Non Serviam - Le Coeur Bat

31 May 2021 - Thorsten

Blackened-Industrial-Noise, Avantgarde | Code666 and others | Release date: 23 Apr 2021

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When is it justified to call a band and their record “avantgarde”? When they excel in their own genre? When they are able to mix several styles fluently and effortlessly? When they do not care at all about any limiting expectations set upon themselves by any scene police? In my opinion, it is all of this and more, but one thing strikes out most importantly to me: The will to think without boxes. Just like …

… Non Serviam from France! This anonymous collective from Paris might be not just the latest “hot shit” but a band that changes things, like Ornette Coleman and Refused, like My Bloody Valentine and Napalm Death, like Einsturzende Neubauten and Saint Vitus. What? Sounds strange? Okay, let me give you just one single comparison: Atari Teenage Riot. Non Serviam deliver what ATR only promised: ANYTHING goes on their record La Coeur Bat.

When the opening title track and opus magnum slowly creeps in on you and simply layers moody part on moody part, simple spoken vocals (and later screamed ones) on lush guitars, drone part on speedy background parts and all of that again and again you might not recognize the minutes passing by. The first real “outburst” is after roughly 220 seconds, when the drums come to the foreground and pick up the pace. The band then calms the whole track down for the next chapter to start after a very calm part, and one should admit it, the 25 minutes are mesmerizing, they switch genres without any foreshadowing and they are able to bring it all together under the bigger label “industrial grindcore” - exactly where Atari Teenage Riot was headed before they disbanded. The anonymous collective from Paris shows what is possible if you take your time to record the best possible songs (there has been a LONG) pause between this full-length and the one before.

After the grindcore-opera ”La Coeur Bat” the band takes the next track to show that the same structure can also be applied to songs not exceeding the 9-minute-barrier. ”Infanticide” is calm but nerve-wrecking with its title shaking the heart of any parent. However the track is much more shoegaze-meets-industrial than its predecessor and even the noisy parts towards the middle and the triphop-ending cannot alter that impression. The next track ”Nights In Black Masses” features some jazz-horns and simultaneously some krauty-moog sounds and with every track it becomes clearer that this band doesn’t care at all about the question whether they might push too hard or too far. They make this music for themselves, this is their vision and yes, this is something we have not thought possible before.

With this record might lose some fans because of the open attitude of the music. Yet, at the same time, they do not care about it. They are genre-pushers, although, come to think about it, they do not think in boxes, in genres. They simply do what they do best – challenge your listening habits. You might be a huge grindcore fan worshiping Napalm Death or a Jazz-aficionado and all about skills and emotions. And yes, you will all find something on here and if you open up to the record you will find so much more. If you want to know what Avantgarde with bite and grit, with a heart for innovation and the guts to “go for it” - exactly what avantgarde means: fighting on the first line of what is possible. And with this release, Non Serviam simply scream at you “ANYTHING GOES!” If you buy one exhilarating record this year Le Coeur Bat might be the ultimate go-to-choice!