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domenica 3 maggio 2020

Cénotaphe - Monte Veritá

#FOR FANS OF: Black Metal
The French scene is an unending source of excellent bands in the black metal field, being remarkably the last two decades, when this scene has flourished with a remarkable quality and quantity. As it is usual in this genre, we can always find musicians who shared its time with several projects, sometimes having an incredible amount of side projects. The French duo Cenótaphe is one of these cases. The project was founded back in 2015 by Fog and Khaosgott, who have several different projects. The case of Fog is impressive as he has been involved in around twenty projects, and as far as I know, he is, at least officially, still immersed in nine projects. This is outstanding to say at least. Going back to Cénotaphe, this project has been quite active, though it has only released a couple of demos and a split. The stuff contained in these works was interesting, though there was still a room to evolve and refine its compositions. Due to this, it was interesting to see what this duo could offer in a full length work after this period of progression.

Five years after its inception, Cénotaphe has recently released its debut album entitled 'Monte Veritá'. This work contains eight tracks, which as it is usually in France or Quebec, are sung in French. I always appreciate when a band sings in its own language, as it always helps to give a distinctive touch to their music. Musically speaking 'Monte Veritá' is firmly rooted in the black metal genre and it has a reasonably well-balanced production, with a certain grade of rawness, especially in the guitars. The vocals remind me some bands from Quebec and indeed the French scene, with distinctively aggressive and high-pitched vocals. The songs themselves have an unsurprising aggressiveness with a tendency of being quite straightforward and speedy, though the pace varies between fast and mid sections. Thank to this slight variety, these compositions never fall in an uninteresting tediousness. The album opener "Myosis" is a fine example with its fast pace and vicious vocals. The guitars, though having a slightly filthy production, have a strong melodic essence, which makes the song interesting. The first track has also an atmospheric arrangement, slightly buried in the mix, but which stills manages to enrich the track. Another interesting arrangement are the clean vocals introduced in the song "Aux Cieux Antérieurs", which add a solemn touch to the track. As the atmospheric arrangement, this resource is used a couple of times in the album. These elements make the album sound closer to a more atmospheric oriented stuff at times. In the song "De Mon Promontoire Astral", which is probably the best track of the album in terms of the guitar work, we can find both resources successfully used. This song has a nice balance between pure aggressiveness, atmosphere and energetic pace. We should never forget that is album is focused on the guitars, but the use of other musical ingredients, manages to expand the band´s sound avoiding the risk of sounding too restricted.

All in all, 'Monte Veritá' is a remarkably solid album, with a constancy in the quality and intensity of all the tracks contained in this debut release. The compositions have an interesting balance between ferociousness and melody, and its atmospheric touches make the songs richer and more interesting. What is initially a standard black metal album, ends being an excellent effort with an epic and atmospheric undertone. (Alain González Artola)

(Nuclear War Now! Productions - 2020)
Score: 78