Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Throane -  Derrière-nous, la lumière
Debemur-Morti Productions, 2016
Genre: Black Metal

1. Sortez vos lames, que nous perdions nos poings
2. Aussi féroces que nous repentons
3. Derrière-nous, la lumière
4. Un instant dans une torche
5. Contre terre
6. Nous blâmons la tempête de nous avoir laissés en plaies
7. A cette chute

Throane is a new project to hit the French scene, and strangely I missed out on it when it was first released and I'm only getting to this project nearly a year later. I'm disappointed in myself for missing this, because this album hits a lot of really excellent listening points for me. This is usually a genre of Black Metal where, for me, it has to be done just right and if it's not, I wind up disliking it.

Throane's debut album strikes a very careful balance between Ambient and very dissonant Black Metal. Playing with dissonance is fairly tricky business, especially in a way that makes me want to keep coming back for more, but Throane succeeds in leaps and bounds with this debut. In fact, my one and only complaint is that I wish this album was twice as long. It would really enhance that ambient and hypnotic effect generated by each track. As it is, this album only clocks in at about thirty minutes, which is far too short for a release that can launch its listeners into a trance.

"Derrière-nous, la lumière" pulls pages out of the books of Blut aus Nord's "MoRT" and some Deathspell Omega, while including some elements of Spektr for a more terrifying atmosphere. Mostly this album leans on "MoRT" in my opinion and really advances the ideas on that album to a far more pleasing conclusion. "Derrière-nous, la lumière" production wise is a very dense and suffocating album. Listening to this album you can just feel the weight of the music taking your breath away. The atmosphere is dark, convoluted, yet calming and entrancing at the same time. The vocals are very minimal, when they rear their ugly head, it is but a brief phrase in the greater work, but it really makes the attack of those moments all the more satisfying.

"Derrière-nous, la lumière" is an absolutely astounding debut release and I am glad to see it make the light of day with Debemur-Morti, because the art direction will prove important for this kind of project. While this debut has a really well done digipak release, I look forward to future albums where the art direction can be brought further. The one thing I worry about with a release like this is that it may be difficult to replicate. Where does the artist go from here that can breach new territory, while staying true to the overall foundation created here? Frankly, given the brevity of this release, I wouldn't mind something entirely similar, just so I can listen to them back to back in all it's sonic glory. We shall see though...


Cataplexy - Devangelight
Zero Dimensional Records, 2012
Genre: Black Metal

1. De Evangel Light
2. Whirl of Skuldlight
3. Recrmisoned Vestige
4. Celestial Arcane Epitaph
5. Sphereflection
6. Silvery Supplicant
7. Hydraulis of the Ether
8. Dysastral Paradigm
9. Lifelessdawn

After a four year wait we finally get into the second release from Cataplexy. Somehow "Devangelight" manages to surpass the debut, which is a very impressive feat. I will always love the debut for it's harnessing of the raw production of old, but the songwriting on "Devangelight" is quite a bit stronger than even the first.

I'm not sure how much he's helping the band, but on this album they are joined by the legendary Hakuja from Funeral Elegy. Some of the guitar passages remind me quite of bit of something I hear on his solo project, so either way the influence seems to be appearing. Cataplexy continue their journey down writing violent, yet somehow sorrowful compositions. This album really shows how much the band has harnessed that wall of sound style of Black Metal and manages to make the songs interesting with some really killer lead styled riffs. One of my favorite songs on here is "Recrimsoned Vestige", I just look forward to hearing that opening riff every time. The album consistently marches along these lines and there isn't a single bad track on here. The vocalist is actually quite impressive and he's only gotten better over the years. His work on "Lunar Eclipse" was impressive, albeit a little peaked in the recording process, like most of the instruments, here with better production we really get a feel for what he can do. He has these excellent long winded screams that I look forward to showing up in every song.

Given Cataplexy's track record, I'm sure it will be quite some time for them to release another album, but I will be eagerly awaiting for the follow-up to this. Since every release is stronger than the last. Again, while some may complain that this is pure Scandinavian Black Metal worship, without a hint of the strangeness Japanese music holds for us Westerners... the fact that Cataplexy seems to consistently outperform a lot of bands in the West has me rather okay with this. While I'd love to hear some Japanese elements thrown into their mix sometimes, I just can't complain when your riffs are just this good. "Devangelight" is an excellent album by all accounts and I look forward to the next release from this project!

Cataplexy - ...Lunar Eclipse, Chaos to the Ruin...
Bloodbath Records, 2008
Genre: Black Metal

1. Dawn of the Black Sun
2. Hideous Path of Hate from the Abyss
3. Under the Moonlight of Sorrow
4. Graces of Infidel Blood
5. Blazing Choir Under the Secrets of Hell
6. Burn the False Idols
7. Elegy of Rotten Angel
8. Desolate Winds from the Devastated Souls
9. Groan of Eternal Hate

It's taken an unreasonably long time for us to get to the Cataplexy debut full-length, but it was worth the wait... I think. I thought, for sure, a new release would come shortly after their EP, but here we are about five years later with a full-length finally in our hands from this band. I still think it took way too long for us to get here, but in the end I really love this album. It's actually an incredible release that heralds back to the glorious Black Metal days of old. Who would of thought this would come out of Japan?

If you miss everything about the mid-90's era of Black Metal then this is the album you've been looking for. Unlike a lot of bands that try to recapture the feel and atmosphere and somewhat fall short, I think Cataplexy actually really succeeds. From the production values, which are raw and harsh to the musical composition which is hateful and sorrowful all at the same time, we have quite the release on our hands. They're definitely drawing from the faster bands and pull a lot of influence from the likes of Mayhem and Marduk, I'm sure. Sometimes these lead guitar passages cut through the mix and we hear some really beautiful things. I really wish they had managed to find this sound a lot sooner, they would have been real monsters of the 90's with music this good. Like, I said though, I think it was worth the wait and I am really happy to see this band do so well with their debut.

If you truly miss the bygone era of Black Metal then see it recaptured and revisited here to near perfection. Some may gripe that "they've heard this before", but that is hardly cause for concern, because when someone writes music this good I simply can't complain. I find myself listening to this material fairly regularly, even years after I picked up this album.

Cataplexy - Fields of the Unlight
Self-Released, 2003
Genre: Black Metal

1. Through the Crimson Tears
2. Fields of the Unlight

After the release of their 1995 demo, which I don't have, Cataplexy disappeared from the world of metal. It might have been one of those cases of the early bands that release a few demo tapes then we never hear from them again, which happened quite often in the early 90's. However, fast forward to 2003, when Cataplexy had become a rather forgotten project, suddenly they return with this EP of two new songs. This EP was printed by the band and limited to 500 copies, of which I own #304.

Cataplexy's sound has been overhauled quite a bit. The musicians involved have clearly improved quite a bit, because now they perform a style of Black Metal more in the line of the violent and fast Scandinavian variety. This is certainly a major improvement over the likes of the "Teardrops" demo. Now they are writing songs that are both violent and have a certain level of that Black Metal atmosphere we all love. Some may complain that this borrows too much from the Scandinavian sound, but I'm fairly okay with that because Cataplexy manage to capture an excellent overall sound and they're good enough songwriters to make it worth our while. "Fields of the Unlight" is certainly the standout track on this two song EP, but I feel like Cataplexy is still trying to harness this musical change. They definitely have my attention more than ever before with these songs and I'll be interested in hearing what they produce next. Hopefully the project won't fall apart again.

Cataplexy - Teardrops Veiled Black Desire
Self-Released, 1994
Genre: Black Metal

1. Intro: Resurect the Ancient Memory
2. Under a Mournful Sky
3. When the Rise of the Moon
4. In Absentia Densus Foris
5. And Yet... (The Rain Continuously)

What was Japan doing the early 90's while Scandinavia was playing Black Metal? Basically, doing somewhat similar things. Cataplexy, like most Black Metal projects started off as Death Metal and while Sigh beat them to the punch with being one of the earliest Black Metal bands in Japan, Cataplexy is possibly a close second. I'm not sure though, I don't seem to follow Japanese Black Metal as much, but they have produced some real gems over the years. I'm not sure how many copies of this demo tape were released, but according to the booklet I have #269.

While many might expect a strange Japanese slant on the world of Black Metal, much like Sigh performs, Cataplexy stays fairly true to a more European sound. Like many bands in the early 90's, "Teardrops Veiled Black Desire" is another fairly lo-fi demo that is nigh unlistenable. The music, by today's standards is unimpressive. I think it's really cool to delve into backgrounds of different regions and listen to their early material. For some reason early Cradle of Filth comes to mind when I listen to this. Cataplexy has some faster thrashy sections, but they also bring in some slower nearly Doom level material, so that's why I'm get a bit of a "Principle of Evil Made Flesh" vibe from the demo. Even though that album came out in '94 as well, it's not unreasonable for people to get their hands on earlier Cradle of Filth demos.

Anyway, this demo is pretty standard fare as far as I'm concerned. It didn't really grab my attention, but it also wasn't awful. Maybe as Cataplexy builds their sound things will improve as the years go on, but I feel like the band is still in the beginning stages and sorting out their influences.