Thursday, 5 June 2014

Extreme Thursday: Malevolentia

Some Thursdays don't come easy, some Thursdays don't come hard. Some Thursdays don't come at all and ... hang on, that's Meatloaf ... What am I doing?

Oh yes, Thursdays. They creep up on the back of Wednesday and slap you in the face with their mere existence. But when Thursday has you beat and the week just won't seem to just die, there is one way to get through. French symphonic black metal.

 Yes, you heard me. And this week our aural delights are coming from the vocal chords of a woman who is only known as Spleen. Vocalist for French black metal blasphemists Malevolentia, they have set out to bring a high quality brand of epic symphonic black metal to the ears, brains and guts of the world.

But first a (very) little history. Formed in 2003 by Arbaal (guitar), featuring Morathie on vocals and a horde of unpronounceably pseudonymous musicians, the band produced first a demo in 2004 and an album in 2005. That album was Contes et Nouvelles Macabres.

Unusually, and somewhat refreshingly, the lyrics are in French and sung, screeched, screamed and growled in fine form. The sound is certainly polished, even for a new band, Horror-inspired tales of death and morbidity abound.

Between the 2005 release of Contes et Nouvelles Macabres and the band's second outing, Ex Oblivion, in 2011, the lineup apparently changed multiple times. The lineup settled down with founder Arbaal and Apathy on guitar, Abhoth on drum, Tzeench on bass and Spleen taking her place as vocalist of the band. The band have this to say via their Facebook profile:

In the musical burst, Spleen becomes the new front woman and is voice came replace Morathie's one, on Arbaal's saturated sounds, Weighed down by Tzeench and balanced by Abhoth, those melodies underline French authors texts, whose respective lyrisms explore and darken the entire atmosphere.

Setting out their intention to produce epic and extreme black metal orchestrations, the band put out Ex Oblivion with a renewed vigour.

Taking on an occasional doomy quality alongside the strident black metal sound already present, the new album sounds somewhat different, and yet familiar in its horribleness. With many symphonic black metal outfits it's normal to expect little more than "black metal with a keyboard", but the symphonic and huge orchestral and operatic elements of the sound are immense in scale and impact.

With the new energy the band are pouring into their work and with the help of their label, Season Of Mist, here's hoping for more epic French black metal in the not too distant future.

In the meantime Arbaal and Spleen have their own side project in the form of Einsicht, a preview of which can be seen here:


Originally posted by Craig Andrews on Femetalism