Bacchus – Bacchus (Review)

Bacchus - BacchusThis is the debut EP from French black metal band Bacchus.

Bacchus feature current and ex-members of Dysylumn and Antropofago, and deliver us 29 minutes of atmospheric black metal.

This is music with an occult, ritualistic feel. It differentiates itself from a lot of black metal by its atmospheric pacing and thoughtful structures, designed to push atmosphere and mood-building to the fore. This is atmospheric black metal that takes influence from older styles of music, such as elements of bands such as Bathory and Celtic Frost, as well as from aspects of more modern acts such as Blut Aus Nord and Urfaust.

A combination of expressive melodies and haunting, atypical vocals enmesh the band’s non-standard approach to black metal in the listener’s mind quite quickly, and it’s clear that Bacchus is a project that is concerned with portraying feeling and holistic soundscapes over one-dimensional aggression.

The songs are richly adorned with melodic, synth, and vocal embellishments, but these are all of lush, atmospheric varieties, rather than coming across as gaudy or cheap. Occasionally ethereal female operatic cleans or deep daemonic growls are used to augment the lead male singing, and I particularly enjoy the use of these, however infrequent. All of the vocals concentrate on being used as another layer of instrumentation though, and there’s very little in the way of traditional lead vocals. This makes for a record that’s very immersive, as the wailing vocals, deep melodies, and hypnotic rhythms bury themselves in your consciousness before you really become aware that they have done so.

Bacchus have crafted a first release that draws you in and keeps you absorbed in its expressive musical charms. It’s almost like listening to a single long track, and by the end of the EP it’s easy to want more.

Very highly recommended.

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