À la lumière des cendres reviews

80%
Asag_Asakku on June 4th, 2012

Grimoire – À la lumière des cendres (2011)

It is with curiosity that I start listening Quebec band Grimoire’s first album, a one-man project founded in 2010 by Fiel, who also plays drum for Csejthe and Forteresse. The man, as we can see, is not a novice. Given his previous artistic experiences, I expect straight black metal, swung at unwary listeners. Well, surprise! À la lumière des cendres (2011) is closely related to atmospheric/ambient black metal sub-genre. The astonishment past, the fun begins.

This record is, in my humble columnist opinion, the best Quebec black metal album of 2011. I even dare to compare it to the finest Drudkh or Belenos releases. Let’s briefly discuss this jewel.

The album starts with a diptych entitled Berisiel, who introduced beautifully the style deployed by Grimoire, that is to say, a heavy and saturated sound with mid-tempo rhythm, covered by several guitar layers. Epic atmospheres are created with keyboards, while the guitar/drum couple plays faster loops. Morne’s (also howler Csejthe) sepulchral voice adds depth to this title, giving it an evil sounding coat. À l’ombre du vieux chêne is a beautiful gentle piano interlude. But it’s a trap. While daydreaming, Les flammes de l’ignorance rolls the listener into a wall of sound. The instrumental Ostara combines atmospheric elements over typical black metal sonorities, but it's actually Les cieux de l’insignifiance that brings us to the pinnacle. What a song! An instant classic that still plays a lot in my Mp3 player, an epic title, creepy but beautiful, recalling Drudkh's Furrows of God.

No, this album will not please everyone, for sure. But anyone who is able to appreciate original, creative and superbly performed black metal must get a copy of À la lumière des cendres. 8/10

Originally written for metalobscur.com

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95%
nilgoun on August 14th, 2011

An insiders tip!

The mastermind behind Grimoire is called Fiel. À La Lumière Des Cendres is his first output which he composed and played all on his own (with a little help with the growls). You may ask yourself: “In which bands was this Fiel active?” Everyone who knows a bit of the canadian black metal scene will say “Ahh!” when he/she reads, that Fiel was the drummer of Csejthe and Forteresse in which he also played the keyboard. That is a good indicator, for Grimoire is no run-of-the-mill band. The style of black metal is quite similiar as well, as Grimoire offers atmospherical black metal.

It will surprise nobody, that the songs are a bit slower, as this is the standard when it really comes to atmospherical songs. This mostly is, because the synthesizer sounds and the strings need time to unfold themselves. The guitars are mostly there for rhythm purposes as the lead melodies are played by the aforementioned two instruments and the vocals. It is not unusual for canadian black metal, that the vocals are held in french and this is just the case for À La Lumière Des Cendres (who would have thought this?), but you wouldn’t have understood anything, as the lyrics are growled (as usual for black metal). The vocals are varied, although Morne (guest singer for the growls, known from Csejthe) never really uses clean vocals and there is not much to say about them, besides the fact that there is a bit reverb used.

There are six songs which are sperated into two instrumentals and four normal songs with vocals. Two of the normal songs are opening the record and both are structural as well as contentwise akin. This might be, because the two songs have nearly the same name: Berisiel I and II. These songs are held in mid-tempo and are offering a mystic atmosphere which is streaked with melancholic strings. The atmosphere is backed with the slow growls of Morne and the guitars are, as mentioned before, there for rhythm purposes but they have some playful moments when the strings are calm. Both songs are sounding exactly the same which raises the question why he has splitted them, but that was probably for lyrical purposes.

The songs with vocals are harder than the instrumentals which offer a dreamy, calm atmosphere and are carried by piano/guitar sounds and the strings are barely used here. In terms of orchestration there are some similiarities with Nachtreich (the german ones). The main atmosphere is the mystic/melancholic which is spiced up in different songs with different elements. Les Flammes de L’ignorance is for instance more aggressive than the other songs and uses some vocal samples. All in all, you have to say that the orchestration and the composition are well done, but the songs are a bit akin to each other because the melodies the strings are playing are sounding quite similiar. The production is good as well, only the bass would have needed some more power.

Conclusion:

À La Lumière Des Cendres is a surprisingly brilliant record, especially as Grimoire is a dark horse. The experiences Fiel gathered while playing in Forteresse and Csejthe are audible but (or “and”) good. The atmosphere of the songs might be a bit akin, but that isn’t really annoying and so you can hear the record many times without problems. Although there are these similiarities in atmosphere each song has its own character, is staged beautiful and convincing. A true insiders’ tip, so start listening!

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nilgoun // http://threnodies.com

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À la lumière des cendres track list

1Bérisiel I06:02
2Bérisiel II04:42
3À l'ombre du vieux chêne03:26
4Les Flammes de l'ignorance07:43
5Ostara08:02
6Les Cieux de l'insignifiance08:06
7-04:13

À la lumière des cendres lineup

FielAll instruments