Créatures – Le Noir Village (Review)

CréaturesCréatures is an avant-garde/experimental black metal one-man project from France and this is his debut album.

The vocals on this release are quite varied, shifting and morphing in line with the demands of the music. Apparently multiple guest vocalists contribute to the tracks, each having a different part to play in the narrative.

Sometimes we get a voice that’s full of commanding authority and blackened malice, sometimes even descending into pure deep growls. At other times we get some maniacal, unhinged shrieks. Or maybe it’s time for some chanted cleans, or some Mayhem-esque worship, or some Arcturus-style theatricality, or operatic cleans, or all manner of other things. They all add character to the songs and for the most part the vocals, both male and female, are as gratifying as they are passionate and well-performed.

One of things that strikes me about the guitars on Le Noir Village is alongside the standard blackened melodies and distorted frostiness that we normally expect from black metal, we also get some more unusual sounds, some that can be quite quirky in nature. It helps add another level of personality and individuality to the music and it’s an aspect of this release I really enjoy.

There are some good examples of these interesting/unusual ideas peppered around the album, hidden here and there amid the blackened chaos – a piano flourish here, a strange siren sound there, a horror movie feel here, an unexpected melody there, a lonesome violin here, theatrical, dramatic vocals there. It all adds a lot to the blackened core of the album, marking it out from those of a lot of its peers.

This avant-garde side of Créatures is well-developed and I particularly appreciate the way that it’s not too over the top in delivery. These aspects add to the music and lift it up, rather than being the overwhelming focus of things and becoming a bit too much, as can sometimes be the case when bands start to branch out from the core style of a style.

Ambitious and entertaining, Le Noir Village is a horror story set to a blackened backdrop, one that I suggest you give some of your time to.

Recommended.

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