So far 2021 has been a rather dismal and dull year for black metal. It’s not surprising as it seems that most media outlets have been celebrating pseudo and para- black metal for some time now, labelling anything with a blast beat and tremolo picking as “black metal.” And if I had a dollar for every ridiculously awful black metal promo I’ve received so far this year from all these pretenders, I’d have enough to fly to Norway and back. And if I read every over-hyped, salivating review from every “I had to move from Brooklyn to Queens because the rent was too high” gentrifier about said records, I’d have enough to fly first class. Suffice to say, I was a bit intrigued when I did receive a new record from Seth, a French band who last released a full length recording 23 years ago – a time when those aforementioned new Queens residents were still living in the middle of Ohio and West Virginia wearing their Korn t-shirts to the shopping mall.
Seth’s La Morsure du Christ might be the most genuine LP I’ve heard all year. And if it isn’t, it probably is one of the best produced in terms of listenability and performance. A lot of this really stems from the drums, with ex-Enthroned skinsman Alsvid on the throne. I’d liken his work here to that of Behemoth’s Inferno. In fact, that’s the first drummer that popped into my mind the first time I listened to the complete record. It’s the symbol work and the nuance that really shine through. I also have to really give a significant mention to keyboardist Pierre Le Pape, also of Melted Space. Great melody here and mixed so well. My favorite keyboard part is on the third track, “Sacrafice de Sang,” where there is great little section of the song 30 seconds in that evokes an epic 80’s cinema soundtrack. Love it. But the performance all of six members is really spot on and they mesh well together.
“La Morsure du Christ” is the opener and really sets the tone for the rest of the record. It’s got a little bit of everything you might expect. And check out that guitar tone:
I love it when black metal bands pay attention to production and the mix – expertly done here by Francis Caste at Studio Sainte Marthe.
There are seven songs in total on this release and every single one is a winner. No filler, no nonsense, no pseudo black metal. If you speak French you can likely make out the lyrics, and there’s no doubt that a lot went into them. The record itself is about the end of the Christian religion and the betrayal of God. The cover itself is the blazing inferno of Notre Dame. It makes a statement, and it might make you uncomfortable, but the harsh reality is that black metal in these past number of years has become far too comfortable. Seth’s masterful release here, perhaps, help change that.
First day buy. You can order it here.