SORDIDE - Les idées blanches

Sordide - Les idées blanches

7 songs
39:09 minutes
***** ****
Les Acteurs de l'Ombre

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Sordide from the Normandy region of France are a black metal band that I discovered with their debut album La France a peur in 2014, and then somehow I lost sight of them. Every two or so years they released a new album, and finally I found my way back to them with their fourth record Les idées blanches. It is obvious that Sordide have quite evolved over the years, and it would be simplifying and plainly wrong to label them as just another run-of-the-mill black metal band.

The band is a so-called power trio where all three musicians share the vocals. The rhythm section is brutal and whirling all over the place, giving the guitar ample room to deliver one toxic riff after another. Although the guitar is distorted, it comes with more of a strange punk sound than an actual metal vibe. In that way, they remind me of Canadian prog thrash kings Voivod who also always sounded different from every other genre band. Sordide are apparently heavily antifascist. Even good knowledge of the French language will have you though grasping for meaning, so poetic and cryptic are the lyrics.

The album is at forty minutes not exactly long, but the seven songs still manage to surprise you time and again. The opener Je n’ai nul pays starts with a thundering rhythm and a chainsaw guitar riff. The vocals add something very epic, making it hard to forget this track anytime soon. Ruines futures starts out much faster, but its second half comes with a great instrumental part where the guitarist proves that he is truly one of a kind. The title track has a very melodic and spooky beginning, once again showing that Sordide do their very own thing.

At times it feels as if the trio is channelling the angular progginess of Voivod with the pummelling heavy metal of Motörhead circa 1986 (I am thinking of Orgasmatron), all the while using the poetic lyrical craft of Renaud, a French chansonnier Sordide even covered in the early days of their history. Fans of thoroughbred black metal might feel alienated, but those looking for new sounds still happening within the vast universe of all things metal should be delighted with these French guys that started out already really promising and since then have steadily improved into their very own niche.

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