Triste Terre. France. A two men ensemble. Atmospheric Black Metal – with a pinch or two or a sort of Doomish sound in it. “Grand œuvre” is their first full length work, through Les Acteurs de l’Ombre Productions. They had previously released 3 Eps and 1 Compilation, all independently.
Truth be told – and I believe I wrote this in one release – for some years now, Atmospheric Black Metal has been, alongside Raw Black Metal, the “must go to” subgenre of Black Metal. and what is the “problem” with this? We end up with way too many bands, playing exactly the same thing, bringing nothing of new to a subgenre known for being extremely able to reinvent itself… I know this statement might be taken as an insult to all those that create, I am aware of that, but… 1 in 100 bands release something, either is Atmos/Raw/Whatever, that “lights up the room”, and makes people believe, once again, in that ability so rooted in Black Metal: innovation.
But this is not about trends or niches or creative choices, it’s about Triste Terre’s new release: “Grand œuvre” “Great Work (Latin: Magnum opus) is an alchemical term for the process of working with the prima materia to create the philosopher’s stone. It has been used to describe personal and spiritual transmutation in the Hermetic tradition, attached to laboratory processes and chemical color changes, used as a model for the individuation process, and as a device in art and literature. The magnum opus has been carried forward in New Age and neo-Hermetic movements which sometimes attached new symbolism and significance to the processes” (in Wikipedia).
Well, the theme is, on its own, crushing, I dare say. It goes a bit like the overall sound: slow, but heavy. A heavy, paced, rhythmic, sound. It lives within the realms of the Melancholic Black Metal, never setting foot in Depressive swamps. The guitar work, the guitar work… that is where the richness lives, in my opinion. The guitar is melodic, but never falling into a weak construction! It holds its ground and guides the tracks… the organ… the organ, that appears out of nowhere and helps increase the level of heaviness – ambiance.
I was completely taken by surprise as soon as the music started. The talent that some musicians have, to create atmosphere, is amazing. This first track is mesmerizing. It guides you through a long hall, through various scenes of Despair, of Pain, of Hate, of Suffering, only to reach its Golden Gate, its Salvation… its moment of Closure. Overwhelming… and this is just the first track!
“Nobles Luminaries” has a very intricate guitar work, that soothes and carries the listener. The drums have this mellow groove, this almost jazzy thing to it… both these tracks go over 10 minutes. 6 tracks, 4 are over the 10 minute line… does it gets boring and dull? Uhm… I dare say no. I listened to the album, mostly, on the bus to, and from, work. it helps you to relax, it is true. Rest, not fall asleep. The way Naâl projects its voice, really fits with the music crafted by him and his companion, A.Varenne. amazing release…
This haunting, suffocating atmosphere that embroils the listener, holds the listener and nourishes on the listener. Like a Chemistry, Music exists to cause changes and generate new emotions, new sensations… new existence. (DanielP)