Sortilège - Sortilège review


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Band: Sortilège
Album: Sortilège
Release date: 1983

01. Amazone
02. Progéniture
03. Gladiateur
04. Sortilège
05. Bourreau
06. Blade Killer [1998 re-release bonus]
07. Gladiator [1998 re-release bonus]
08. The Amazon Warriors [1998 re-release bonus]
09. Alien [1998 re-release bonus]
10. Death Hymn [1998 re-release bonus]
11. Delirium Of A Madman [1998 re-release bonus]

This was said to be Chuck Schuldiner's favorite band. You can hear how the intro to Death's "Evil Dead" finds echoes in "Amazone". But this EP is much more than that; it has true reasons to be adored - and it should be adored as the heavy metal gem it is. Sortilège really has a personality. A mood, rather dark, a grave tone, unique lyrics, great riffs and leads... And what a singer!

Christian Augustin is mighty. He has a powerful voice, from mid-range to high notes, produced without any difficulty. These vocals are an instrument on their own and are often used to fill blanks. A lot of "yeah yeah", "no no", humming, or long-held notes with vibrato. That's a positive point thanks to the beautiful singer's tone and the way it brings a lot of melody to the music.

It's also noteworthy that those vocals exalt the French tongue. Most of the bands singing in French would pronounce the words a certain way, making the lyrics sound flat and bland and goofy. It isn't the case at all with Sortilège; the lyrics are twisted and uncommonly placed in the song, squeezed up or stretched, but sound so much better despite being harder to understand. The focus is solely on power and musicality. Admittedly, the mix is raw and the abundant reverb might have something to do with it.

Concerning the content, they are typical fantasy lyrics about demons, warriors, mythical creatures etc... It may be cliché, but the band still managed to flesh them out. I can hear that a lot of effort has been put into them; they do sound like tales from a murkier world, and use a broad vocabulary.

Musically, it's good old mid-paced heavy metal, rather melodic. Songs consist of a splicing of many different segments, quite small, which brings enough variations to avoid repetitiveness. All throughout the record a lot of melodic layers overlap: often the bass plays a motif on top of which the guitar would begin a lead and the singer would hum yet something else. Hence the music is pretty rich, added that the guitar offers plenty of leads. With all five awesome songs back-to-back, this EP really slays.

So, if you like heavy metal, go check out Sortilège; this band is one of a kind. I think this EP is their tightest release, and also their darkest one. Their albums are really great, too, despite some weaker tracks here and there. It's a shame that they're so little known. Let's raise them to classic status!

Written by Ansercanagicus | 08.03.2019


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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