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On disc: Poète Maudit

Poésie Noire - Mike Thompson - 7 stars
Le Quattro Stagioni - Mike Thompson - 9 stars
Déjà Novembre - Mike Thompson - 8 stars

Déjà Novembre

Déjà Novembre
(Hellusion Records - 2010)

This is the third release in a year for Poète Maudit. The last release Le Quattro Stagioni - Au Temps s'emporte le Vent Une Année d'Apocalypse gained a rating of 9 stars from me as it displayed some breathtaking pieces of atmospheric and skilfully played instrumental metal. My one complaint was the lack of vocals that were a highlight of the previous effort Poesie Noire. When Sinistros told me the vocals were back for this EP I got quite excited!
The EP begins with the title track and its a song with a heavy punk influence, although more akin to Darkthrone's latter day music than anything by The Damned! The French lyrics are screamed with real vitriol by vocalist Patrick Coll, who has returned as singer after being absent from Poète Maudit's ranks since 1991.
The Joy Division cover Warsaw is up next and although the musical style remains firmly rooted in punk there is also a strong hint of Hawkwind's In Search of Space era in the sound. The vocals especially might just be Dave Brock's clone! Its harsher than the original, but I think Joy Division fans who appreciate some extreme metal would enjoy it a lot! At just over two minutes long this is the shortest track on the EP.
Up next is the penultimate track, Facing The Devil. This begins with a catchy little keyboard melody before turning it evolves into a real gothic rock song kinda like The Sisters Of Mercy on a particularly angry day.
Victims Of A New Regime has a bit of a gothic rock vibe again. This is the EPs longest track at five minutes in length and it chugs along nicely, building up slowly whilst Coll's 'Dalek' voice adds a subtle harsh element to the music.
This is a good EP which reinvents punk for the extreme metal generation. Although I felt the songs weren't up to the standard of those on Le Quattro Stagioni it cannot be denied that Poète Maudit's music is always of a high standard with a strong atmosphere present in every song. I look forward to the next release!

8 stars

Mike Thompson


Le Quattro Stagioni

Le Quattro Stagioni
(Hellusion Records - 2010)

Le Quattro Stagioni is the second release by the one-man Canadian extreme metal band Poète Maudit that I've had the pleasure of reviewing. This time it is a four-track instrumental EP. This is Poète Maudit's second release this year and the third in two years. Poète Maudit was formed in 1988 and released two demos in 1989. Nothing else was heard from this band until 2007 so it seems like lone member Sinistros is eager to make up for lost time with this influx of new material!
The opener, La Saison Triste is very much a typical metal instrumental. It starts with a very bleak intro, fitting the title, before erupting into an excellent black metal tune that reminds me of Taake in some parts.
Enfer Blanc has some very strange guitar effects over a jazzy bassline. Sections like this always take me back to the seventies heavy rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple which provided the soundtrack to my childhood. I could easily picture Jimmy Page playing something like this on stage! Further into the track a really thrashy riff begins. Its almost like Poète Maudit is giving us a history of the evolution of metal through the medium of this song. It really is a mesmerizing track that is a joy to listen to.
After the monumental Enfer Blanc, Sinistros once again unleashes some primal metal fury in Terre Humide. This is another stonking metal instrumental complete with blastbeats and furious riffing.
Canicule - Une Année d'Apocalypse finishes the album and is a song driven by the bass line. Its a strange sounding song but really encapsulates a bleak atmosphere. In some ways it reminds me of the Immortal sound heard on tracks like At The Heart Of Winter and Antarctica. A very grim and frostbitten end to this EP!
The only thing wrong with this EP in my opinion is the lack of vocals. I know that Sinistros has an amazing and quite frankly terrifying black metal scream and the fact that it wasn't utilized on this EP saddens me a little. I'm sure La Saison Triste and Terre Humide in particular would benefit from his voice. However, I can't be too negative as the songs on this EP are awesome and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing from beginning to end! This is thinking man's black metal that I would recommend to those who like extreme metal but appreciate the evocation of atmosphere through instruments.

9 stars

Mike Thompson


Poésie Noire

Poésie Noire
(Hellusion Productions - 2010)

Poète Maudit is a band from Canada originally formed in the eighties when they released two demos. After a break of eighteen years they released another demo and now this single, Poésie Noire which features two songs.
The single begins with a simple riff over simpler drumming. Its certainly not the blackened death metal I was led to believe it was. In fact, although there is some black metal influence here this is mainly present in the quite honestly horrifying vocals.
The vocals are the real strong point of this band. Sinistros (aka Guillaume Gagnon) has a sinister rasp that truly sounds like a voice from hell. Most black metal bands would probably kill for a vocalist with a voice like this. Just listen to the shriek at the end of the first song!
The whole of the title track is based around a simple but catchy mid-paced guitar and simple drum beat. Despite this the song is very effective and enjoyable. The production is clear but not overdone and the aforementioned vocals really add atmosphere to the song.
The second track on this single is a cover of A Forest originally by The Cure. I'm unfamiliar with the original, but this version is listenable. It is catchy, perhaps a little too 'poppy' for this band. The rasping screams are replaced by a clean, but slightly muffled vocal style which suit the track. The whole vibe is very different to the first song and, if I'm honest, I think I would have preferred another original track.
Overall, Poésie Noire is an enjoyable listen and hints at good things to come.

7 stars

Mike Thompson

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