Au Champ Des Morts
Dans La Joie
(Debemur Morti Productions)
If the average metal listener thought about words that can be used to describe black metal, vocabulary with a strong correlation to the unpleasant things in life (i.e. dissonance, violence, coldness) would likely come in play. However, not all is grim and hopeless in the genre. Bathory’s Blood, Fire, Death and Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse broke ground in a style known for its raw, nihilistic sound via incorporation of symphonic elements which transcended the music to a new experience of melodic yet melancholic pleasure. Thus symphonic black metal is born!
French war machine, Au Champ Des Morts, carry on the work of their forefathers with Dans La Joie, their debut LP. Being that this is 2016 and the two previous albums mentioned in the first paragraph were released eons ago, innovative moves (sonically speaking) are present on the record as they experiment with ambient textures, droning post rock their homeland’s original “cold wave” sound to push the sub genre further into distinguishable territory. It’s unclear though if Au Champ Des Morts exists for the purpose of being a temporary project as most members are involved with Anorexia Nervosa, a well known black metal group who is dormant for the time being. If so, the production and presentation of Dans La Joie shows the trio intended for all to remember their effort and have their identity crystallized within the extreme metal realm. Here is how they have done so:
The black and grey illustration depicted on Dans La Joie brings an accurate representation of what to expect from the seven track opus…trve cvlt atmospheric despair! The compositions stay true to the genre’s nature with sound exhibitions that are dark, somber and punishing in delivery (“Nos Decembre’s and the album’s title track would be good examples of this description). Taking cues and tones from the Anorexia Nervosa years, the cold wave presence in “L’etoile Du Martin” add a gothic sounding texture to the song and carries over to the finale track “La Fin Du Mond”. Personally, the standout track for Dans La Joie was “Contemplar L’Abime” due to the power and the sheer force of all parties’ performance for a near seven minutes. The only track that brought a confused double take was “Après Le Carnage” with its constant tempo changes and layered vocals throughout, made it a bit hard to focus with that much overkill. However this is just an opinion coming from a music writer, best to discover this record yourself and use your own judgment.
As stated, a short term project? Who knows! Best to get a copy of this record just in case.