"It’s the beginning of the March to the Black Holocaust. It’s a pure masterpiece from the Black Legions, the immortal sons of Satan, warriors of Black Imperial Blood! It’s the last Black Metal recording this world will hear before its ineluctable end! One more Victory in the Dark War!"
Such were the cryptic and foreboding words of the enigmatic Wlad Drakksteim, when asked in 1995 about the now classic split album March To The Black Holocaust
between his band Vlad Tepes, and fellow Les Legions Noires legend group Belketre. While bombastic in nature, this group of young and narcissistic teenagers have since been given every reason for their outrageous pomposity; the Les Legions Noires are now one of the most renowned societies to ever exist within the realm of black metal.
Formed sometime between the late 80’s and the early 90’s the Les Legions Noires (or Black Legions) started with the initial four bands of Vlad Tepes, Belketre, Torgeist and Mutilation. The first releases from the LLN were amateurish to say the least- however over time the groups began to find an identity all of their own, and the society soon began to thrive on seminal releases such as Black Murder’s Feasts
, Torgeist’s Devoted To Satan
and Mutilation’s Vampires of Black Imperial Blood
. As the infamy of the group grew so did its ranks, which soon began to encompass the works of the unpronounceable Brenoritvrezorkre, the dark ambient stylings of Aäkon Këëtrëh and the avant-garde works of Moëvöt amongst a slew of other artists. However, despite all the quality works produced from this scene, it was one album that would bring the LLN to such lofty heights of fame, one album that acted as the pure audio essence of the Black Legions; March To The Black Holocaust
, a split between two the Les Legions Noires best bands, Belketre and Vlad Tepes.
"This Black journey started with the meeting with our brothers from the Black Legions. So we began the Black War Funeral March. As this war that we’ve declared to this “world” is ending, we mark the return of the Master and of Chaos"
Proving to be far from a standard one dimensional black metal group, Vlad Tepes, is the first band featured on the March To The Black Holocaust
split. Backed by a crude production, the music of Vlad Tepes is both unabashedly raw, yet equally melodic; two factors that definitely aid in widening the appeal of the groups brand of black metal. Wlad Drakkstieim’s typical, yet enjoyable rasp dominates tracks such as the tremolo picked laden “Massacre Song from the Devastated Lands” and the hypnotic “Drink the Poetry of the Celtic Disciple”, which consist two of the more conventional black metal songs on the album. “In Holocaust to the Natural Darkness” is unbridled Bathory worship at its finest, overflowing with excellent thrash riffs and foot tapping drum rhythms. The track “Diabolical Reaps” sees the band unknowingly predicting the future of black metal, as the song takes the best traits of black metal and perfectly melds them with the more unrefined nature of crust punk, a spectacle that is quite common today with popular groups such as Darkthrone and Bone Awl.
Opposing Vlad Tepes overtly melodic approach, Belketre’s raw, apocalyptic black metal assault during the March To The Black Holocausts
’s second half is some of the best ever recorded to tape. With a noticeable dip in production values, opening track “Guilty” is a dissonant filled punch to the gut, brimming with blast beats and Lord Aäkon Këëtrëh’s distorted black metal screech. Prone to minimal experimentation, the track “Hate” is particularly haunting; starting with clean picked guitar chords, the soon begins to incorporate a demonic growl vile enough to send shivers down a person’s spine. “Night In Sadness” also demonstrates some minor experimentation with the latter part of the song consisting of a simple, melodic guitar line and more clean picked guitars.
Despite the wonderful material produced by the Black Legions, the scene was unfortunately not meant to last, and the last album from the group was released in 1997. Known for its completely satanic worshipping ways, it’s doubtful that the Les Legions Noires will be forgotten, especially with records such as March To The Black Holocaust
existing in its twisted discography.
"I know my Death will take place at the end of our circle that means the end of this world. Our souls are forever united."