Une Ombre Régit les Ombres consists of songs that are epic in length and vision, blasting out of the darkness with confidence, style and much aplomb. The music is a mix of progressive black/death metal, more skewed to the blackened side of things, if only due to the atmospheres evoked and the rasping screams of the main vocals.
Although there’s a large helping of blistering aggression and fury on here, it’s not all about that aspect of things; the band have more than enough light and shade to satisfy listeners that want more from their music than pure rage. With a fair degree of subtlety and nuance, Abduction make sure they include lots of lighter introspection alongside the heavier parts of their sound.
This results in songs that have (old) Opeth’s progressive metal, black metal’s scathing ferocity and post-metal’s introspection. Add to this a smattering of other black/death influences and a singer that can not only scream with the best of them, but can also carry off some good sung vocals too, and you have an album that has a lot to offer potential listeners.
The blackened distortion of Abduction’s main assault is punctuated by lighter melancholic sections and epic melodic singing set against powerfully aggressive backdrops. The combination and juxtaposition of light and shade, reflection and disdain works well, giving us 54 minutes of textured black metal that has a bit of depressive streak to it, when it’s not trying to melt your face off, that is.
There’s a grandeur and majesty to certain aspects Abduction’s music that’s firmly at odds with the brutality of the fiery black metal and, at the other extreme, the lighter, almost progressive/folk/pagan elements. These are the three main sides of the band and they’re pretty much all equally represented across the songs on Une Ombre Régit les Ombres. Sometimes the transitions from one to the next can happen so fast and so suddenly you’re left with whiplash, but it all works surprisingly well as a holistic package, and this is down to the skills of the band at their trade.
Une Ombre Régit les Ombres won’t be for everyone, and I can imagine some finding it a little disjointed in places. However, once you get used to this, (and, for me, this is not a huge issue anyway), it’s clear that Abduction have crafted something very good with their debut album.
Judge for yourself.