Sordide – La France A Peur


(Avantgarde Music, 2014)

8/10 – Antti Mikonmäki

Sordide from Rouen, France features three members whom have been very active in the local extreme Metal bands since the nineties, but that’s where my knowledge of the Normandy-scene ends. I am however extremely positively surprised by this, their debut album.

There is something extremely authentic and in the same time artistic about the style of Blackened Metal the trio has decided (or perhaps the style chose them?) to worship their philosophies with. The style of this album could be classified as Avantgarde Black Metal (drawing from the more raw aspects of nineties Scandinavia?) with Punk Rock, Post-Punk, Post-Metal and Garage Rock influences. However, in all it’s Rocking simplicity, there are so many different kinds of parts on this album, in each unique song, that one could find different categorisations for this stuff than I have.

The riffs and sounds from the guitars are mostly clear and high, sounding to me like a mixture of nineties Black Metal classics and indeed Garage Rock. Lots of strokes (even the band The Strokes if one wants), pickings and tremolos without too much distortion, with the much lower bass-sounds keeping up the balance of opposites, sometimes going nicely high and audible in the mix letting the melodies be heard. The drums are pretty damp and soft compared to the guitars, but the overall soundscape is just perfect for this kind of stuff. The pounding snare- and kick-sounds fit the slower parts just as nicely as the faster blasts and D-beats. The vocals sound sometimes like a low version of Nocturno Culto on “Transilvanian Hunger”, sometimes like a desperate scream from a truly tortured soul or another bizarre time even (some old Helheim to be heard if wanted), sometimes like something from between. The main mixing on the album brings the whole thing sometimes to points where the sound breaks, which is nothing to be dissatisfied about, on the contrary.

The French lyrics fit the voices and music nicely, bringing that same raw yet intellectual feeling some-one might get from French-sung Black Metal in general, but that’s where I’m ending the comparisons to other bands in this case, since this band is something quite unique in all it’s simplicity. Since I have zero knowledge of the lyrical content of this album, I’m just guessing (comparing to the music and artwork in general) it’s something interesting and multifaceted.

A strong start for his band for sure, taking this album to the great group of quality releases from new-comers Avantgarde Music has put out this year. I am eagerly waiting for future material.