

First, the bad: the main problem with this album is that it is not, in any sense, cohesive. ‘Trouble’, a blistering black metal track featuring Neige’s trademark screams, is followed by ‘Video Girl’, which is essentially a pop song. Both songs are incredible, but it’s very disjointing to leap from one style to the next, especially when this occurs several times over the course of the album. Also disappointing is that Audrey and Neige’s vocals are never used jointly. Each track is either predominantly a ‘Neige track’ or an ‘Audrey track,’ and it would be incredible to hear them together.

Don’t let these complaints fool you; Amesoeurs is fantastic. Once you get past the erratic nature of the album, you will find that each track is uplifting and gorgeously crafted. ‘Gas in Veins’, the instrumental opener, shows that Amesoeurs is more than just the vocals, and does post-black metal better than most other bands in the genre. ‘Heurt’ opens with furious blasting before segueing into sublime female vocals. The peak of the track comes when Audrey wildly shrieks over a brilliant lead. While ‘Les Ruches Malades’ and ‘La Reine Treyeuse’ are strong contenders, the true climax of the album comes with the finale, ‘Au Crepuscule de Nos Reves.’ The song truly amalgamates the black metal and shoegaze stylings. The album ends on a melancholy note, as Neige howls through a passage that easily ranks as one of Amesoeurs’ finest.

Amesoeurs broke up after the completion of this album, so unfortunately Neige will have to pursue his experiments in one of his other acclaimed bands. If you like your black metal with an experimental twist, or your shoegaze on a heavier note, then this album is a necessary listening experience. – Adam Barron