Back in 2020, we told you a bit about Creature, a French black metal project propelled by a very unique and energetic sort of science fiction. The project typified the aesthetics of that style, rooted deep within the specific majesty of the style in the 19th century, when the entire universe seemed open to science’s reach. As you recall, I also adored the music itself and Ex Cathedra was one of my favorite black metal releases of last year. All of this means that I was already excited enough for another release from the project so I immediately opened the email containing more news on just that. Only to find out that my excitement was about to multiply a thousand-fold as the project had added none other than Baard Kolstad (Leprous, Ihsahn, Borknagar). That’s right, one of my favorite black metal bands was adding one of my favorite drummers; how lucky was I?
And you know what? My excitement was incredibly justified as Eloge De l’Ombre (“Praise of shadow” literally, or “Eulogy of shadow” if you’d like) is an incredible album. Kolstad’s addition has shored up the drum-kit position; it’s probable that only someone of his caliber could handle the breakneck compositions required by Creature’s high octane, no holds barred compositions and energy. But the music itself has transformed even further than “just” the inclusion of world-rate drummer. Eloge De l’Ombre is a darker, more robust vision of Creature’s black metal, infused this time with thicker tones across the board and a more shadowy (get it) aesthetic to the release. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of explosive black metal on this release, but everything feels more gothic, extravagant in a different, but just as satisfying, way than Ex Cathedra.
As an example and an initial offering from this release, I am proud to premiere “L’Empire Des Singes” (“the empire of the apes”) today. It’s a marvellous track but I want to call your attention especially to its middle section: listen to how the more grandiose synths give the track an operatic, gothic, epic vibe. That sound, dark and flamboyant, defines the album. Of course, you can also hear Kolstad’s meticulous and punctual drumming style blending beautifully with the intense guitar riffs and the pronounced and dominant vocals. Those vocals also manifest that darker edge to the album, slightly more full throated and guttural than the previous release.
Eloge De l’Ombre releases on 12th of November through the mighty esoterics over at I, Voidhanger Records. You can pre-order it by clicking through to the project’s Bandcamp page below.