Rating:
9.5
Gris - Il Était Une Forêt...
20 December 2007


01. Il Était Une Forêt... (Once Upon A Forest...)
02. Le Gala Des Gens Heureux (The Reception Of Happy People)
03. Cicatrice (Scar)
04. Veux-Tu Danser? (Do You Want To Dance?)
05. Profonde Misanthropie (Deep Misanthropy)
06. La Dryade (The Dryad)


Depressive black metal
Canada
Sepulchral Productions

Line-up on the CD:
Icare - vocals, drums, violin, piano
Neptune - guitars, bass, cello


It's all about pain.

Having risen from the ashes of Niflheim, Canadian depressive black metal veterans Icare and Neptune continued treading their woeful path with Gris, further exemplifying their manic depression to the backdrop of recursive self-mutilation. The haunting melodies they achieve with this album make for a truly epic feel, capable of immersing the listener in a vat of pity while maintaining the ultimate goal of exposing humanity's immortal weakness: loneliness. Il Était Une Forêt... will burn through your security blanket and overturn all thoughts of optimism, leaving you disheveled and destitute...and begging for more.

Icare's tortured squeals, while evocative of a young Count Grishnackh, belong to a more inhuman definition. At times his own guttural howls prove too much, as he chokes, cackles, gasps for air and is even at times subdued to voice cracks. One might call it amateurish, but I call it atmospheric. While Icare's agony is being poured into the mic, the overwhelming distortion and unrelenting dissonance increase the dramatics of his over-exertion, while the organic production adds to the sincerity of it all. Icare's endeavor doesn't stop there: he is also responsible for the album's chaotic drum sound, muddy in its production value and possibly overlooked in its importance. Simple blastbeats and varied snare work keep the album flowing smoothly, and Icare ensures that their inclusion is not out of place.

As the album moves on from the gripping duo of "Il Était Une Forêt..." and "Le Gala Des Gens Heureux", there is a noticeable change of pace. Neptune's riffs become more drawn out and the blastbeats all but cease: in essence, Gris suddenly becomes Grim. The switch makes for a less hate-induced depression, leaning at the end towards a cold isolation effect with soft piano playing, disheartening violins and melancholic cellos. "La Dryad" is easily one of the best closing instrumentals I have heard in a long time - it closes the album perfectly, capturing the setting of its predecessors perfectly and summarizing the entire concept of the album in a simple 10-minute movement.

This is a huge improvement from the more blunt Neurasthénie and has raised the bar for depressive black metal bands of the future.


Website: http://www.myspace.com/niflheim5

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 7
Production: 10


 



Written on 22.05.2010 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
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Mikyz - 22.05.2010 at 23:26  
I agree this is a gem in the Depressive Black Metal repertoire and mustn't be overlooked under any circumstance. It's easily a landmark and an exemplary DBM release that other similar acts should look up too. This album will be near impossible to overthrow, this is by far my favorite DBM album, and this review judges this album for what its worth, so good job.
Metal Maiden - 23.05.2010 at 03:18  
The review made me really wanna check those guys out, which I am about to do...However, if I may make a remark - wouldn't the correct translation of "Il etait une foret" be "Once upon a forest" rather than "It was a forest" (which would be "C'etait une foret")? Actually I am pretty sure it would, but maybe a natural French speaker can cofirm...
Troy Killjoy - 23.05.2010 at 03:55  
Written by Metal Maiden on 23.05.2010 at 03:18

The review made me really wanna check those guys out, which I am about to do...However, if I may make a remark - wouldn't the correct translation of "Il etait une foret" be "Once upon a forest" rather than "It was a forest" (which would be "C'etait une foret")? Actually I am pretty sure it would, but maybe a natural French speaker can cofirm...


Glad to hear you wanna check 'em out - as for the translation, I'm not too sure. The English translations are courtesy of Metal-Archives.
Google translate recognizes it as "It was a forest", and that's probably where they got their source.
Zuzuz0r - 23.05.2010 at 04:39  
This album is truly a gem, and La Dryade must be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever, ever heard.
Troy Killjoy - 23.05.2010 at 04:44  
Written by Zuzuz0r on 23.05.2010 at 04:39

This album is truly a gem, and La Dryade must be one of the most beautiful songs I've ever, ever heard.

Absolutely! I think it will surprise a lot of people who listen to this album for the first time; it's such a deviation from the sound on the rest of the album but it works so well as an outro.
Metal Maiden - 23.05.2010 at 05:05  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.05.2010 at 03:55

Written by Metal Maiden on 23.05.2010 at 03:18

The review made me really wanna check those guys out, which I am about to do...However, if I may make a remark - wouldn't the correct translation of "Il etait une foret" be "Once upon a forest" rather than "It was a forest" (which would be "C'etait une foret")? Actually I am pretty sure it would, but maybe a natural French speaker can cofirm...


Glad to hear you wanna check 'em out - as for the translation, I'm not too sure. The English translations are courtesy of Metal-Archives.
Google translate recognizes it as "It was a forest", and that's probably where they got their source.


And we all know how reliable Google Translate is, lol...In French, Once Upon A Time is "Il etait une fois" (guess if google translate coped with this ), so I'm guessing "Il etait une foret" should be Once Upon A Forest...Maybe Jeff or some other French MS'er can have a look
Troy Killjoy - 23.05.2010 at 05:11  
Written by Metal Maiden on 23.05.2010 at 05:05

And we all know how reliable Google Translate is, lol...In French, Once Upon A Time is "Il etait une fois" (guess if google translate coped with this ), so I'm guessing "Il etait une foret" should be Once Upon A Forest...Maybe Jeff or some other French MS'er can have a look

Then again, it is Quebec French - not exactly the purest of dialects.
Metal Maiden - 23.05.2010 at 05:31  
Hmm never thought about that...So we ask a French AND a Quebecois...
Troy Killjoy - 23.05.2010 at 05:41  
Written by Metal Maiden on 23.05.2010 at 05:31

Hmm never thought about that...So we ask a French AND a Quebecois...

If I'm not mistaken, Visioneerie is from Quebec. I'll see if he can take a look at it.
BreadGod - 23.05.2010 at 07:06  
I've seen this album quite a bit in the blogspot metal trading circuit. Now that you've recommended it, I should check it out sometime.
Troy Killjoy - 23.05.2010 at 08:32  
Written by BreadGod on 23.05.2010 at 07:06

I've seen this album quite a bit in the blogspot metal trading circuit. Now that you've recommended it, I should check it out sometime.

If you find that you like it as much as me, once you get around to it, you can always look into ordering it for a measly 13 bucks.
Darkside Momo - 23.05.2010 at 13:56  
Written by Metal Maiden on 23.05.2010 at 05:05

Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.05.2010 at 03:55

Written by Metal Maiden on 23.05.2010 at 03:18

The review made me really wanna check those guys out, which I am about to do...However, if I may make a remark - wouldn't the correct translation of "Il etait une foret" be "Once upon a forest" rather than "It was a forest" (which would be "C'etait une foret")? Actually I am pretty sure it would, but maybe a natural French speaker can cofirm...


Glad to hear you wanna check 'em out - as for the translation, I'm not too sure. The English translations are courtesy of Metal-Archives.
Google translate recognizes it as "It was a forest", and that's probably where they got their source.


And we all know how reliable Google Translate is, lol...In French, Once Upon A Time is "Il etait une fois" (guess if google translate coped with this ), so I'm guessing "Il etait une foret" should be Once Upon A Forest...Maybe Jeff or some other French MS'er can have a look

"Once Upon A Forest" does sound better, as the "Il était une forêt" is indeed of the same vein as "il était une fois" ("Once upon a time").
"It was a forest" would be "C'était une forêt", you're right
BreadGod - 23.05.2010 at 19:33  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.05.2010 at 08:32

Written by BreadGod on 23.05.2010 at 07:06

I've seen this album quite a bit in the blogspot metal trading circuit. Now that you've recommended it, I should check it out sometime.

If you find that you like it as much as me, once you get around to it, you can always look into ordering it for a measly 13 bucks.

That sounds great, but first I'll need a paypal account. And a paying job.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.05.2010 at 22:50  
I think I'm one of the few people who don't enjoy this album, though that's most likely through lack of effort. I'd never try to refute such a praised release, just hasn't clicked with me. Yet. I'll catch it on the right day soon I'm sure.
Visioneerie - 27.05.2010 at 01:05  
Written by Metal Maiden on 23.05.2010 at 05:31

Hmm never thought about that...So we ask a French AND a Quebecois...

Yeah dude, you're spot on. 'Il était une fois/foret' is the equivalent of 'Once upon a time/forest'. It's applicable in both "Quebecer" french and "regular" french.
Visioneerie - 27.05.2010 at 01:13  
If I was into black metal at the moment I'd probably be holding this album in high praise. Nevertheless, from an outsider's standpoint I'm still able to acknowledge the quality of this band's work. Good review once again man.

Seriously though, the pattern is all too evident... I simply can't listen to black metal during the summer lol. Call it a cliché, I'm a seasonal guy.
Troy Killjoy - 27.05.2010 at 01:21  
Written by Visioneerie on 27.05.2010 at 01:13

Seriously though, the pattern is all too evident... I simply can't listen to black metal during the summer lol. Call it a cliché, I'm a seasonal guy.

Well if you're able to get your hands on it, wait for a late fall evening when it's raining and gloomy outside, give it a spin, and enjoy.
BreadGod - 02.10.2010 at 22:08  
I have been listening to the song 'La Dryade' on repeat. I am so loving this album.
Troy Killjoy - 10.10.2010 at 02:08  
Written by BreadGod on 02.10.2010 at 22:08

I have been listening to the song 'La Dryade' on repeat. I am so loving this album.

I still listen to the entire album on repeat. I think it's safe to say I'd rate this higher than 9.3 - I was surprised when after listening to it for so long that it's still among my favorite albums.
Marcus - 14.04.2011 at 03:29  
Hmm, starting to grow on me after a few listens however as has been mentioned, La Dryade is an unbelievable song. Can't stop listening to it.
Troy Killjoy - 14.04.2011 at 03:48  
Written by Marcus on 14.04.2011 at 03:29

Hmm, starting to grow on me after a few listens however as has been mentioned, La Dryade is an unbelievable song. Can't stop listening to it.

I was fortunate enough to fall in love with this album from the beginning. I'm in the same boat regarding La Dryade: it's at the bottom of my "all-time best" playlist, but I usually play it first because it's that awesome.
Marcus - 14.04.2011 at 04:12  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.04.2011 at 03:48

Written by Marcus on 14.04.2011 at 03:29

Hmm, starting to grow on me after a few listens however as has been mentioned, La Dryade is an unbelievable song. Can't stop listening to it.

I was fortunate enough to fall in love with this album from the beginning. I'm in the same boat regarding La Dryade: it's at the bottom of my "all-time best" playlist, but I usually play it first because it's that awesome.


I think the vocals took a little getting used to for me coupled with a little rawer production than I'm comfortable with. You see, I like to wait til the end to listen to it, sort of like a reward. Then I listen to it about four it five times!
Troy Killjoy - 14.04.2011 at 04:28  
Written by Marcus on 14.04.2011 at 04:12

I think the vocals took a little getting used to for me coupled with a little rawer production than I'm comfortable with. You see, I like to wait til the end to listen to it, sort of like a reward. Then I listen to it about four it five times!

I think the first thing I was attracted to this album was the vocals, and the atmosphere of course. I'm more than comfortable with raw production so that wasn't a problem... I think your approach to The Dryad is fantastic.
Void Eater - 14.04.2011 at 05:28  
Disagree with the review completley. In my humble, always correct opinion, this album is a collection of bad riffs that are played for far to long.
!J.O.O.E.! - 14.04.2011 at 23:32  
Written by Void Eater on 14.04.2011 at 05:28

In my humble, always correct opinion

Loloxymoron
Marcus - 15.04.2011 at 04:29  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 14.04.2011 at 04:28

Written by Marcus on 14.04.2011 at 04:12

I think the vocals took a little getting used to for me coupled with a little rawer production than I'm comfortable with. You see, I like to wait til the end to listen to it, sort of like a reward. Then I listen to it about four it five times!

I think the first thing I was attracted to this album was the vocals, and the atmosphere of course. I'm more than comfortable with raw production so that wasn't a problem... I think your approach to The Dryad is fantastic.

You see, I've been spoiled with all these post___ Black Metal bands with fancy production. Makes it harder for me to appreciate stuff like this although I'm getting better. Haha I'm glad you appreciate it.
Frost Beast - 07.10.2011 at 23:44  
Great review for a great album, Troy. The atmosphere on this one is very enchanting, and the acoustic parts suit the music well.
Troy Killjoy - 08.10.2011 at 00:07  
Written by Guest on 07.10.2011 at 23:44
Great review for a great album, Troy. The atmosphere on this one is very enchanting, and the acoustic parts suit the music well.

One of Canada's finest.
Cronomaster - 30.08.2012 at 00:57  
I agree with review, and I think 9.5 is fully deserved vote. I've heard some great dsbm albums, but this one is special for me. It has an atmosphere that's too hard for me to describe by using words, and no matter how many times I listen to it, it doesn't get boring, I can even say, that it's getting better by every next listen. Icare's screams sounds very depressing, but I think Il Était Une Forêt... wouldn't reach so amazing atmosphere without using those ambient sounds and piano.
Just the best DSBM album I've ever heard, and one of the best albums regardless of the genre. I want more stuff like this !

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