- Band(s): Nécropole
- Label(s): Northern Heritage Records
- Release Format(s): CD
- Release Year: 2022
- Review Date: February 1, 2023
- Author(s): VincentP
Nécropole’s star rose to fame with the rather sensational demos ‘Atavisme’ and ‘Ostara’. Both were examples of a rejuvenated style of French Black Metal that hints back at the infamous past of the scene yet offering an open and almost dreamlike atmosphere. At that time, the band consisted of songwriter Amertume on guitar and bass, Brume on drums and Déchéance on vocals. After the second Nécropole demo in 2015, Brume and Déchéance started a new band, adopting the pseudonyms of Fog and Khaosgott in their new endeavor called Cénotaphe. Brume left Nécropole that same year, and eventually in 2017 so did Déchéance.
Left as the only member, Amertume decided to take control of all instruments and vocals, and started work on the debut album ‘Solarité’. By the time it was released, it had quite some shoes to fill, as Cénotaphe’s first demo ‘La Larve Exulte’ and debut EP ‘Horizons’ had blown the underground Black Metal community away. ‘Solarité’ showed a slightly different approach to a fairly overlapping Black Metal sound. While both bands sketch this dreamlike open and yearning Black Metal landscape, Nécropole’s melodic undertone was always a bit more restrained and subcutaneous than Cénotaphe’s more riff-oriented and adventurous style. But where Cénotaphe continued releasing another EP, a split and their debut album, it became rather quiet around Nécropole. That silence ended on the 23rd of December 2022, when Northern Heritage, their partner in crime for their releases, announced the return of the band through a new full-length bearing the title of ‘Yoga’.
While yoga is of course mostly known as a meditative practice, it’s meaning derived from the Sanskrit word for to yoke or to unify, yuj. As such, the meaning of the album title is the integration of personality, or the method of achieving union. This theme comes back in the song titles that appear to deal with the yoke, purifying oneself, going against the natural direction and in the case of ‘Scivias’, description of religious visions. When it comes to the music, the start of ‘Yoga’ in the shape of ‘Lustration’ immediately sets the tone. Much of the sound of ‘Solarité’ has remained intact, with the album still breathing that open and dreamlike atmosphere. The production is slightly clearer, which in my opinion helps lift the music just a little bit. The musical pace is often high, with a certain sense of urgency lingering throughout the tracks. Already on the previous album had the riffs turned a little bit more prominent and leading, and this further continues on the latest album. In a sense that makes the sound somewhat closer to Cénotaphe, but I find Nécropole to have more directional and straightforward melodies rather than the more meandering style of Cénotaphe. Regardless, it’s only positive to have two bands that produce this high-quality Black Metal, because ‘Yoga’ is once again a great record. Altume’s vocals on the debut were good, but he certainly stepped it up on ‘Yoga’, adding more variety and intensity. And that pretty much sums up the entire feeling about ‘Yoga’: It’s a lot like its predecessor but even more varied and intense. I thought ‘Solarité’ was an excellent record, but ‘Yoga’ simply does everything a little better. If you need some convincing, just give ‘The Yoke’ a listen, what a way to end the record on a high note! Very recommended listen for those that cherish a modern take on French Black Metal.
- Country: France
- Style: Black Metal
Northern Heritage Records
- Country: Finland
- Style: Black Metal
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