Working as a one-man composer in any realm of music presents two things: firstly, you have the freedom to do absolutely anything without worrying about the token band mate whining “…man I’m just not feeling that, it’s too unconventional for me”, and secondly, you have a lot of mental work on your plate. Yet in the world of Vladimir Cochet, this clearly doesn’t serve as a barrier since he does this with five different projects. Putting aside the “It’s impossible to play, it’s a classic” mentality for a bit, Vlad’s music has really never held even a short-running interest by any means, but now he finally realizes that restraint is a PLUS, and necessary in his case.
Unholy Matrimony is a Swiss blackened metal band with blast beats being a rarity. That being said, none of the double bass is possible for most humans to perform. If you’re not new to Cochet’s projects this is fully understood already, but if not you will either think it’s pretty tasteless or it’s just fun, it varies. However, unlike Weeping Birth and Mirrorthrone, Unholy Matrimony has always had some staying power due to multiple things, one main thing being the apparent consciousness of the compositions as opposed to dragging neoclassical death metal out for over an hour. This was what made Love And Death so special, amongst many other elements, as well as what made Misologie a blunder, but it is this artistic growth that makes Cochet’s 2009 output so fun to listen to and it has nothing to do with everything sounding like a wall of snares and the tremolo of six guitars. Croire, Decroitre introduces the concept of mental disease, with suitable audio accompaniment, French lyrics, and of course enough brutality to make abortion an enjoyable hobby.
As mentioned before, Cochet learned from his mistakes in Mirrorthrone, allowing his ten minute tracks to not die out after one minute, also incorporating mostly shorter song lengths to make one listen that much more bearable. He has toned down the drums to a point where it seems he actually tried to write drum parts that complimented the other instruments (see Rictus de Mort et de Larmes), and though it does eventually go back to being blisteringly fast, the breaks of tasteful drum parts in between allow those ridiculously fast parts to be an actual attributing component. Basically, in every aspect Cochet had previously failed in, he put forth the same ideas but did them right. His songwriting is so much more interesting, obviously apparent in the first ten minute opus D’Elegance et de Dereliction, and his use of variation between riffing styles, tempos, and structures make this album what it is: a strong, headbangable metal record completely compromising his other disaster-filled releases.
Between the explosive introduction of Innocence Abusee, the acoustic breaks of La Lente Mort Sans Panache, and the maniacal chanting and giggling of Le Poids de Leur Chute les Rend Dignes’ clean folk interludes, Cochet has succeeded for once. His riffs shine, and the variety he explored in Love And Death is finally starting to seep back through, if only slightly in comparison. Either way, Unholy Matrimony just might be a force to be reckoned with this year, because next to Shining, Wolves In The Throne Room, and Blut Aus Nord, black metal has very little representation thus far, so take this album with strides across your backs, men; the evil is in your spirits.