The Black Metal scene in the Canadian province of Québec, often named Métal Noir Québécois after the first Forteresse album, has made a name for itself around the globe for producing numerous outstanding bands. While many of these bands have released their records on the Canadian Sepulchral Productions, Eisenwald has made releases by for instance Forteresse, Monarque and Cantique Lépreux available to European audiences. And it’s this label that presents us with the debut record of Précieux Sang, a relatively new band from the city of Kénogami.
While part of the Métal Noir Québécois plays furious and raw Black Metal, the three tracks featured on `Les Nuits de Gethsémani’ lean more heavily on the atmospheric side of the scene. Every track on the album opens at higher pace, but then tends to take it down a few notches to focus on building atmosphere. Précieux Sang is not a band that throws hundreds of riffs at the listener, but rather emphasizes on a few riffs by repeating them for an extended period while adding nuances over time. This aspect is also presented by the vocals, which are delivered with dedication and intensity and can best be described as pained chants that stay rather monotonous and on the clean side without the typical raw edge found in Black Metal. The mixing and mastering courtesy of Xavier Tehom leaves plenty of room to appreciate the individual components of the music, although personally I would have liked the bass guitar to be a bit more prominent in the calmer passages. The combination of vocals and music often leans towards Post Black Metal, with long-spun, slightly repetitive atmospheric songs and I think especially `De la Paille et du Grain’ is a good example of what the band has to offer. Together, the tracks presented on `Les Nuits de Gethsémani’ make a solid Précieux Sang debut that should appeal to listeners that enjoy long-spun atmospheric Black Metal.