By: Matt Butler
Fange | facebook | bandcamp |
Released on September 2, 2016 via Throatruiner Records
Man, this is dark. Like buried-alive dark. Dark like you’re trapped in a box, with not even a sliver of light to provide respite.
Guttural, tortured screams, blood-curdling, atonal guitars, a downtuned, feedback-drenched, gory cacophony… just the thing for a lazy summer afternoon.
Put it this way: if you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you locked a bunch of nihilistic, noise-loving punks into a doom band’s practice room, your wait is over. It has a host of influences, minced up and regurgitated, but what matters is that it is a bloody satisfying listen. This album from a French trio may be unnerving, scary and dystopian, but it also has enough innards-shaking riffs and groove to render it visceral but, y’know, listenable. In fact it’s more than that, it’s bloody great, if you like your music scary, abrasive and bleak. And loud of course.
It begins with a scream and a funereal pace on ‘Cour Martiale’ that pulls down the shades and sets you up for the rest of the six-song album, before it goes all punk rock with a segment that sounds like an undead Exploited. ‘Mâchefer’, on the other hand, has a monster groove – that is, a groove actually made by monsters – that brings to mind a zombie biker gathering.
‘Roy-Vermine’ threatens to rev up into a stoner rock riff but wrong-foots you with a stark time change to send you into yet another pit. ‘Étouffoir’ has a martial beat, which will either get your head nodding or your feet locked into a death march, depending on your outlook.
The whole thing sounds like it was recorded in a bunker; all distortion (especially the bass, which has a particularly satisfying sludgy sound) and unnerving echo. It works well and is most effective on ‘De Guerre Lasse’, which sneaks a little guitar melody and pockets of quiet to add to the dissonance.
The closing track ‘Girone Della Merda’ picks up the pace, but still maintains the bleak atmosphere with a dark middle section where bass, drums and vocalist combine to mark time and cough up bile, before abruptly halting.
You’re left wondering what happened – and who turned out the lights.