1) Le souffle brûlant de l’immaculé
2) La chute d’une ombre
“Respire” is the debut EP by Parisienne Atmospheric Black Metal duo Cepheide. It is an epic ride, full of macabre passion and bleak emotion.
The EP opens with “Le souffle brûlant de l’immaculé”, it’s impassioned intro dripping with malevolent affectation before kicking in with piledriver BM rifferama. After a time the monochrome riffs begin to lose their lustre, and fatigue sets in. As the song progresses it slows to a gloomy soup of thick venomous atmospherics before cutting lose with pure rage again. A decent if unspectacular track. “La chute d’une ombre” follows, with a similarly eerie intro, which is very protracted and very atmospheric. This goes on for in excess of seven minutes, and is frankly glorious. In many ways it more reminiscent of Funeral Doom than eye gouging Black Metal. Finally it explodes with a furious barrage of vintage Black Metal riffage. At the ten minute mark the song breaks down into an evocative instrumental passage building ominously like a dam about to burst. It closes out out with a superbly warped riff. Black Metal par excellence!
“Respire” is far from perfect. The production (or lack thereof) leaves a lot to be desired, which is hardly surprising given that it is self released. It could be that the band were conciously going for a lo-fi sound, but it doesn’t quite work. The drum dound is terrible; cardboard boxes would have sounded better. The vocals are different for a Black Metal release, less harsh shrieking, more a kind of drunken wail. At times they are barely audible, sounding as though they were being delivered from a considerable distance. The sound of the release as a whole is very echoey, as though it was recorded in a cave.
Both songs are extremely long, so this release is not recommended for people with short attention spans. However when the band get it right they are superb; there are moments in “La chute d’une ombre” where I was reminded of Cepheide’s Gallic brethren Blut Aus Nord which is never a bad thing. A Band with great potential.