Review: Pavillon Rouge - Solmeth Pervitine

Jun 06 2012

The first album from French electronic black metallers Pavillon Rouge, Solmeth Pervitine almost comes across as a hardcore techno/industrial album first, with the black metal aspect bleeding through from below. So right off the bat a lot of black metal fans are going to spurn this band because of the dreaded "t" word, but for those of you who dig the decadent electronic-infested violence of such bands as Aborym, Mysticum, Blacklodge, latter-day Dodheimsgard, Alien Deviant Circus, Diapsiquir and the like, this is a ferocious album seething with hypnotic, pounding rhythms, mangled electronic noises, feral black metal riffs and a subtle but noticeable darkwave influence.Opener "Solmeth Ascension" injects the droning minimal buzzsaw-crush of second wave black metal into a blasting backdrop of hardcore techno, the glitched, skittering rhythms draped with icy riffs and layered screams, adding in a bit of that baroque, carnivalesque melody that you often hear in certain French black metal circles. Tracks like "Sept Siècles Et Le Feu" bring more violent menace to the sound, with traces of distorted rave synth and Goblin-like soundtrack elements blending with the blasting black techno metal, even as it delivers one of the catchiest and most anthemic hooks/choruses on the album. Same goes for "Sadist Sagitarius" (which is actually a cover of the American deathrock band Cinema Strange) and "Jad XTC", both extremely catchy techno-BM anthems with these monster choruses that'll rattle around in your head for awhile. There's a lot of infectious hooks like these on Solmeth Pervitine, more than most bands in this style, and the black metal side of their sound isn't half-baked at all, it's really well structured, with tight, ferocious riffing executed at a high level of aggression. Some of the other songs go in more of an industrial metal direction, "Exubérance/Exaltation" and "Le Cercle Du Silence" have more of a Wax Trax feel with their pounding machine-metal crunch and flourishes of darkwave influenced moodiness, while "Evangile Du Serpent" combines crushing blackened riffs with piano lines and bursts of frenetic drum n bass, one of the few points on the album where the band incorporates junglist moves. "Des Cimes, Des Abîmes" offers a surrealistic soundscape of abstract electronic noise, ancient phonograph records cut up into sorrowful requiems, and deep-space static, leading into the skull-pounding trance of "Le Grand Tout S'Effondre" at the end of the disc. One of the better industrial/electro black metal albums I've been listening to lately (and I've been listening to this a lot), it's decadent, debauched, and oozing with cruelty, and especially recommended to Aborym fans...

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