The awesome site of a winter landscape is inspiring and beautiful, but only when used correctly. The same thing goes for a winter black metal band.
Most band can't do it correctly, and just overdo the theme. But Neige Et Noirceur
does it perfectly, and to a person like myself who speaks English, in a subtle manner. Their very name translates into English as "Snow and Darkness
". Even the cover of the album is discrete in its wintery ways, showing a single, small, black and white snow-flake.
The tracks on this album are both over ten minutes ; the first one being over 25 minutes, and the second one being a little over 12, but this neither diminishes nor negatively impacts the sheer beauty of the album as a whole.
Neige Et Noirceur
has successfully been able to tie together many different sounds and riffs into one complete song that doesn't sound like multiple songs all combined into one. For me, it's a flawless album.
The first track, being the longer one, is my personal favorite. It combines many different parts but it sounds as one, not as many. Some parts are complete ambiance, whilst others are black metal.
The song commences with such ambiance, including arctic wind sounds, with the soft spine-tingling whisper of a man. Occasionally, you hear the soft hit of a bell. As time progresses, you realize that the sounds of a church bell are growing louder and louder, and suddenly with a great hit, everything stops. The song bridges into beautiful arpeggios reminiscent of wintered times, whithered, blackened, and frostbitten. The arpeggios progress for quite some time, then, literally out of nowhere, the guitar slam in with a cold and cruel synth part. The two part line up perfectly, making for a very wretched (in a good way) part. The guitars and synths stay lined up, although going through various riffs. After a long time (although it seems like nothing), the distorted guitars and synth cut out, and in walks a new type of guitar, this time and acoustic one.
It makes for a very depressing acoustic breakdown, and by depressing, I mean awesome. The guitars are so sad, and leave you in a state of quietness, and yet again, the guitar come out of nowhere. They bring you out of your quiet state and to an all new black metal part, similar to the one before the acoustic breakdown. A great follow up to such a perfect acoustic part.
Unfortunately, the guitars and synths finally cut out, leaving behind a dark ambiance filled with a cruel freezing feeling. Such ambiance can be compared with artists as Paysage d'Hiver or Vinterriket
. The song is over after this part, yet it seems like that almost half-an-hour passed in no time what-so-ever.
I consider such amazing work to be art.
The second track "Loin des Hommes, Près des Bêtes" is a completely ambient track. Its similar to the ambient parts in "L'Abîme des Jours, l'Ecume des Nuits".
It's an amazing song, and the fact that its twelve minutes (yet again) does not lessen the effect the song has.
Its a very minimalist track, and sometimes while listening to it, you'll forget its playing, because you'll be lost in its murky, enveloping depths, letting your body be surrounded by the beautiful and at the same time horrifying sounds of winter.
They can comfort, as well as terrify the listener, and either way, its an adventure one must take.
This perfect album is amongst my favorite albums, as well as it should be in yours.
Its a little "true" as some black metal fans might call it (meaning it's very lo-fi), but that just adds the wondrous effect the album has.
It inspires, terrifies, silences, and motivates many people, as well as myself.
"L'Abîme des Jours, l'Ecume des Nuits" can be purchased through Dungeons Deep Records (www.dungeonsdeep.com).
Please support this amazing band !