It’s Black Metal, but it’s Québécois Black Metal…
Indeed! And that can only mean one thing – that Miserere Luminis‘ second full-length offering is going to be good! Much like the Norwegian contingent, the Quebec BM scene is definitely influenced by extreme cold, snow, and the hardiness of the people who live there. This province of Canada has consistently produced fine black metal – bands like Forteresse, Monarque, and Gris (who provide two-thirds of the Miserere Luminis personnel).
So before us is a platter of 5 tracks – all lengthy and giving a total run time of 44 minutes. Kicking off with the longest track on the album “Noir Fauve” (Black Fawn), we are greeted with a slowly building atmospheric intro, that sets the scene of this track beautifully. Now don’t be expecting a huge explosion of savage filth like on the Infernal Curse album I’ve recently reviewed. This is far more sophisticated, full of melodies of sadness, which then build in aggression. This song has several “movements” within it and yet does not feel overlong. A very fine start.
With an aptly dreamy intro, “Le Sang des Rêves” (The Blood of Dreams), is where we get some more traditional black metal speed, but without sacrificing the melody or atmosphere. Definitely one for repeated listening.
A listening ordeal or not?
Ah yes – the album title “Ordalie” which translates as Ordeal is most certainly referring to the lyrical and vocal content, rather than the listening experience! The vocals most definitely have that air of anguish and despair to them. The third track “La Felure Des Anges” (The Crack of Angels) most certainly drips with sorrow and regret – a strangely emotionally moving track for me.
The title of the penultimate – and shortest track – certainly confirms the overall atmosphere so far. “Les Couleurs De La Perte” (The Colours of Loss) is a brooding and quite beautiful instrumental. Listen to this after experiencing a recent loss, and it will have you in tears – its that kind of a track.
With an intriguing title “De Venin Et D’Os” (Of Venom and Bones), starts as a continuation of the preceding track, with a slow piano and orchestral strings. Though a slow to mid-paced song, this one for me has the most actual aggression to the vocals compared to those that preceded it. Make no mistake though, we are not going all Marduk here!
Summing it up…
I have to say, that I have found this album a very moving listen. It hits the emotions right on the nose. The production is also top-notch, very clear but not sterile, and the musicianship displayed is superb. You would not think it the work of just three members.
If you have yet to experience Black Métal Québécois, then this is a great starting point for you. If like me you’re a seasoned veteran fan of the Quebec scene, then you will not be disappointed. Dare I say it? One of the finest albums yet to come from that icy province – as tasty as a big helping of Poutine!
01 – Noir Fauve (13:07)
02 – Le Sang Des Rêves (08:49)
03 – La Félure Des Anges (07:16)
04 – Les Couleurs De La Perte (04:15)
05 – De Venin Et D’os (10:56)
- $8 CAD