Sordide- La France A Peur

Rating: 4/5
Distributor/label: Avantgarde Music
Distributor/label URL: https://avantgardemusic.bandcamp.com/album/la-france-a-peur
Released: 2015
Buy Album [URL]: https://avantgardemusic.bandcamp.com/album/la-france-a-peur
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/sordideband

Line Up sordide

Nemri – drums & voices
Nekurat – bass & voices
Nehluj – guitar & voices

Tracklisting

1. Ni nom ni drapeau
2. Blâme
3. Gloire
4. L’innocence
5. La France a peur
6. Pauvre Histoire
7. Violence

When this release appeared on my desk the first element that grabbed my attention was the presentation. The English translation of the title simply put reads ‘France Is Afraid’, coupled with what can only be described as an disgruntled cockerel and a logo which conjures an implied mountainscape, this French power trio seem in no way to be hiding their patrimony. Already intrigued, the first spin proves to be a raw and aggressively negative experience… in a gloriously transcendent way.

Production wise it’s a deliberately striped down/garage affair but for Sordide that’s an essential part of the proceedings, giving each instrument space to become and also illustrate the thought and skill that has clearly gone into this release. Nehluj’s razor sharp re-verb drenched guitars veer between thoughtfully hypnotic arpeggio passages and lightning fast riffage while the bass picks it’s place in the mix with total precision. It’s easy some times to dismiss garage production as being unskilled, in this case it’s an essential element to the over all feel of the album and due to the high clear guitar, toppy bass and the low range drums with their subtlety leading to all out battery you can really hear the musicianship at work here.

There are present an eclectic mix of influences here too, not just a standard homage to the early 90’s black metal canon as some bands debuts can suffer from. Elements of Leviathan and Kreig are present which for me is a definite win, yet vocally I would feel I was belittling the release with too much comparison, preferring to state desperate and furious screams from truly tortured individuals, the spite, venom and honesty clear with every pass. The more I listen the more I can hear d-beat comparisons to Swedish bands such as Anti Cimex and guitar passages that have an almost 50’s garage rock feel… but don’t be put off by that as it’s a good thing, this is clearly a multi-layered release both musically and lyrically (I am especially pleased they remain in French) spilling over with pensive rage, honesty and all out venom.

To that end I can’t wait to hear more from this Rouen based trio, this is an album of contrast, of multifaceted textures and despite ‘La France A Peur’ being a modern debut there is something truly authentic about it overall, perhaps because the three members who make up Sordide have been very active in the Normandy extreme metal scene since the 90’s. Whatever the reasoning behind it’s legitimate feel this is a strong and haunting first effort.

Review by Chris Casket
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