30 May 2021 - Thorsten
Blackened-Post-Metal | Release date: 19 Jan 2021
When a young band emails you about their EP which you had already heard before and tells you quite shamelessly that they are not here to give anything to you because they have already given everything then that can have two reasons: Either they are over-confident about their EP or they know that their three songs and 20 minutes are simply good.
With À Terre from France it is the latter, for sure. Notre Ciel Noir was released at the beginning of the year and a friend of mine and me already had it on our year-long-playlist of new tracks because I really liked the three tracks by the guys from the Southwest of France and so it needed to go on there.
Of course their influences like Amenra, ISIS or their fellow Frenchmen Dirge or are very obvious: Can that really be a negative? Yes, if you do not present something unique, but À Terre definitely have something singular going for them and that are not their French vocals. It’s (as often in this genre) the little details: ”La Résponse”, for example, features wonderful exact rim-kicks or its well-balanced whispered vocals that are just a little distorted and that makes them even more memorable. Or that well-built-up abruptness of the ending of ”Bordeaux Traumatisme”. The drums are well-set, the guitars are rough and yet, often, intimate, and the vocals are really on a very high level.
This music is made for evenings when you do not quite see the light, but when darkness is all around you, that also shows in their lyrics: ”Avec toi ou sans toi vais-je trouver La Réponse? Avec toi ou sans toi vais-je trouver?” (Do I find the answer with or without you?) - not the nicest thing to ask. Or at least not the thing to ask if you are really confident in you and the one you ask. So we should admit that the black and white tower on the cover also shows the inner conflict of mankind – how self-confident can we be without being arrogant? When we then think of the record’s title, Notre Ciel Noir (Our black heaven) we can easily identify the depression beyond the dark clouds about the tower.
Once again, yes, À Terre do not invent the genre new, true. But if you write such an instant classic like ”La Résponse” that channels the Amenra feelings to the best result possible, then you should not question the ability of the band, you should follow the guys!