Rating:
8.5
Sombres Forêts - La Mort Du Soleil
9 July 2013


01. Des Épaves
02. Étrangleurs De Soleils
03. Brumes
04. Au Flambeau
05. L'Éther
06. La Disparition
07. Effondrement


Cover art by Fursy Teyssier.


You know the cliché: A picture is worth a thousand words. Well Fursy Teyssier's cover art for the latest Sombres Forêts release says everything you need to know about what to expect.

The project began with an eponymous demo release followed shortly after by its full-length debut entitled Quintessence, which even in its infancy garnered positive critical reception across the globe. Following up the success of his project's debut, Annatar dropped Royaume de glace, now considered a contemporary Canadian black metal staple. Sombres Forêts has both grown in popularity and in maturity since, and has become somewhat of an influential name in the Eastern Canadian black metal scene.

Annatar and some of the other Métal Noir Québécois fraternity (namely Neptune and Icare of Gris "fame") then collaborated together with a one-time-release project known as Miserere Luminis, which is more in line with the style of this new album. Annatar's cult status has been helped in large part by the parallel success story of Gris (whose latest album was released on the same day and on the same label), yet both bands offer their own unique take on the genre.

Getting back to the cover art, an homage to J.M. William Turner, La mort du soleil does its best to convey the emotions that come with a ship battling the waves of the high seas, a terrible storm raining down upon a starved and overworked crew, with just a glimmer of light to offer the smallest iota of hope to anyone optimistic enough. The depressive, torturous atmosphere Annatar so effortlessly creates speaks volumes about his songwriting prowess as well as his ability to turn tragedy into art. This is the foundation of all Sombres Forêts releases.

Unsurprisingly traditional in its approach to the depressive spectrum of atmospheric black metal, La mort du soleil still manages to sound fresh, even ambitious throughout. "Des épaves" is the tide as it ebbs in with a relaxed sense of beauty, "Brumes" rages in and summons forth a perilous storm, and the bodies of the dead are washed ashore as the album closes with a piano-driven dirge. Each song offers its own sort of "calm before the storm" setup, usually acoustic and piano passages to lull the listener before bombarding them with depressive black metal and the passionate shrieks of Annatar.

This up-and-down approach offers a more varied experience as you take in the atmosphere of each song in parts. The story takes its time being told, with seven tracks totaling over 50 minutes, but its narrator is quite the captivating storyteller. You can expect a clearer production, a more passionate display of emotions, and more intricacies than on any previous Sombres Forêts release. Annatar has created his finest work yet.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 03.12.2013 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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Draugen - 03.12.2013 at 21:51  
Great review!

I haven't listened to neither Sombres Fôrets nor Gris before but your reviews of both bands latest albums have gotten me interested in doing just that.
koob - 03.12.2013 at 21:54  
Just listened to it, it's great ! I was nostalgic of Alcest's Ecaille de Lune Pt. 2 sound, I find it quite similar but in a darker way so it's all good for me !
tea[m]ster - 04.12.2013 at 00:11  
I listened to this a while back and if I remember right the production is just awful. I really didn't like it - I prefer the Gris release waaaay more. But now that you reviewed this I may take a stab at it again...
3rdWorld - 04.12.2013 at 07:01  
This is an amazing release. I listened to it a few weeks back, What I felt this was like is Ambient black metal without any ambient parts. Slow, sombre, beautiful and gloomy, quite an wonderful album in fact.
no one - 04.12.2013 at 07:17  
I really need to get this record
-DC-002- - 04.12.2013 at 09:06  
Nice review, I will listen to it, as I happened to find it on the ground, right here on internet This genre sometimes doesn't appeal to me greatly but the number is green and your words intrigue.
Rodney - 04.12.2013 at 14:07  
Heard about this earlier this year but never checked it, gonna do that sometime soon now. Great review as usual, glad you're back. You tend to review a lot of albums that are right up my alley.
Apothecary - 04.12.2013 at 17:05  
The classical feel of the piano is definitely what sells it for me, especially on La Disparition
Occh - 06.12.2013 at 02:47  
Written by koob on 03.12.2013 at 21:54

Just listened to it, it's great ! I was nostalgic of Alcest's Ecaille de Lune Pt. 2 sound, I find it quite similar but in a darker way so it's all good for me !

Indeed! This album reminds me a lot of Alcest, especially the song Percees De Lumiere.

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