Friday, May 23, 2014


Sepulchral Productions, 2014
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

1. Wendigo
2. Le Bois des Belles
3. La Griffe du Diable
4. Murmures Nocturnes

Side Forteresse: here
Side Chasse-Galerie: ...coming eventually...
Side Monarque: here
Side Csejthe:

This is one of the most ambitious 4-way splits I've come across. This split contains all new material from some of Québéc's best Black Metal projects. My friends know I am big fan of all the bands involved, so I was very excited to see this imminent release. Here we have Sepulchral putting out some of the finest material again. This time it comes in two 7" vinyl limited to 500 hand-numbered copies. I own copy #69. The two 7" grey splatter vinyl are housed in a gatefold sleeve and when opened we find a picture of a beautiful landscape along with lyrics for the songs.

Given the fact that these are only 7" I knew the Csejthe track wouldn't be an epic song in length. Despite that we still get a wonderful nearly six minute majestic track. It is definitely in line with what we've heard on the last album, but you can see how it wouldn't have really fit well in the flow of the entire release. It is certainly consistent with the beauty and majesty we've come to expect from Csejthe's compositions and strangely most of the song doesn't sound nearly as somber as the usual Csejthe material. That somberness doesn't really kick in until the latter half of the song. Naturally it's a beautiful edition to this split and if you're fan of these bands and the atmospheric style of Métal Noir Québécois then this is a must have split if you can get it.

Csejthe - Réminscence
Eisenwald Tonschmiede, 2013
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

1. Oraison
2. Réminiscence
3. Chasseresse
4. L'Antique Blason
5. Adjuration
6. Dorko, la Malveillante
7. Maléfice
8. Chant des Martyres

Here it is, after a three year wait we get one of the finest albums ever recorded. It seriously is that and I'm not kidding. "Réminiscence" was my album of the year for 2013, though it was sort of a tough battle with the new Plaga being released. However, the fact that Csejthe somehow managed to move their style forward with this release is, frankly, astounding to me. This time we have a beautiful multi-page booklet featuring lyrics, but there isn't as much art to have. However, this really fits with their overall presentation, so it works well.

I really don't know where to go from here. I think one of the more shocking things about this release is that the tracks just keep getting better and better. We are blown away by the majesty of "Réminiscence" and we think "this just doesn't get any better", then "Chasseresse's" lead section kicks in and we're immediately proven wrong. I think the most impressive part is that the level of awe never really leaves the listener while experiencing this album. I figured Csejthe would improve over time and advance their craft, but I wasn't expecting the improvement to be this stark. The album even closes with a, nearly, ten minute instrumental proving that Csejthe's compositions are so strong they actually don't need vocals to move them forward. Csejthe paints some the most beautiful and majestically somber passages within their musical palette.

I really can't think of anything else to say for a release this immense. Words don't do this justice, they just don't. If you are looking for one of the finest performances of Black Metal today, then this is something you should look into. If you enjoy that bleak nature and majesty that Black Metal can create, then this is exactly what you want to hear. There is little better out there for that. Coldworld's "Melancholie" competes pretty well with this, though, if you want a reference point for how strong this release is.

Csejthe - Transcendence
Morbid Winter Records, 2010
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

1. Souterrans
2. Déréliction
3. Transcendance
4. Mémoires

Well, it appears we didn't have to wait too long for some new material from Csejthe. This time all we get is an EP after a year. I don't know when the songs were composed, but if these were extra tracks they had that didn't really fit on "La Mort du Prince Noir" that would make sense as to why this came so fast.

There really isn't much deviation in terms of their sound from the full-length. I think in some respects I can see why some of these were cut, if they were. I feel like "Transcendence" evokes a slightly different feeling from "La Mort du Prince Noir." Things aren't as sombre and desolate on "Transcendance." The EP opens with "Soulterrains", which actually evokes a more typical Black Metal aesthetic, but it's not long before we're back buried in the more usual Csejthe sound with "Déréliction". "Transcendance" keeps that momentum up for the rest of the release and we are given some truly beautiful music once again from Csejthe. The EP closes with some beautiful piano work and reminds me of the closing of their first demo with the song "Réflexion."

Overall this is a very solid release. It has great songs and a great mood and we'll see what this means for a new full-length someday. For now we have three beautiful tracks to add to our Csejthe collection. Even though these don't advance their style much, I definitely prefer having more if they can at least keep up the quality!

Csejthe - La Mort du Prince Noir
Mankind's Demise, 2009
Genre: Atmospheric Black Metal

1. Invocation
2. La Mort du Prince Noir
3. Le Sang d'Harczy
4. La Comtesse
5. La Redoutable Ascendance
6. Destin Funeste
7. La Dernière Parade
8. Sans Croix et Sans Lumière
9. Conjuration

This is the only Csejthe release I am missing from their discography and it is truly a sad thing to have missed out on the chance to get this set. Luckily I was able to at least hear the music by finding it on a download in 320kbps. However, this just isn't the same as having my own copy. Perhaps someday I will get lucky like I did with the split below, but I sort of doubt it given how good this album is. The cover features, I assume, a picture of Elizabeth Bathori, since Csejthe is the name of the castle she tortured people in. Probably a nod towards the project Bathory, which felt like a major influence on the demo.

In any event, after hearing the split I had mentioned it was probably time for Csejthe to get some proper studio treatment on their songs and "La Mort du Prince Noir" delivers that to us! It's basically everything I had hoped it would be. Csejthe have really developed their sound and writing with care. A lot of the tracks from the split appear on this studio recording as well. The only track left off is "Bator", unfortunately, because I quite enjoyed that song. Where the earlier tracks sounded somewhat primitive, this was clearly due to the recording quality, because they stand with the new tracks perfectly on this album. With the new quality we really get to see how majestic Csejthe really sounds. There are very few bands out there that can perform at this caliber and Forteresse is the only other one I can think of off hand that truly stands out. Csejthe manage to combine some of the desolate and somber feelings typically found in the Depressive ends of Black Metal and really cast them in an epic light. This marrying of the two feelings creates a very unique experience. In some respects it's as if they took the desolate nature of Burzum and combined them with the majesty Viking era Bathory evokes. It's a wonderful experience. This was really one of the biggest releases I've missed out on and I wish I was paying more attention to the Black Metal scene in 2009.

In the end, Csejthe give us an incredible debut. I highly recommend checking them out in light of what they can truly compose. I look forward to hearing other releases from them and hopefully it won't be too long between full-lengths. However, I would prefer care being taken in crafting a new album rather than just throwing songs together... so I'd rather be patient for such a prolific project.

Csejthe & Ziel Bevrijd - Le Sang de l'Alliance
Les Productions Hérétique, 2007
Genre: Black Metal

1. L'écho des Ruines
2. La Mort du Prince Noir
3. La Redoutable Ascendance
4. Bator
5. Destin Funeste
6. Réflexion
Ziel Bevrijd:
7. Straal Vanhoop
8. Oppression Lointaine
9. Un Chant d'Agonie
10. Perdu à Jamais
11. La Parfum des Larmes

Side Ziel Bevrijd: ...coming eventually...
Side Csejthe:

I've become quite the fan of Csejthe over the years, but I never thought I would come across their original split. I was lucky enough to find a copy on discogs and I purchased it immediately. This is a split with, the also amazing project, Ziel Bevrijd. The reason this CD is so difficult to find is because it is limited to 100 hand-numbered copies and I happen to have #95.

One of the interesting aspects of this release is that this is a debut for both projects. So, instead of just a single demo, we get to hear two interesting projects. I'm usually pretty skeptical when it comes to split demos for new bands, but this works out quiet well in the end because Csejthe and Ziel Bevrijd are both pretty good projects. As I'm listening to the Csejthe side it's sort of hard for me to divorce my impression of their more modern material as I try to go back and think about how this played into the array of material being released in 2007. I don't think Csejthe's first work is as inspiring and fresh sounding as their material became. After a haunting intro track we delve into the first metal song "La Mort du Prince Noir" and strangely this sounds more typical of a Black Metal song. We don't really get into the sound that I consider Csejthe until "La Redoutable Ascendance" sets in. Here we find a project fairly influenced by the groundwork Forteresse laid out with "Métal Noir Québécois". Their sound is melancholic and enchanting, but in a darker way than I think Forteresse was going for. A lot of sections actually remind me of some the Viking Metal era Bathory, but without really being that related to Viking Metal. Finally this ends off with a piano piece named "Réflexion" and it sort of fits with the music, but in terms of production its's way louder than the rest of the recordings!

The only thing holds this release back at times is the nature of how raw the recording is. The guitars can be a bit on the underproduced end and the vocals are certainly too loud. As demo work goes, this gives us a good idea of what Csejthe have in mind for us. It's definitely something that could use better studio treatment and I think their songs are composed well enough to warrant that. So hopefully a debut full-length will be imminent after this short taste of the project.

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