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Creature (FRA) - Eloge De l'Ombre review

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Band: Creature (FRA)
Album: Eloge De l'Ombre
Release date: November 2021

01. Venin
02. Conscience Mécanique
03. Météorite
04. Noire
05. L'Empire Des Singes
06. Maussade
07. Alternative
08. Les Fragments
09. Est-Ce Que Tu Danses?
10. Pas Le Même
11. Eloge De L'Ombre
12. Rétrograde

An eclectic, avant-garde metal one-man project from France? Has Igorrr already released another new album?

No, it turns out, this is a different French dude’s manic explorations (although Creature (FRA) did actually release an album last year as well). It’s probably not a surprise to know that Creature (FRA) are from France, not only because I’m forced to write ‘FRA’ every time I link to their profile, or because the album and song titles are in French, but the country’s got a strong track record for experimentation in metal. Eloge De l’Ombre comes courtesy of Raphaël Fournier, with this his fourth record under the Creature (FRA) moniker, and it represents the vision of a musician with an impressive grasp on how to incorporate an array of metal and non-metal styles into a single album whilst managing to keep it feeling enjoyably cohesive.

Eloge De l’Ombre is an album in the vein of the likes of Thy Catafalque and Solefald, where most of the review ends up just trying to cover all the different musical bases touched during its runtime. The album’s first few songs are mostly comprised of extreme metal, although the fusion of electronics and death/black metal on opener “Venin” makes it immediately clear that said extreme metal won’t be conventional, regardless of which form it takes. The deep, reverbing growling style used by Fournier on these early songs gives a booming, cavernous feel to tracks that otherwise are a bit more melodic and soaring, particularly when the acoustic guitars, electronics and synths come into play. “Noire” feels more reliably bright thanks to the brash synths and clean vocals employed on the track, taking proceedings in more of a symphonic black direction.

These first few songs are scattered and eclectic, with “L’Empire Des Singes” shooting in Arcturus-esque, brooding death and chaotic blasting directions all at the same time in its final couple of minutes. Arcturus, and more specifically The Sham Mirrors era Arcturus, was a band that came to mind during my first couple of listens to Eloge De l’Ombre, partly due to the synth sounds that permeate the atmosphere of a lot of the record, but also that ‘unpredictable but not messy’ avant-garde songwriting approach that the Norwegians were so good at. However, it’s after “Maussade”, a rather doomy piece, where the diversity really comes to the fore.

“Alternative” is an eerie softer song, with keyboards and electronics dominating the soundscape, even in the occasional metal moments. “Les Fragments” largely does away with metal altogether; this song, along with the title track, is a dark hip-hop piece. The former does eventually go into more of a prog-metal direction as it progresses, but both are dominated by dark, semi-industrial electronic soundscapes above which Fournier delivers quite convincing rapping (for some reason, I find rapping more enjoyable in French than English, go figure). The title track is flanked by another soft-ish track (featuring I believe hammered dulcimer) in the form of “Pas Le Même” and a last burst of extreme Arcturus-style music on Rétrograde”.

As you can tell, there’s quite a bit of musical range on Eloge De l’Ombre. Still, partly because of that Sham Mirrors vibe that lingers over a lot of the album, it all feels relatively natural, which is also helped by extreme metal making up the majority of the content here, even if that metal is vibrant and at times eclectic. Still, Eloge De l’Ombre isn’t enjoyable because it’s avant-garde (or at least, not just because it’s avant-garde), but because it’s entertaining, gripping and creates a gripping atmosphere. It’s a really fun album, not quite at the level of Thy Catafalque at their best, but it should appeal to those that have enjoyed Thy Catafalque, Solefald or Arcturus in the past.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Written on 25.11.2021 by Hey chief let's talk why not


Comments: 3   Visited by: 57 users
26.11.2021 - 10:21
I, Voidhanger Records is having a hell of a run this year. Thanks for the discovery!
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?

2021 goodies
26.11.2021 - 15:49
Green Devil
I actually discovered this group about a week ago when their previous album Ex Cathedra popped up in my YouTube feed. It's a really good album and the 5,2 score it has here on MS is way to low. I've only heard "Est-Ce Que Tu Danses?" from the new album and it's a banger so I'm definitely gonna check out the rest of the album. Also have to mention that awesome cover, probably one of my favourites of the year. And as always, great review. Cheers!
"When you are dead, you do not know you are dead. It's only painful for others. The same applies when you are stupid." - Ricky Gervais
27.11.2021 - 08:44
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Musclassia just curious, do you parlous francaise?
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing

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