Band: La Merde
Title: La Vie En Noir (Life in Black)
Label: Signal Rex (Vinyl) and Lichterklang (CD)
Release Date: 21 June 2021
Format Reviewed: High-quality digital recording
This is a departure from the powerful presence of extreme metal, a different view of music, yet there is a story, intrinsically of life & experiences we all can relate to displaying in this array of neofolk, dark ambient, black metal, and industrial electronics. We can be taken to places in our mind that we wander, going from past to present, and future and La Merde brings the mood & emotion in their music for these such travels.
La Merde hail from Belgium and has been furthering their individual melding of music since 2018. They released a cassette, as a first foray into the appetites of music lovers entitled “Dood En De Merde” Following that was another cassette tape release of “L’Amour et la Merde”, then, “Zweet spaart bloed” and now, the first full-length album from this duo, called “La vie En Noir” (Life in Black).
Today I get to introduce La Merde’s 12 track debut album and it’s a moody, dark listening, with life, humor and story-telling in the vocals and music created.
So please, find a comfy spot, and have a listen to La Merde.
The first track is “Voor ons Zielezaligheid” (For Our Soul Bliss) begins in a taped voice and suspense-filled music. Soon a long drawn-out yell is emitted, to a spoken/yelled portion of the vocal. It abruptly falls off into the suspense mood music of before. The second track is “Le Miroir” (The Mirror), beginning in acoustic guitar strumming and the feel of elemental drums. What follows is a story, explained in vocals, some fluted electronic effects and those drums that sound like they are a natural, unconscious rhythm.
The third track is ”Under a Black Sun”, the title alone speaks of a goth inspiration, a voice over begins with “the sun’s already high, we are losing too much time, there’s no more point in hiding anymore, now they know we have been here”. Very creative lyrics, a sample is “and under a black sun we’ll rise, and a black sun shines..” Musically it’s an energized acoustic guitar playing. Vocal and guitar, very natural and sounding more somehow. The fourth track is “Waar de Eerste Sterren Beven” (Where the first Stars Tremble), this is an orchestrated music beginning, spoken vocal, and atmospheric, eerie wolf howling sounds. Unique track.
Track five is “Wading Through Black Waves” more of that heartbeat naturalness of drums and acoustic guitar accompaniment. Sample lyrics, “there is no fooling destiny..” Thought-provoking lyrics and music. Track six is “LITL”, atmospheric and loud drumming to start, with a mostly spoken vocal, a chant. “Love is the law! Love under will !”.
Track Seven, “Trompeter” (Trumpeter), piano notes, bordering on melancholy and enriching, uplifting mood. A calming and simple arrangement, yet those pieces of music speak more to our thoughts unspoken. Less is more. A voice-over section comes in with “you have the right to be who you are and say what you think”. Track eight, “Am Rande der Nacht” (On The Edge of Night), suspense mood, technical sound from the start, with echoing drum beats. Whisper/spoken vocal treatment for most of this song, feeling like a story is being told in the quality of the words (wish I understood the language)
Track Nine, “La Vie en Noir” (Life in Black), the mix of keyboard and acoustic guitar greets the ears, giving this track an uplift. Track Ten “A Flower that Once has Bloomed”, wow, this is sooo beautiful. Lyrics that are about life and death “a flower that blooms forever dies”.. the lyrics are so cleverly written. Again, this speaks to the goth in me. Track Eleven, “Dead Among the Dead”, instrumental, almost the sound of bullfrog croaking in the beginning.
You have to hear these lyrics, depth, and life. Death. Compelling in the simplicity of this arrangement, again, less is more. So much more.
Lastly, track Twelve, “Het Gladde mom der Dood” (The Smooth Guise of Death), begins in an ominous organ style of keyboard, with the vocal reaching an echoing of yelling, fading back and rippling like water.
Again I say, this is not an explosion of extreme metal sounds, so those who gravitate to that flavor of metal this isn’t your album, but (and I say that with a capital BUT), for those who embrace music, all genres, not necessarily metal or have widely varying tastes of all music, then you must do yourself a treat, and listen to La Merde. Surprised you will be (Yoda comes out in my written words sometimes). Surprised you will be… I give this an 8/10 MetalMarie
8/10 To greatness and glory!
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