The Catalans return with the second chapter of the trilogy initiated with Les Irreals Visions in 2017, yet strongly connected to the fin de siècle cultural movement of Modernisme—a parallel development to Art Nouveau and Jugendstil among others. Visual things must acquire a new secret appearance, and with Els Sepulcres Blancs, Foscor treat poetically facing the change of a sick world and society through the land of dreams.

The title translates as “The White Tombs,” a metaphor for that world of dreams and expectations where humans chained to reality may die and  are born free to imagine a better one.

Foscor hail from Catalonia and take inspiration from the morbid, decadent, and sick reflections on a rapidly changing society which the artistic landscape at the end of the 19th century shaped.

The name Foscor translates as “darkness” in their native Catalan tongue, which the band from Barcelona uses for their lyrics as a distinctive element and strong connection with their cultural reality.

The Catalans’ first two albums, Entrance to the Shadows’ Village (2004) and The Smile of the Sad Ones (2007) wrapped a shroud of classic, second-wave black metal around a melancholic-yet-vital core. Groans to the Guilty (2009) witnessed Foscor setting out towards a more progressive and avant-garde course, but it was next full-length, Those Horrors Wither(2014), which marked a clear departure from black metal. Darkness found an equally strong expression through the use of very personal clean vocals, tempo reduction, and atmosphere.

In 2017, Foscor took another step in their constantly changing and shifting evolution. The brand new release Les Irreals Visions (2017) easily drew its eager audience in, only to lure the unwary listener into a dark labyrinth of unexpected complexity filled with beauty and sorrow. In 2018, Foscor explored these lines between reality, poetry, and the beyond even further with a special, digital release transforming their own music into a so intimate experience, Les Irreals Versions (2018).

Now, 2019 promises to be as tragic as their music claims with the so-sensitive release of Els Sepulcres Blancs with its characteristic melancholic sonic aura and catchy riffing intensity. It’s their most personal and delicate sound achievement to date.

“‘Malson’ translates as ‘Nightmare’ in Catalan, and delivers the first visual exercise for Els Sepulcres Blancs which with no doubt is the most intimate and delicate song of the new songs’ collection,” the band says. “Once again filmed and edited by our guitarist, Falke, the video digs into the darkest side of life and our own weaknesses and tries to approach the listener to the lyrical content through the thrilling and difficult endeavor of poetizing the world.

“Metaphorically, life sometimes seems to offer no escape to suffering moments, as if a tall, black presence accompanying us may lead everything to recurrent dead ends. 

“In times where the balance between nature and self-being seems to be broken, art might claim to reach reconciliation between our own world of emotions and the physical one we must deal with. Both real and ideal worlds must find a new path for dialogue and set a definitive platform where [we can] freely imagine and make the change happen. 

“There’s a tragic sense on life’s darkness which allows a new beauty to appear, and so it is what inspires our music and speech, as the Modernisme/Art Nouveau movement used to claim a century ago.

“At the end, there’s a vital core in our speech and proposal, a tragic sense to reach boundaries and individually improve the world.

“Musically talking, the album works reducing the elements and tools compared to the previous Les Irreals Visions, with an intentional move to make it sound way less metal, with no distortion and clearer structures. Meanwhile, the language increases its intensity from the rhythmical and emotional side. 

“The conflict of extremes brings the best and the worst of every individual and it is from a real and oneiric point of view, reaching a balance between our social and individual being.”

Purchase the album here. 

Author

Addison is reviews and online news editor for New Noise. She specializes in metal, queer issues, and dog cuddles.

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