Tuesday 28 February 2017

Review: La Breiche – 'Le Mal Des Ardents'

'Le Mal Des Ardents'

La Breiche (The Witch), AKA Arexis and Lafforgue of Stille Volk, mark their first full-length studio offering under the moniker with 'Le Mal Des Ardents' (Holy Fire). The album takes the duo's now familiar obsession with paganism and the occult and marries it with traditional and self-made instruments to a minimalist dark ambient construction. The end result is a dark and contemplative album full of ominous atmospheres.

Tracks such as 'Le Mal Des Ardents', 'La Nef Des Fous', 'Enfers', and 'L’Antre Du Pesteux' are dark winding sonic journeys that move through tribal rhythms, droning chants, and ancient instrumentation to evoke concepts of fear and reason, mythology, and light and dark. The album is a richly layered and expansive piece that evokes images of sprawling wilderness humming with ceremonial processions under cold unforgiving stars.

Production-wise the album walks a fine line between expansive open atmospheres and cold claustrophobic ones as if moving through a landscape of forest, caves and rolling hills. It is dark, but incredibly cinematic in its scope that it begs for intimate and contemplative listening.

This is a very strong album blending a lot of different elements by two already very accomplished musicians. The end result is a breathtakingly haunting picture painted with music. Fans of neofolk, dark ambient, traditional music and even the progressive end of the black metal spectrum should find enjoyment in this album. Hopefully there will be a lot more to come from this project in the future.  

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