Album: Le dernier adieu
Label: Pest Productions
Release Date: 30/10/2021
The project hails from Saint-Eustache, Quebec and features sole member Evillair. This is their 5th full-length album and marks the fourth released since April 2020. Somehow despite the rapid output of releases the quality seems to actually improve with each new offering.
The thing that really makes this album stand out for me is the sheer level of emotion it manages to not only express within itself but also to conjure up within the listener themselves. Each and every track on this album is truly moving in a raw and devastating way. The sheer level sorrow, depression and anguish expressed not just through Evillair’s vocals but also through his instrumentation is not something you see every day.
On the topic of vocals, I should point out that his style on this album sits halfway between raw pained DSBM style vocals and faded/distorted atmospheric black metal vocals. They carry with them palpable emotion that will gradually wear down even the most stoic of listeners. Lyrically the songs hit as hard as they do as they are actually poems written by several French poets. These poems cover topics of loss, death, faith and sorrow and were written by the following authors:
“Le corbillard” par Émile Nelligan (1879-1941)
“La Nuit” par Évariste de Parny (1778)
“Adieu” par Jean Lacou (1869)
“Je n’ai plus que les os” par Pierre de Ronsard (1524-1585)
“La mort des amants” par Charles Baudelaire (1821-1967)
“Le dernier adieu” par René-François Sully Prudhomme (1869)
Roughly translated here are just two verses from the album’s opening track Le corbillard (the hearse):
“In times of fog, cold wind and rain,
When the azure has clothed like a mantle of soot,
Feast of the black angels! in the afternoon, late,
How painful it is to see a hearse,
Dragged by funeral horses, in autumn,
To go jolting to the monotonous path,
Over there to some gray lost graveyard,
Who himself, like a great dead man lies stretched out!”
Instrumentally the guitarwork carries plenty of additional emotion thanks to the rich tones employed by the artist. They vary from sorrowful smoother tones to sharper more barbed tones that convey heightened anguish and rage. The drum programming is definitely on the more intense side for an atmospheric black metal album and yet they never feel assaulting.
The album captures that quality that makes atmospheric black metal so unique, the softening of sharp edges. The album like all black metal has a real bite to it, a harshness and intensity but through the use of atmospheric qualities that edge is softened and reduced and a such begins to convey a wider emotional range than simply anger or rage.
Overall, this is a release that I’ve found myself coming back to on multiple occasions since my first listen through. There is something about it that really helps it stand out from its contemporaries. I can’t put my finger on whether it’s the raw emotions it captures of the beauty with which it expresses them. You’ll have to decide for yourself how the album speaks to you.