Cénotaphe - Monte Verità review

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Band: Cénotaphe
Album: Monte Verità
Release date: February 2020

01. Myosis
02. Aux Cieux Antérieurs
03. L'oeuf De Mammon
04. De Mon Promontoire Atral
05. Intolérante Thébaide
06. Ne M'oubliez
07. Emersion
08. Monte Verità

What a better album to spend your self imposed isolation in than a French black metal album about isolating yourself on a mountain?

Cénotaphe may have just now officially came out with a new release, but not only was last year's Empyrée clearly more on the full length side with over 30 minutes in runtime, but both members of the band actually all the way back to the late 90s/early 00s, through several projects, some never making it past the demo phase, some remaining one-man bands. So there is a lot of experience at hand here, even though doesn't seem that the two have worked together before Cénotaphe. So with one experienced member at the helm of all the instruments, and one experienced member at the helm of all the vocals, we have Monte Verità.

I don't know a lot of French, but I'm pretty sure "Monte" means mountain, and "Verità" probably has to do with truth, but it is inspired by a certain mountain is Switzerland on which a few centuries ago, people started to search for isolation from the chaos in the world below. A fitting theme for these times. But of course the album isn't really about that specific mountain or about quarantining yourself from a pandemic. It's about isolation, temptation, solitude and asceticism in a more general sense. Or at least I guess so, I told you that je ne sais beaucoup de Francais, and I probably wrote that wrong aussi. But it's not that hard to gather as much from the tortured lyrics and the general mood of the record. Like seriously, those are some soulful fucking shrieks if anything, even if they often do go in somewhat folkier cleaner territories.

And when you have a single person behind all of the instruments, having a very dynamic and engaging vocalist is always a blessing. Thankfully Fog, the instrumentalist, clearly honed his craft during all these decades. The black metal in this is fairly direct, but being surprisingly both very melodic and raw at the same time, in a way showing how these don't necessarily have to be in a dichotomy. It is as beautiful as it is austere, as breathtaking as it is uninviting. Both members are clearly really good at what they do, and they don't necessarily always work in complete tandem with one another, but never in the other's disfavor. Whereas some atmospheric black metal album feel like a journey on a mountain through a snowy storm, this feels like being truly alone on a mountain and suffering an epiphany. And when a black metal album keeps its most beautiful ambient moment til last, it truly has so much bigger of an impact.

I suppose I would unlock even more to appreciate about this record if I take my Duolingo more seriously, but there is plenty of spirit about this to appreciate as is, mostly due to how expressive it is.


Written on 17.03.2020 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 89 users
17.03.2020 - 19:50
I was going to do this but I saw that you already had it in your queue. Very likeable black metal.
17.03.2020 - 19:59
Written by nikarg on 17.03.2020 at 19:50

I was going to do this but I saw that you already had it in your queue. Very likeable black metal.

I have once again beaten you to it
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.

2020 goodies
17.03.2020 - 22:30
Sounds like Nécropole. Excellent music !
18.03.2020 - 13:28
Bad English
Wow are there apalachian Mountain in la France, Los metalos noire they always has some bands in all time periods what stand out.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
18.03.2020 - 19:45
The Witchfinder
Nothing self-imposed about this isolation I assure you, looking at you Corona.

Sounds good, always down for some primo French Black.

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