Neige Morte – Bicephaale


[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

The shrilling tremolo opening the first track, “500 Jours de Haine”, opens the gate to a hateful spitting out of crude black metal that takes its confused shape not from controlled structures or riffs, but from a massive flow of lava-thick black noise. The French Neige Morte shows an ugly, disfigured face reflected in a portentous, dirty influenced sound, born out of the fitting between corrosive, slurry sludge metal and its extreme redelivery through an incisive flow-rate of black metal. They use an obscure sort of DSO variant vocals, changed dramatically on the second track into unrestricted death metal harsh growls. On this track, “Death Shall Have No Dominion”, their compositional versatility transforms a seemingly mocking hardcore progression into an impressive anti-ritual à la Impetuous Ritual, the side-project of Portal. If you like, Neige Morte adapts Blasphemy’s chaotic destructive compositions to the modern (in)sensibility of this new (un)century and forces a serrated coupling with the American picaresque musical nihilism, best synthesized in the last Twilight album “Beneath Trident’s Tomb III” (complementary to the vocalist’s other band, the highly quoted in the sludge-metal genre, Overmars).

This kind of pantheistic sensitivity somehow originating in the new fallen world is characteristic to an apparently ironic treatment of composition, with the musicians losing their structure and seeming to find a paradoxical comfort in confusion alone. “Eaters of Worlds” is a paradigm of this feature, as it takes to a poetical brutality reminiscent of the latest Leviathan (USA), which is then slackened and defiled through a sort of Mutilation-esque satanic ebullition, and finally completely massacred into an Abruptum-like collapse of a demonic evocative jawed jam-session.

The record continues with a two-sided composition “Plénitude…” and “…Et Vacuité du Combat”, a metaphor on the ambivalent aspect of concepts or feelings, also related to the record’s title, “Bicephaale” (two-headed), an antithetical condition of man. While “Plénitude” wanders through minimal down-key noises, “…Et Vacuité du Combat” follows a miserable acoustic of sludge-tormented doom, spiced up with menacing bass pestilence and chaotic hardcore grinding. The picture in itself splashes out in deep-cutting taints, while the antithetic feelings of plenitude and vacuity emerge through this confrontation with existence. This very battle of self-annihilation is the foundation of a new life: ‘il y a une nouvelle vie qui n’est pas la sienne’ (there exists a new life which is not his/ hers).

When the world is eaten-out the self still remains: “Eater Of Soul” closes the record and allegorically ends a borrowed existence. The song is entirely destructive, an audio-shocking propaganda built on trash-military and depressive metal rhythms along with post-metal mental deficiencies, pinned with white noise.

“Bicephaale” examines from an existential perspective an ever confused past while offering an occasionally stolen glimpse of the persona’s future. Both in terms of music and background philosophy, it is an image of the struggle for freedom and true life; la Rosée de l’Immortalité, the dew of immortality. You can approach it in different ways and never get satiated or have it under complete control, as “Tu n’es pas son maître mais son véhicule.”

Neige MorteBicephaale
ConSouling Sounds, Soul 0035
CD 2014


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