I enjoyed 2018’s Les Avatars du Vide, so was already keen to check out Les Voûtes, but then when I saw that it boasted such a damn fine cover, I knew I had to. Disappointed, I have not been.
This is atmospheric black metal in the Cascadian style and added to by elements of blackgaze and depressive black metal. The style is played with feeling and delivered with a sense of fragility despite the music’s hostile veneer. The album sounds personal, and the music does well to effectively portray this even through the more aggressive parts, (which is most of them). The screamed vocals sound absolutely tortured, like they’re channelling a non-stop torrent of anguish and pain. On the surface of it Les Voûtes is an unfriendly album, but once you spend some time with it and get to know it, it warms to your presence and reveals a vibrant and sensitive inner life.
The songs are mostly long-form compositions and showcase a decent amount of variety within the framework that the project operates in. The songs are well-written and the album has a good flow, providing a satisfying and immersive listening experience across its 39 minutes. Balancing raw harshness against melodic atmosphere, these four songs are enjoyable examples of how to produce atmospherically-enticing music without losing any venomous bite. Amidst the dark aggression ambience is used well to add further depth to the music’s soundscapes.
Overall, a solid and very agreeable release from Blurr Thrower.