Gris
A lame Enflammee, lame Constellee


4.0
excellent

Review

by Grayson Hale USER (31 Reviews)
July 2nd, 2013 | 385 replies


Release Date: 07/09/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gris have exceeded all expectations with À l’âme enflammée, l’äme constellée… and created what is perhaps one of the most ambitious and innovative depressive black metal albums in recent times. For fans of the genre, this is essential listening

When Gris released Il ètait une forêt... in 2007, the underground celebrated the birth of a passionate new band that took the depressive black metal subgenre to new levels of pain and despair. Now, five and a half years later, the duo of Icare and Neptune return with their sophomore effort, a monolithic double album entitled À l’âme enflammée, l’äme constellée… that is sure to please fans and find them some new ones in the process.

It is clear from the outset that years of work have gone into this album, ensuring that it not only matches but surpasses the high standard set by its predecessor. Acoustic opener “L’Aube” is merely a mood-setter for the fifteen-minute epic “Les Forges,” which perfectly encompasses everything that makes this band special. Acoustic and classical elements are prominent, adding an otherworldly and sorrowful dimension to the melancholic black metal sections, resulting in a sound reminiscent of bands such as Agalloch and Drudkh. The change in musical style is also accompanied by a slight alteration in the vocal department, where Icare has fittingly adjusted his unhinged shrieks to sound more pained and desperate rather than tortured and suicidal. Fans of the last album might find this to be a downside of the new release, but the change is a suitable one and Icare manages to pull it off brilliantly.

Speaking of change, the production on À l’âme enflammée, l’äme constellée… is absolutely superb for a black metal record. Gone is the buzzing guitar tone from Il ètait... and in its place is a wonderfully full and enveloping atmosphere that shows off Gris’ newfound progressive tendencies. Every instrument can be heard clearly but the sound is still very raw and bare-boned. Perhaps the most impressive performance comes courtesy of the bass, which is noticeable throughout most of the album’s 80-minute duration. It certainly adds an interesting new dimension to the typical guitar-and-drum dominated black metal sound, and works perfectly alongside the somewhat tribal drumming and post-metal-inspired build-ups.

The only issue certain to plague À l’âme enflammée... is its length. Two discs and almost one and a half hours of dark and depressing black metal is the furthest thing from easy listening imaginable, and the album certainly loses some of its initial charm as it goes on. However, it has been split into two symmetrical parts for a reason, with both halves featuring near-identical track orderings that make for much more digestible 40 minutes sessions. This also helps overcome the strains of a consistently mid-tempo pace, as Gris avoid using blastbeats and thrash riffs in favour of a doomier, more atmospheric approach.

Gris have exceeded all expectations with À l’âme enflammée, l’äme constellée… and created what is perhaps one of the most ambitious and innovative depressive black metal albums in recent times. For fans of the genre, this is essential listening.

Originally written for Echoes and Dust: http://echoesanddust.com/2013/06/gris/



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Hawks
July 2nd 2013


35838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love the first album, I'm sure I'll dig this hard.

Ire
July 2nd 2013


41803 Comments


cool band but prob will never hear

SAPoodle
July 2nd 2013


491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You'd be missing out man, it slays

zaruyache
July 2nd 2013


6905 Comments


If you like Burzum you should probably listen to this. Still need to actually listen to their first
record but I hope to get on this one soon.

Digging: Ardour Loom - Demo

ThyCrossAwaits
July 2nd 2013


3055 Comments


I'm assuming this isn't readily available yet.

SAPoodle
July 2nd 2013


491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nope, got a promo copy for the review - but it's being released in a week so get excited!

TrueBlood
July 2nd 2013


1388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dam with all this gris i gotta start makin some pancakez

BallsToTheWall
July 2nd 2013


44644 Comments


Sweet

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

TrueBlood
July 2nd 2013


1388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

m/


DrMaximus
July 2nd 2013


9572 Comments


Sweet.

TrueBlood
July 2nd 2013


1388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

faith


NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2013


7098 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This looks tasty!

MoosechriS
July 3rd 2013


5029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Had this preordered for what feels like forever, not long now till i finally get to hear it. Nice review aswell dude pos'd

Willie
Moderator
July 3rd 2013


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've had this for a week or so, but have just started it. So far so good. Nice review.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2013


8899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

much better than their last, too bad it's so fucking long

rating might go up

TrueBlood
July 3rd 2013


1388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

noctus rating stinks ass usual

ThyCrossAwaits
July 3rd 2013


3055 Comments


he likes weird music

only loves Agalloch and Caladan Brood

ThyCrossAwaits
July 3rd 2013


3055 Comments


either way this needs to leak so I can love it

SAPoodle
July 3rd 2013


491 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's a long album, sure, but I listened to it in one sitting and survived. It gets really repetitive and hypnotic which helps.

The length is challenging, but it's not The Seer.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2013


8899 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

3 is a positive rating, guys

seriously



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