venerdì 8 giugno 2018

Sombre Croisade - "Balancier des âmes" (Pest Records, 2017)

Band: Sombre Croisade
Title: Balancier des âmes
Genre: Black Metal
Year: 29th September 2017
Time: 41 min
Rating: 70/100

Sometimes, there is a black metal circle that I didn't know before. As many circles of this kind, also Molasar's Dreams (its name is an homage to Molasar, a musician died at the beginning of 2011 that played in bands like P.H.T.O.) is formed by many acts leaded, more or less, by the same people. Some of the bands that belongs to this French circle are called Sombre Croisade, Suicidal Madness, Blukovla, Loup Noir and others. It's incredible the fact that the unstoppable Alrinack is behind many of the aforementioned entities. One of these ones is, indeed, Sombre Croisade (French for "Dark Crusade"), whose 2013 debut album "Litanie au mal" was a 77-minute monolith (!) of total evil while their second opus "Balancier des âmes" lasts "only" 41 minutes.

Well, this sophomore full-lenght, released by the Romanian Pest Records (a sort of parent-label of Loud Rage Music) contains 6 tracks that, sung always in the evocative French language, express a music completely devoted to the gloomy lesson of the Scandinavian '90s black metal. In fact, this duo, coming from the beautiful Côte d'Azur and founded in 2008 by the sickest immagination of the guitarist/drummer Malsain, plays in a very grim way without any strange experimentation. The vocals of Alrinack are demonic screams that sometimes are able to reach the terrifying realm of the pure suffering, the guitars are crepuscular and melancholic as well majestic while the drums show a good balancement between the slow tempos and the faster ones (blast-beats included) but, in general, the final result isn't so violent also because of some depressive black metal hints from time to time. Instead, a very interesting feature comes from the bass, that can create good lead lines in order to make more deep the entire discourse.
Now, this second album, on a hand, is surely fit for the maniacs that love to be possessed by a really pure form of black metal that finds, at least for me, its best episodes in "Midiane" and in the 9-minute tormenting tour de force "Souffles d'ailleurs" (that starts acoustic). On the other hand, this "Balancier des âmes", even though it's good, doesn't offers particular and creative surprises nor strong variations able to make truly memorable the various songs, also because of a more mid-tempo oriented number like the same titletrack, that's a little bit repetitive after a while. Anyway, all this doesn't avoid to the listeners to enjoy a dark (also due to the raw production) and melancholic style that can reminds you of Norwegian bands like Strid or the early Manes.


1 - Renaissance
2 - Balancier des âmes
3 - Don ténébreux
4 - Midiane
5 - Voeux illusoires
6 - Souffles d'ailleurs


Alrinack - vocals/bass
Malsain - guitars/drums

Pest Records:
Loud Rage Music:

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