Dehn Sora has been around some intriguing artists, from fellow French black metal extravagant acts like Deathspell Omega and Blut Aus Nord, to Norwegian chameleons Ulver. To provide artwork for music that is so uncompromising and disturbing is a daunting task, but in the process Sora has produced some masterpieces in the likes of 777 – Cosmosophy or Code‘s Augur Nox. But it looks like these transactions, between Sora and his collaborators, has been going both ways, and it is has heavily influenced his work in Throane.
Having already released a full-length, Derriere-Nous, La Lumiere, in 2016 Sora does not waste any time and already brings forth his sophomore record in Plus Une Main A Mordre. Stylistically, the work features a lot of the French black metal scene’s DNA. The riffs of “Et Ceux En Lesquels Ils Croyaient” radiate with that dissonant Deathspell Omega attitude, propelling the work into an aggressive frenzy, as is the case with the grand start of “Et Tout Finira Par Chuter.” Using the guitars as a source of texture, rather than melody, Sora reveals the whole extent of the ferocity and brutality this work contains, without turning away from more atmospheric moments. “Milles Autres,” for instance, features a more depressive facade from Throane, majestically turning the record down a different pathway in constructing a very convincing dark ambiance.
As is the case with the bands Sora has collaborated with, his take on black metal does not exist in a vacuum, and is rather open in exploring the capabilities that crossing over brings. The dark ambient touch is key in this process, bringing a meditative quality to this work, as Throane perform sonic transfigurations in encompassing the music with this otherworldly sense. The opening track features such a brilliant momentary change, dropping the extreme progression for a minimal interlude that enhances the narrative with a deep sense of unease, as if something twisted is lurking underneath the surface. In “Et Tout Finira Par Chuter” the dark ambient touch merges with an industrial outlook presenting a vision of a dystopian reality.
This is where the post-metal influences come into play, the most obvious being the effect that Justin K. Broadrick’s Godflesh has on Plus Une Main A Mordre. The progression of the album features this relentless, cold, mechanical touch, creating a powerful backbone for the music, revealed prominently in the ending of “A Trop Reclamer Les Vers.” But there is also a kinship with a no-wave aesthetic, and works of experimental rock arts. The backward progression of the riffs and the nauseating patterns are apparent in “Et Ceux En Lesquels Ils Croyaient,” display this effort to consolidate the off-kilter attitude with the black metal spirit.
As a result there is something very graphic about the music itself, with Throane being able to use the post-metal methodology to augment the weight of the sound, borrow sludge parts to make everything heavier, construct a blackened ambiance around these and create a crushing experience. It is all summarized beautifully in the final, title track, which is a monumental opus of the cyclothymic nature only the French experimental black metal scene can so easily enact. The addition of Colin Van Eeckhout (Amenra) and Sylvain (Invicil Tragedia) on the vocals is the icing on the cake, lifting this endeavor towards its majestic end. A fitting ending for such a strong album.
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