Monday, November 26, 2018

Geisterfels - "La névrose de la pierre" (Six Raw Records, 2017)

Band: Geisterfels
Title: La névrose de la pierre
Genre: Black Metal
Time: 38.50 min
Release Date: 3rd November 2017
Rating: 60/100

At times, some bands sent me their own albums even though they were released one or more years ago. This allows to me to discover some real gems that I missed at the time of their release. Ultimately, this is happened with bands like the death/thrashers Last Rites or the hardcore punk maniacs MuD. Among the acts arrived on these pages relatively late with their albums, there is need to include also Geisterfels, a French band whose line-up is a bit strange. This because they consist of an instrumentalist (Aldébaran) as well a singer (Aharon) but every song of their debut album "La névrose de la pierre" (released under the auspices of the French label Six Raw Records) was entirely composed by their founder Nebel, that plays no instruments into the band. In addition, she is their lyricist and, for this album, she written an ambitious concept-story about a poet and his journey through the Rhine and Moselle valleys in Germany during the 19th Century, in search of the castles, now ruined but once majestic, of this area.

Well, this story is accompanied by a music dubbed by the same Nebel as "Old-School and Atmospheric Black Metal" or with the definition of "Medieval Black Metal". Surely, Geisterfels plays in an old-school way in according to the '90s but it isn't really atmospheric since, except for some short acoustic moments and even for some keyboard hints, their black metal is full of blast-beats as well tempo changes, so the style is too violent in comparison with the typical atmospheric black metal sound. And musically, I hear few medieval tunes (like the percussions in "Der Tod und die schwarze Gräfin") throughout the 8 songs of the album but these last ones have a very ancient mood, so they seriously brings the listeners to old times...and not only because this kind of black metal is clearly influenced by the '90s masters!

For the rest, expect to listen to guitars that, rejecting every form of soloism as well technical solutions, can be melodic and melancholic but, sometimes, also creepy. Instead, Aharon screams in a very classic way by singing in French but, at times, even in German (like in "Der Tod und die schwarze Gräfin", in which there is the guest b., that is the singer of the German black metal band Daemonheim).

Now, I have to end this review by saying that I am not really amazed by "La névrose de la pierre". The fact is that I think that it's too homogeneous, and this means that it lacks of real surprises able to move the listeners (me, at least). In addition, Aharon sings in a too-dimensional way and lacks f expressivity, and it isn't a case if my favorite number is just the song with the guest singer, that present, indeed, a more expressive (so, more intense) vocal style. In general, I think that Geisterfels needed to release some minor productions (like demos, EPs...) before the debut album (that, in fact, is their only release so far) in order to create a more compact style throughout the years. Anyway, even though this album isn't a gem for my broken ears, I believe that it offers an interesting sound such is the way by Geisterfels to be raw and elegant at the same time (speaking about elegancy, see the outstanding cover artwork of the album), so "La névrose de la pierre" deserve to take a sufficient 60 out of 100. And if you want more French black metal reviewed on these pages, then please read the articles about Acedia Mundi and Sombre Croisade.


1 - Les ruines du castel
2 - La sentinelle du Rhin
3 - Im Nebel
4 - Il neige sur l'Eltz
5 - Geisterfels
6 - Der Tod und die schwarze Gräfin
7 - La chapelle recousue
8 - Puis vint la chute


Aharon - vocals
Aldébaran - guitars/bass/drums/keyboards
Nebel - lyrics/composition

Six Raw Records:

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