French Metal

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

Nightmare – Aeternam Review

“France’s Nightmare are no strangers to the heavy metal scene. The band’s origins go back four decades to their foundation as a punk outfit in 1979. Over the next few years, the punk stylings gave way to the burgeoning heavy metal sound of the early 80s and the band released a couple of full-lengths before going on hiatus in 1988. But Nightmare‘s best work was yet to come.” Dream warriors.

Vous Autres – Sel de Pierre Review

Vous Autres – Sel de Pierre Review

“Well, it’s been… a year? Seriously…? Wtf? It’s only been a fucking year since Vous AutresChamp du Sang landed in the cold, dark corner of my existence? I go back to that debut record like it was a genre-defying piece! A record washed away and only now rescued the forgotten past. Maybe it’s the fact that it feels aged yet relevant. Or because it has an energy and spontaneity of a band not held back by anyone or anything. A band that put it all out there, regardless of the consequences. A band that… OK, so that might be a bit dramatic. But, Champ du Sang is a fantastic record and one that still gets much praise from Madam X and myself to this day. So, when the French duo treaded through a cemetery of thick, black mud—its headstones, broken from the bright, industrial cracks of lightning—to hand-deliver Sel de Pierre into my cold hands, I… wept.” Gods of pain.

Mercyless – The Mother of All Plagues Review

Mercyless – The Mother of All Plagues Review

“Few death metal bands had as stark a rise and fall as Mercyless did in the 90s. Coming off 1993s excellent Coloured Funeral, an all time great death platter, they made an ill-advised grab at mainstream acceptance on utterly disastrous followup C.O.L.D..  So bad was the album that legions of fans promptly decamped, myself among them, leaving the band to slowly rot.” Up with the sickness.

AthanaTheos – Prophetic Era (Or How Yahveh Became the One) Review

AthanaTheos – Prophetic Era (Or How Yahveh Became the One) Review

““French philosophy” is, in some circles, a punchline. It evokes the image of an edgy atheist, fedora on head, sipping his black espresso (symbolic, of course, of the darkness of his existence – the horror of reflecting on Sartre in a café surely cripples the best of men) and smoking a strange, thin cigarette in perpetuity – pretension personified. AthanaTheos, a French black doom atmospheric dissonant epic death metal band has tried their hand not just at an album but an epos – an epic poem set to music.” Profits of doom.

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

Creature – Ex Cathedra Review

“A mere six months ago I wrote a TYMHM piece on the second Creature album Contes Funèbres, noting that while that album had a black metal base and clear elements of 70s prog, it also contained an anachronistic theatricality, like a corpse-painted staging of Les Misérables. If Contes Funèbres was broadway, Ex Cathedra is opera.” Shock me, Amadeus.

Exocrine – Maelstrom Review

Exocrine – Maelstrom Review

“Are you ready for a hot take? I enjoy deeply of Exocrine‘s Molten Giant. Regardless of the criticisms it received in the linked review, I return to that record still, twenty-two months after it’s initial release. Tight, jagged and delightfully choppy, Exocrine delivered a big sleeper with Molten Giant. It looked like stock tech-death, sounded like stock tech-death, and stepped on just about every mine littering the tech-death field. Yet, it put a big, stupid grin on my big, stupid face.” Squid pro quo.

Esoctrilihum – Eternity of Shaog Review

Esoctrilihum – Eternity of Shaog Review

“Anyone familiar with France’s one man black/death weirdo project Esoctrilihum knows that primary member Asthâghul is the kind of singularly driven musician who can’t help but vomit out an hour-plus album of eccentric, labyrinthine darkness every 12 months or less. While some in the underground metalverse have praised his output since day one, our own coverage has been a bit more tepid. Does fifth full-length Eternity of Shaog change that trend?” Elder Gods Drinking Crew.