SORDIDE - La France a peur

Sordide - La France a peur

7 songs
43:44 minutes
***** ***


Sometimes one has to really read a lot of info material before even daring to write something about a band. Sordide from Rouen in France make life in that way easier for the reviewer. The must have been founded only recently, as La France a peur is the first release of this strange black metal trio. The album title and song titles like Pauvre histoire and Violence sound creepily predictive, considering that this album was released only a good month before the Charlie Hebdo massacres in Paris.

So yes, France is really afraid right now, and maybe that’s why this album sounds so powerful this exact moment. Sordide’s black metal is not your typical Satanic fare. It seems as if their music is quite political, and it is really a shame that this promo copy didn’t come with a lyrics sheet. There are not even actual band photos, except from some monochromatic shots that are more mysterious than revealing.

The music is also quite different. Sure enough the foundation of the music is old school black metal, but unkempt hardcore punk plus AmRep styled noise rock have also left an indelible impression throughout the record. The opener Ni nom ni drapeau seems to be something of a leitmotif for the band: they don’t need to tell their real names and fancy artwork, instead let their music do the talking. At first it sounds very raw, and that’s certainly the intention, but underneath all the noisy approach you will encounter musicians that are actually quite gifted, no matter how hard they try to hide it. The opener starts for instance with a very prominent bass guitar, which is rather atypical for the genre. The guitar also comes with quite unusual chord progressions. The drums are fast and add a crude proto black metal feeling. The vocals are shared by the three musicians and sound quite desperate at times, adding a dimension of depressive black metal. Another highlight is the more measured Gloire, with nearly eight minutes the longest track on the album. This is very early black metal meeting noise rock la Steel Pole Bath Tub, resulting in something very deeply, darkly festive.

I don’t know much about Sordide, and maybe it’s their denial to stand out as personas that gives their sound such a unique quality. Black metal has unfolded into many different sub-genres over the years, and maybe Sordide have just invented their very own niche: noise black metal. Give it a try if you are unafraid of new kinds of music. This is unpolished, yet highly sophisticated under the surface, and will intrigue you for many hours.

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