À Contre Vent is much-anticipated by yours truly, as 2018’s The Smoke of Atavistic Fires was one of my favourites from that year, despite not actually being reviewed on this site.
Once again we’re treated to a multifaceted blend of rich black metal entwined with expressive folk influences. À Contre Vent takes the melodic and atmospheric strains of black metal and carefully weaves into them folk/neofolk aspects, resulting in a sublime and exceptional piece of work.
The songs are lengthy and filled with various ideas and creative flourishes, all well-considered and well-judged. There’s only four of them, but each one feels like it is its own world, with a wealth of different textures and colours to explore. They all fit together holistically too, creating a captivating whole that’s a real journey from the start to the finish.
There’s a lot of different content to take in and appreciate here, and you have just under 40 minutes to do it in. The only solution is to listen to this wonderful album over and over again, to truly give it the attention it deserves. Highly atmospheric and affecting, this is an work that simply must be experienced.
À Contre Vent should not be missed by anybody who appreciates atmospheric, folk-tinged blackened art. Essential listening.