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Enterré Vivant - 四元素 (Shigenso) review




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Band: Enterré Vivant
Album: 四元素 (Shigenso)
Style: Atmospheric black metal
Release date: September 2023


01. 風 (Le Vent)
02. 火 (Le Feu)
03. 水 (L'eau)
04. 土 (La Terre)

A melancholic, atmospheric journey told in four acts and two languages.

Enterré Vivant ("buried alive" in French) are a duo who mix French and Japanese influences in their music. Whether it's cover art reminiscent of old Japanese paintings, multilingual lyrics, song titles alternating in French and Japanese, or oriental-sounding ambience, Enterré Vivant organically blend these two cultures in an intriguing and quite unique way. France and Japan might be on opposite ends of the globe, yet who knew that they could work so well together through the medium of atmospheric black metal?

In fact, this multicultural project reminded me of Vitriolic Sage, a one-man band from China that mixes French and Chinese lyrics and song titles. The similarities don't end there, as both create atmospheric black metal soaked in heavy amounts of melancholy, juxtaposed by the anguished cries of the vocalist.

Enterré Vivant's sophomore LP Shigenso is a concept album. "Shigenso", after all, means "four elements" in Japanese. Correspondingly, the album is divided into four tracks, each more than ten minutes in length, titled "The Air'', "The Fire'', "The Water'', and "The Earth'' — all in French/Japanese, of course. They've chosen a similar approach before with their 2021 EP called Shiki ("four seasons" in Japanese), which, funnily enough, came out one year before Sigh's 2022 album of the same name.

The lyrics of each song address each of the four elements, and each track begins with a short audio sample of that element, whether it be a crackling fire or a roaring waterfall. However, I don't find that the musical style really reflects its respective title. The instrumentation on "Le Feu" doesn't necessarily sound more fiery than "L'Eau", for instance. With the foreknowledge of the song titles, one might convince oneself that "Le Vent" sounds wild and free like a blowing wind, whereas the section 11-and-a-half minutes into "L'Eau" sounds like a meandering river. But, to be honest, one would be hard put to identify the theme of the song based on the instrumentation alone. I find this is quite the missed opportunity, as it would've been interesting to see a musical development with major shifts in style as the album progresses. Instead, the four songs sound rather too similar for my liking.

Still, that doesn't mean that the individual songs aren't enjoyable. In addition to classic black metal tremolo-picking, Enterré Vivant use calming yet somewhat haunting flute tunes, gong strikes, and mournful piano playing. Together with mesmerizing synth-work, the instrumentation expertly crafts a slow,
solemn atmosphere that lulls the listener into a sensation of tranquility. What keeps you wide awake, however, is the equally impressive vocal performance. With demonic moans, eerie shrieks, croaky growls, and craggly rasps on display, the talented vocals provide an entertaining contrast to the soothing musicianship.

Overall, the excellent production sound emphasizes the immersive quality of the music — perhaps an unsurprising result given that the mastering of the album was performed by the experienced one-man ambient metal machine Déhà.

In conclusion, Enterré Vivant offer an enjoyable atmospheric black metal experience based around a unique multicultural concept. While the songwriting could be more engaging and nuanced, one can't deny that the duo check all the boxes in the originality, performance, and production categories.






Written on 10.09.2023 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 65 users
11.09.2023 - 19:55
Nejde
CommunityManager
This album really stands out among this year's releases. The mix of Japanese and French makes it quite unique. At least I haven't heard anything like this band before. The 4,5 minute intro of "風 (Le Vent)" is beautiful. The blowing wind and the traditional Japanese flute makes this feel extremely Japanese, but at the same time, the melody feels more French and with words spoken in French makes this intro really mesmerizing. And just to top it off when the actual black metal starts, we get a melody that sounds so Hail Spirit Noir that it's almost ridiculous (in a very good way). And around the 8-minute mark the flute is back in an interlude but this time it's accompanied by a piano and this time it feels even more French and Japanese at the same time. This shouldn't work so well together but it really does.

Only minor complaint is that the three following songs aren't nearly as unique but overall it's still a splendid album. If you like black metal and want something that doesn't sound like anything else, this is the album to check out.
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11.09.2023 - 20:10
Roman Doez
Hallucigenia
To all my fellow French speakers, I heavily recommend checking out Sakrifiss (the vocalist)'s youtube channel for some of the best metal content on the platform
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12.09.2023 - 14:19
Rating: 8
F3ynman2000
Nocturnal Bro
Written by Nejde on 11.09.2023 at 19:55

The 4,5 minute intro of "風 (Le Vent)" is beautiful. The blowing wind and the traditional Japanese flute makes this feel extremely Japanese, but at the same time, the melody feels more French and with words spoken in French makes this intro really mesmerizing. And just to top it off when the actual black metal starts, we get a melody that sounds so Hail Spirit Noir that it's almost ridiculous (in a very good way). And around the 8-minute mark the flute is back in an interlude but this time it's accompanied by a piano and this time it feels even more French and Japanese at the same time. This shouldn't work so well together but it really does.

I agree. The first song, especially the intro, is the best part of the album. I don't know of Hail Spirit Noir. I'll have to check them out, I guess!
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12.09.2023 - 18:18
Nejde
CommunityManager
Written by F3ynman2000 on 12.09.2023 at 14:19

I don't know of Hail Spirit Noir.


Say what!? How is that even possible? You got some serious homework to do. Start with the debut and work your way forward. Thank me later
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23.09.2023 - 22:00
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Interesting concept, 2 far away cultures in one album.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''
apos;'
[image]
I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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24.09.2023 - 09:51
Rating: 8
AndyMetalFreak
A Nice Guy
This album has a great concept indeed, it's wonderfully melancholic and has some fantastic songwriting. What a great find, and thanks for the review
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