#Abduction Toutes blessent, la derniére tue

5 min read

Band: Abduction
Album: Toutes blessent, la derniére tue
Label: Frozen Records
Release date: 01 December 2023
Country: France
Format Reviewed: High-Quality Digital Recording

Although not the first name that pops in your head when you think of black metal, France has been putting out a steady stream of excellent bands for the past decades. Names like Mutiilation, Peste Noire and Deathspell Omega are usually the first to pop up when thinking about quality French black metal, but in the last few years, there has been a new wave of bands showing their heads in this scene. One of these newer bands is the Progressive Black Metal outfit Abduction. Their latest effort, Toutes blessent, la derniére tue follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, Jehanne, with obvious musical similarities, but which are, however, significantly better executed on Toutes blessent. Jehanne is an innovative album, but it doesn’t yet reach its own sound. Its successor, however, maintains the creative direction, but perfects the songwriting, making it one of the most creative albums of 2023.

Despite being labeled progressive black metal, finding a genre tag for this album is almost impossible, both due to the overall sound of it and the way songwriting was approached. In a way, it is much more than that. But I shall stop blabbering and start actually writing about the music.

The landmark features of this album are obvious from the first song, the title track. There is a wide riff variety to be found, the song featuring both tremolo-based riffs in traditional black metal fashion, along with more melodic segments and clean passages. The drums are mostly comprised out of blast beats, although they aren’t necessarily focused on brutality, rather on creating a uniform pattern to support the guitars and bass. This gives the composition a rather epic sound, which I find similar to certain passages from Marrasmieli’s Martadien Mailta. The vocals left a strong impression on me as well, featuring a mix of harsh and cleans, which actually make the French lyrics sound much more harmonious than on other records. One pet peeve of mine in terms of languages used in black metal and extreme metal for that matter, it that I always found harsh vocals with French lyrics quite silly, not necessarily in a bad way, but they were slightly harder to take seriously than German or Norwegian, for example. In other words, you can easily screw up when working with French lyrics. In the case of Toutes blessent this situation was avoided completely due to the amazing job vocalist Walran, or, by his real name, François Blanc did on both this record and its predecessor. The whole blend of the vocals and instruments ends up sounding really melodic, beautiful and slightly melancholic at times, emotion being one field in which this album excels.

Toutes blessent is a kind of black metal album that wouldn’t work well at all with raw production mainly because it would hinder most of the creative elements of the overall composition. I rarely say this, but the clean production of this album really helps it find its true shine. It is not in any way over polished that it ends up sounding mechanical or soulless, there is of course a significant amount of distortion on the guitars, but it is obviously on the clean side. All of this, including the previously mentioned characteristics, make this a record which is actually quite easy to listen to, even though it spans over 57 minutes in length. Something tells me that in the future it will became a classing among people looking for a way of getting into black metal.

The themes featured on this album are quite diverse, and they are all reflected in the sound of the music. They include philosophy, history, death, misanthropy, overall darkness and many more. The lyrics are incredibly poetic, and I truly recommend looking up their meaning, despite the tedious work of translation.

The album follows similar song patterns throughout its entire course, the sound being also a constant one, while still maintaining enough song variety to keep the listener hooked from start to finish. This, of course, wouldn’t be possible without the outstanding quality of the songs. It’s that kind of album that feels like it has ended too soon, despite being almost an hour long. The melodies are also quite catchy, which helps the tracks become more memorable and it is an useful aid to the listener as well.

Toutes blessent is also balanced in terms of placement of the best tracks, which are distributed throughout the album in a way that highlights them, while both elevating the other songs. I don’t think that there was any song that I happened not to like, but there surely were some standouts. Those would surely be the title track, Les heures impatients, Contre les Fers du Ciel, Par les sentiers oubliés and my favourite of them all, Dans la galerie des glaces. This song takes the best features of the album and and takes it to the next level. The guitars feature both classic black metal riffs, epic lead passages and clean segments, blasting drums, and the most beautiful vocal performance on the whole record. It is just so mesmerizing and epic, it make you feel like your hair is blowing in the wind while staring at a fantasy landscape. It is a masterpiece in every sense on the word, that kind of songs that you can’t help but go back to perhaps more often than you realize. This can be said about the album as a whole, given its almost infectious qualities that stick to you whether you intended to or not, but it is most obvious on this one track. In a way I’m hoping this album gets turned into the soundtrack of a historical fantasy movie, although I don’t forsee this happening anytime in the near future.

Overall, Abduction did an amazing job on this album, and, although unexpected, this is definitely one of the key underground releases of 2023. I am genuinely excited about what the future holds from this band, although I am quite certain we are going to hear some other exceptional stuff from them in the years to come. I can recommend this album to people looking for a more unknown gateway into black metal and to fans of the genre who are looking to experiment with different soundscapes and styles. 9.5/10 Ioana

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