Album Review: Verdun – “The Eternal Drift’s Canticles”

VERDUN-TheEternalDriftsCanticles-WEBIt’s always a cool thing when expectations for a country’s metal scene are thrown by the wayside with the arrival of an album. In the case of the French outfit Verdun, their first full-length (following 2012’s The Cosmic Escape of Admiral Masuka EP) The Eternal Drift’s Canticles is quite the opposite of what we normally expect to come from France. In a country that is often recognized for its boundary-bending black metal, Verdun stick to a tried-and-true template of doom/sludge metal with occasional flourishes of stoner vibes ala Electric Wizard. While it has some really strong moments, The Eternal Drift’s Canticles primary weakness is one that plagues many other sludge acts – not knowing when to let an idea go and move on from it.  Continue reading

Album Review: Monolithe – “Epsilon Aurigae”

monolithe epsilon aurigae

I never really got classical music. Maybe it’s just my true knuckle dragging tendency, maybe it was rebellious (see also: misguided) youth, maybe I was just never sophisticated enough. It always seemed to be populated by the elite so I think that’s why I set my default appreciation of it in full reverse. Music for snobs? At least that’s what I’d tell myself. Of course everything is subjective and I was just a dumb kid. But as a slightly less dumb adult I think I have experienced my first positive interpretation of what I would happily label classical music, in the form of France’s progressive doom metal act Monolithe. With four full outings already under their belt that I’m still retrospectively indulging in, they are about to release album number five in the form of Epsilon Aurigae. And it is, as the kids say, way epic man. Continue reading

Album Review: Gorod – “A Maze of Recylced Creeds”

gorod a maze of recycled creeds

The French don’t get the credit they deserve when it comes to pushing the boundaries of extreme metal. Sure, plenty of bands get their dues here and there, but how often do you read or hear about the virtues and quality of French metal, specifically when it comes to progressive, experimental, and avant-garde music. The country is home to some of the best metal acts around; Blut Aus Nord, Peste Noire, Kronos, Benighted, and my personal favorites, Deathspell Omega and Gojira all call France home. Hell, even their French-Canadian cousins create some of the best metal around, evidenced by almighty acts like Voivod, Cryptopsy, and Gorguts, all of which hail from Quebec. Clearly, there’s something in the Foie Gras. Continue reading