French Metal

Autokrator – Persecution Review

Autokrator – Persecution Review

“I think it’s in my job description to just steal promos from Kronos for the rest of my writing career. Autokrator is no exception, as a casual perusal through the promo bin revealed this little gem, one that elicited a reaction not unlike from beloved Christmas movie Elf: “I know them!”” Thieving in the house of death.

Muertissima – Inquisition Review

Muertissima – Inquisition Review

“I’m a fairly open-minded primate. Ask anyone on the approved asking list and they’ll tell you. This aforementioned open mind inspired me to take a chance on unknown French death metal act Muertissma and their full-length debut Inquisition. The promo bluster promised “dynamic death metal” with thrash and death elements and a willingness to embrace open and adventurous song structures. Some of that is in fact delivered over the nearly 50 minutes of Inquisition, and in some instances, it was a mistake to do so.” No one expects the French Inquisition.

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

Paydretz – Chroniques de l’Insurrection Review

“If there’s something that black metal bands have been flocking to lately, besides corpse paint and hooded sweatshirts, it’s war. Over the last decade, the genre’s been scouring both World Wars to the point of picking at scraps. Scant few, if any, even bothered to turn their eyes to battles of centuries past, especially when it comes to the French Revolution or, more specifically, the War in the Vendée. A counter-revolution that lasted approximately three years and resulted in the slaughter of countless men, women, and children, the War in the Vendée remains an oft-overlooked bloodbath, save for the occasional historical film or two. Today, French supergroup Paydretz brings this historic tale to light on their debut, Chroniques de l’Insurrection.” Obscure French military history and metal.

Whyzdom – Of Wonders and Wars Review

Whyzdom – Of Wonders and Wars Review

“The time has come for this young(ish) sponge to return to his roots—bombastic, cheesy symphonic metal helmed by a classically trained soprano. This genre of metal used to be my absolute favorite for many of the same reasons people lambast it today, up to and including the extreme lactose concentration, countless layers of orchestration, and the wall of sound production that so easily overwhelms the neurally frail. I craved the feeling of my entire brain lighting up, desperate to keep up with the immense amount of stimuli bombarding it at once. Now on their fifth full-length album entitled Of Wonders and Wars, France’s Whyzdom attempt to recreate that same firework exhibit inside my nervous system.” Wonder wail.

Ascète – Calamities et Calamités Review

Ascète – Calamities et Calamités Review

“I’ve been on a bit of an Antiq Records kick lately. Every time I see the word emerge from the mists of the promo pit, my interest is piqued and I grab the promo, often without checking first to see if it’s something I’ll like straightaway. Ever since Véhémence captured my heart back in 2019, I’ve been trying to keep an eye on this label from the lands of France. I’ve received a few heads-ups about Calamites & les Calamités, the debut full-length from the label’s countrymen Ascéte. Sporting black metal of a style that fits right in with their label-mates (Hanternoz comes to mind as a recent example), Ascéte have the sound of a fresh band eager to mark the map.” Fresh blackened meat.

Esoctrilihum – Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath Review

Esoctrilihum – Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath Review

“Another year, another 78 minute monster of an album by Esoctrilihum landing in my promo box with a bowel shaking thud. It seems the musical reproductive cycle of the elusive Asthâghul, native to France, is on an approximate 9-10 month cycle, wherein no sooner than one shrieking, multi-limbed abomination is calved writhing onto the unsuspecting earth, a pan-dimensional demon god plants its seed into Asthâghul’s gaping mind womb to begin the gestation process anew. To be in such a constant state of creative estrus must be absolutely exhausting. I know as a reviewer who has squatter’s rights to all Esoctrilihum output on this site, I’m tired just thinking, listening and writing about it.” Pregnant pause.

Conquerors – Stormbringer Review

Conquerors – Stormbringer Review

“During my latest sojourn through the tepid waters we writers wade through to scoop up our latest promo, I encountered Stormbringer, the latest from French black metal outfit Conquerors. Confronted with Witch King-esque cover art, a Slayer-inspired logo and the knowledge that this was the band’s third full-length album, I was more than willing to give these Fenriz lookalikes a chance. Curse you, expectations.” No storm, no conquest.

Disparaître – Urchig Review

Disparaître – Urchig Review

“I’ve moonlighted as a metal reviewer for a couple of years now and I never cease to be amazed that bands – and black metal bands in particular – seem to have a burning wish not to make it easy for fans and reviewers to find them, nor to find out anything about them. Ok, I get it, you might not want your real name out there. I’ll give you that. So maybe you come up with some sort of creepy-weepy pseudonym to go by and, perhaps, splash the cash on a black cloak, maybe some face paint and. if there’s any change from that, possibly some barbed wire to wrap round a good stick that you can waggle about menacingly. Alright, I can get on board. But then there are bands … or projects, I don’t know, like today’s subject Disparaître, where there’s really very little out there. No proper Bandcamp page, no Facebook page that I can find, obviously no website, and even Metal Archives has nothing beyond a nationality: French.” Socially/sonically distant.