Vous Autres – Sel de Pierre (Review)

Vous Autres - Sel de PierreThis is the second album from French black metallers Vous Autres.

Vous Autres’ black metal has a strong sludge metal undercurrent flowing through it, and it’s a combination that has produced an album of sublime merit.

This is a thoroughly modern incarnation of black metal, one that’s heavy on the malignant atmosphere and malevolent depth. The music’s tormented core has a brutally atmospheric sludge coating, shot through with serpentine melody and wreathed in Hellish blackened moods.

However, despite how dark and forbidding these songs are, they’re still replete with emotive substance due to their atmospheric and melodic components. The songs are heavily layered and rich in bleak texture. The band demonstrate a keen mastery of light and dark, and when to use them to offset or complement the other. Each track exposes the listener to a different variation on this theme, drawing them in with crushing heaviness, yet stopping short of flattening them completely due to the moments of airy contemplation, atmospheric affluence, or thoughtful introspection that are peppered throughout.

The music’s beautiful darkness marries the resplendent with the grim and apocalyptic. These songs act as menacing soundscapes, carved from nightmare, but given barest hope and shades of light through careful use of uplifting melodic enhancements. The songwriting makes the most of this, balancing the near-ubiquitous darkness that makes up the bulk of the music with the lighter aspects, resulting in songs that have a wide range of vistas for the listener to explore.

Sel de Pierre is an album that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a trip into the heart of darkness, but one that it’s possible to emerge from unscathed. Each visit to Vous Autres’ dark world is alearning experience, and every one is rewarding and worthwhile. Make sure you give Sel de Pierre the time it needs, as it’s a high quality piece of work that deserves your attention.

Very highly recommended.

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