The moniker “cinematic” post rock is constantly used today; it denotes the orchestral, drawn-out and melodic grandeur of a certain type of post rock, first made famous by Explosions In the Sky and God Is An Astronaut. The ties to cinema are purely conceptual, running through the linked themes of soundtracks and their musical habits. However, what if I were to tell you of an actual cinematic post rock band, one which draws on film not only for its concepts but also as samples in their music? Enter Féroces, a French band which does just that; their debut EP, Juliette, integrates film right into the music to create an intriguing take on somber, melancholic post rock.
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Both the musical style, dark and rich, and the fascination with film immediately remind me of Dumbsaint and that’s a compliment if there ever was one. The prominent bass, the overall structure and the role of the guitars all recall the Australian ensemble, straddling the border between post rock and post metal. Like Dumbsaint, plenty of the video used (especially on the last, and excellent track) was made specifically for the music it accompanies. However, it also uses samples from classic and modern French cinema. The use of samples is intriguing here; instead of just a prologue or epilogue of samples, which is what we usually get, the samples are encoded right into the music.
Blending classic French cinema, modern works made specifically for the album and the conjoining of the two, the adjoining videos lend the music mood and style. Their different tones of anger, sadness or loneliness, all expressed via the voices of the actors, is impeccably matched with the music. Sometimes, it creates harmony, as in certain points in the title track; the music turns thoughtful and the sample follows suit. Sometimes, however, it creates interesting dissonance, with an angry moment of the film spliced on top a calmer moment of music. This dissonance translates into a faint sense of dread, horror and oppression with the listener, creating an accomplished amalgam of media that enhances the delivery of the music.
To summarize, this is an original and well-crafted take on cinematic post rock which aims to make the sub-genre’s name finally ring true. It’s also musically excellent; from rich synths to well thought out chord progressions and powerful groove, Féroces are much more than just a gimmick band. They marry great music with a deep and intriguing take on the role of cinema and samples within music. Keep an eye on them; things are bound to get only more interesting as they dig deeper into their craft.