Vehemence (FRA)
Ordalies


3.5
great

Review

by InfernalDeity CONTRIBUTOR (38 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2022 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dude, flaming swords lol.

Fun. It isn't typically a word that is commonly associated with the Black Metal genre. Cold, raw, blistering speed are the qualities that instantly come to mind. I don't listen to black metal to chant the chorus. I mean, its not that I wouldn't or that I don’t want to, but there hasn’t really been a Black Metal record that has made me want to do that. Most of them just make me want to stare at churches–menacingly. Ordalies, the third effort from this French Black Metal trio, makes me want to sing the chorus. And I don’t even speak French! Louange * l'étoile du matin!

Now, there is about as many shades of Black Metal as there is . . . I don't know. I couldn't think of a witty idom. You know what idoms are right? Without a doubt you've heard the classic, "Does a bear sh*t in a Catholic?" Right. Put something in the comments to help me out and maybe I'll update this review in the future. It's Epic Medieval Black Metal–that’s the camp these guys are in alright? Great, now lets get on with the review.

De feu et d'acier starts this album off. You are greeted with a crackling, fire that is accompanied by guitar playing that sounds like the Bard from the Witcher playing his lute. Then the speed comes and you are in familiar Medieval Black Metal territory, but in the great words of the late Billy Mays "But wait, theres more!". Approximately two minutes and twenty seconds into the track, you hear the chanting of a chorus that is absolutely infectious. The image that is conjured is a group of soldiers surrounding the two knights battling it out on the album cover–cheering on the bloodshed. They're probably singing a song about honor and death. Did I mention that I don’t speak French? Like, at all. They could be talking about the Schrodinger equation or OxiClean for all I know (RIP Billy). Speaking about the album cover: you know what's funnier than two guys fighting to the death with flaming swords? The fact that the artist found it necessary to draw little stalks of grass. Listen, details matter and that’s just as apparent in the music as it is on that wonderfully awful album artwork! Oh! I almost forgot! There's a flute to close out this espresso shot of a song–magnifique! In fact, the flute makes multiple appearances throughout the record, but never once over stays its welcome.

The second track, Notre royaume… en cendres, which translates into Our Kingdom… In ashes, really shows the technical proficiency and calculated approach that the guitarist bring to this record. Now, the tag Medieval Black Metal may paint a picture of the sound in your head that is anything but a a true reflection. Unfortunately, as a writer I do not have the skill required to sufficiently convey the sound of Ordalies, but dare I say I hear some Maiden influence? I so dare, even if it is ever so slight. Now, if this isn't your cup of tea, theres no reason to get your panties in a bunch (The French wear panties right? Definitley just a myth made by horny Americans) there is plenty more delightful sounds in Ordalies to discover.

Au Blason Brûlé is the midpoint of the album and is an intelligent move by the band. This track is straight forward black metal that is executed wonderfully. The tremolo riffs are hellishly quick and still retain every ounce of beautiful melody to be seen throughout the record. Now, I'd like to address the production for a moment. Its clean and not just by Black Metal standards. This might just be the cleanest sounding Black Metal record I have heard. So, is that a positive or negative? It's honestly boils down to preference. The Black Metal trio are astonishingly good musicians and I personally think a shoddy production would do the band an injustice. This is readily apparent around the 5 minute mark of Au Blason Brûlé. The melodies commonly associated with that Medieval era are brought to the forefront and it is a welcomed divergence from the controlled chaos that you heard just moments ago.

Ordalies is an exciting record. I think Vehemence are really beginning to carve out a place for themselves amongst the Black Metal scene. With that being said, I'm not entirely certain if they have mastered their sound yet. For whatever reason, it may very well be the production that I approved of in the last paragraph, this record isn't as expansive as it should be. There are a lot of different sounds to be found on here, but I'm not entirely sure that they were utilized to their entire potential. Some of the softer moments drag on perhaps a tad too long or appear at a time in which the song could benefit from a swift quick in the rear. However, that is truly nitpicking a fantastic effort and may not be a sentiment that is shared by the reader. Give it a spin and make your own conclusions. Cheers.



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user ratings (56)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
zaruyache
March 23rd 2022


27419 Comments


FRANCE

DungeonBoy
March 24th 2022


9727 Comments


Definitely high up on my list, Par le sang versé, was incredible from start to finish

Rastapunk
March 25th 2022


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm impressed this was on your radar! Bought the CD, pretty good and fun but nothing new

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


32046 Comments


"Approximately two minutes and twenty seconds into the track, you hear the chanting of a chorus that is absolutely infectious." I was not disappointed, this is fun indeed.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


18257 Comments


Fun, you say?

Pikazilla
March 29th 2022


29799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The streak of disappointing March bm releases continues.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


18257 Comments


dude...

Pikazilla
March 29th 2022


29799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

it's okay, other genres have been performing well



can't have 'em all

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


18257 Comments


Like that death metal genre I guess

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


32046 Comments


yeah it's not great but it's... entertaining?

Pikazilla
March 29th 2022


29799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

both albums before this are generally better

KnickFurey
March 29th 2022


779 Comments


Whats been good in death metal?

TyrranT
March 29th 2022


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album disappointing? Really? Sometimes I do not understand black metalheads lol. Riffs are killers, ambiantation is amazing. This is the best BM album of the last 2 years. This is not just entertaining or "fun". This is at the same time ferocious, poetic, melancholic, epic... At least if you follow this band since their beginning and if you liked their previous album "Par le Sang Versé" you have to love this new work.



I don't know why only bad voices raise here but from the overall rating we can see that this album is really appreciated.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2022


32046 Comments


I haven't heard the whole thing yet but yeah looks entertaining and fun.

I am not a black metal head so I guess I am allowed to label BM like that. Damn, i'm so simple sometimes.

Muzz79
March 30th 2022


3069 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Solid folk bm. Goes all the way to the end

Rastapunk
March 31st 2022


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Chill out TyrranT, people are allowed to have a différent opinion than yours. The most important part for you is if you like it or not. You seem to enjoy it, good for you



For me it's good, but definetly not a 5

TyrranT
April 2nd 2022


4 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I do not agree, when you are black metalers for years and has given a lot in the scene, you recognize good music and it is just not a matter of preference but a matter of good sense. When I love something, and moreover something that is undoubtedly good, I cannot stand that people who like black metal do not comply with me if they are intelligent. Otherwise I consider them as idiot.

Frost15
April 2nd 2022


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rofl! Well, with that mindset I'm pretty sure you are gonna make a lot of friends here dude... haha! I'm gonna give this a spin because I loved their previous one.

Rastapunk
April 3rd 2022


1544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hahahahaha good one TyrranT. Who's alt is this? :D

Frost15
April 3rd 2022


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know but it's funny af



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