Limbes – Écluse (Review)

Limbes - ÉcluseThis is the debut album from one-man French black metal act Limbes.

We’ve encountered the artist behind Limbes before, on his split with Mütterlein, and also when the project was named Blurr Thrower. Écluse contains 39 minutes of new material, and although the songs are still on the longer side, (especially the 15-minute closer), overall they’re shorter and more concise than we’re used to from this artist.

Écluse is fuzzy and raw. It’s atmospheric and harsh, but in a warm, welcoming way. At least, welcoming for those that are accustomed to the black metal underground.

This is music that you viscerally feel. Don’t go looking for obvious hooks or catchy riffs, as Écluse is all about presenting holistic, mood-driven soundscapes that you can lose yourself in. You can hear elements of dissonant darkness, post-blackened ethereal atmosphere, blackgaze shimmer, and depressive force in the music’s DNA, as well as the ever-present influence of the old-school. Écluse takes all of these ingredients and stirs them together into a cauldron of dark, obscure, modern black metal.

The vocals are piercing spectral howls that will surely take a moment to acclimatise to for many listeners, but once you do they’re just another aspect of the music’s whirlwind of atmospheric power.

I can’t help but really like Écluse. It’s atmospheric black metal by way of a few different influences, resulting in an album that’s expressive and satisfying.

Very highly recommended for modern blackened connoisseurs.


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