Apocalypso by SortilègeRelease date: March 3, 2023
Label: Season of Mist
In the year 1983 the French metal band Sortilège released their self-titled mini-album which was the start of a short but intensive period (1983 – 1986) being bombed as kings of the French heavy metal scene.
Because of the language barrier (French lyrics) the French metal scene remained largely unknown and unsung beyond the country’s borders. Bands like H-Bomb, ADX, Attentat Rock, Vulcain, Trust, Warning, Blaspheme and of course Sortilège stayed unfortunately in the underground scene. Lead singer Christian ‘Zouille’ Augustin reformed the band with a new line-up and came back in 2021 with a compilation of re-recorded classic tracks and two new songs. Now four decades later Sortilège releases a complete new album adding some modernity to their old school style.
Apocalypso kicks off in an old fashioned way with shredding guitar riffs and the intense and high vocals of Zouille. Despite some slight vocal cord vibrations the 65 year old singer still hasn’t lost his powerful voice. On Sortilège’s debut Zouille sounded like he had three lungs and to this day the lead singer still sounds very vivid. The album contains variated and powerful songs with Arabic influences, classic hard rock (‘Derrière les portes de Babylone’ with a riff like Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’) and bursts of power and speed metal.
The new band around Zouille contributes with passion and dedication to the song structures with heavy riffs and double bass drum blasts but they couldn’t avoid the anachronistic hard rock cliché traps in some songs (‘Attila’, ‘Le sacre du sorcier’). With no doubt Apocalypso turned out to be a good album with nostalgic underground sounds from the French metal scene of the eighties.