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Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs (2009) Retail CD
Every Neige project has seemingly been given the KoRn treatment by the underground fans. Sorry, excuse the joke. When Neige first began his shoegaze inspired black metal projects, such as Alcest, the general consensus was that he is a genius. His revolutionary ideas were praised far and wide. Everybody seemed to be a fan. Nowadays, Alcest and even this creation, Amesoeurs, are treated with contempt by the majority of underground fans and have received, in my opinion, unjustified criticism. I suppose it occurs in all walks of life and that I should merely accept bands like Amesoeurs' fate. Muchmore… loved musicians and bands draw an awful lot of hatred from those who don't appreciate them. We all do it, I do too. We criticise the hell out of bands who receive a lot of praise, who appear to be verging on mainstream as opposed to sticking with their extreme, underground roots. Amesoeurs have been given the treatment. Like a dirty old dog, they've been taken and left outside in the cold winter night. As a fan of Amesoeurs myself, I take the bands criticism with a pinch of salt. I'm not arrogant enough to believe that the French act, who's self-titled debut we're discussing here, is the be all and end all of metal music. There are faults when it comes to Amesoeurs, particularly in terms of the individuals behind the music and their childish games. Its no secret that Amesoeurs have broken-up over something so ridiculous and trivial. I am assuming there must be more to it than what we understand, but the facts still remain, for a band to split up over such trivial nonsense is inane. The career of Amesoeurs has been brief but people like myself have been treated to some classy music over the years, ever since the arrival of `Ruines Humaines' back in 2006.
Amesoeurs, the so-called rip-off merchants of the underground scene have drawn a lot of attention from angry black metal fans. Apparently, a fair chunk of the material on the new record has been stolen from the ideas of other bands. Is it not acceptable for a band to show their influences openly in the modern world? I imagine every musician has one source of inspiration or another and perhaps taking another bands sound and evolving it into your own, mixing your own ideas and thoughts into the process whilst you're at it, isn't so much ripping-off others' content, but putting a new spin on something that has become dated and overused. This multi-talented French act don't seem too similar to any band I listen to, perhaps apart from Alcest, who're probably also rip-off merchants for that matter. The problems within the music of this record lie not in what sounds similar to someone else, but within the general content and construction of the songs. For example, Neige takes command of the vocals at certain points and with this new found appreciation for subtlety, his harsh black metal rasps don't sound as effective as they might have done with Alcest, back in the early days of that particular bands creation. I like his vocal performances for Alcest, both the screams and the clean vocals, but when it comes to Amesoeurs, I'm looking for laid back and relaxing, which is something Audrey brings to the sound of Amesoeurs. Surprisingly, this is something I must have missed in the early days, Audrey also controls the bass, which seems far more prominent and promising than the lead guitars, which comes in the form of two guitarists. Her performance, perhaps ironically considering the problems behind the scenes, is somewhat of a saving grace to the lesser songs, such as `Recueillement'.
Neige seems to have been affected by the issues surrounding the band as his performance seems somewhat under par to that of `Ruines Humaines' or even Alcest's material, including the fully blown black metal outing of the first demo. His vocals are typical of his sound, but alongside the mainly driven bass sound, which constructs a low lying sadness beneath the waves of surprises that struck me throughout, but they don't deliver when contrasted with the beautiful voice of Audrey. To my ears, there are a number of different sounds on this record. From the black metal inspired `Recueillement' to the indie-like `Faux Semblants', which features a groovy lead guitar, challenging bass, mellow percussion and fantastic clean vocals. Song writing is technical and often odd in its multi-purpose approach. I suppose the indie feel I'm hearing is where the post-punk elements really blossom. The bass driven qualities of bands like Joy Division are on show throughout the piece, inspiring and delivering a suitably `nice' feeling (which isn't so much like Joy Division as their music is often described as depressive). The mood shifts are interesting (typified by the inclusion of a depressing piano interlude and the uplifting `Faux Semblants`), too. This is what I don't understand about the sparse inclusion of Neige's harsh vocals. They don't suit the laid back mood of the record, especially when the bass takes full effect. `La Reine Trayeuse' is a typical song for Amesoeurs and perhaps my favourite (despite absolutely adoring `Les Ruches Malades' which was included on the last split with Valfunde). The lack of guitar effects, the counter-acting bass that supplies a bag full of melody, the clean female vocals (which, at times, can be some of the prettiest I've heard without sounding condescending) and the mellow percussion make this Amesoeurs record a honest portrayal of what black metal, fused with elements from post-punk and shoegaze should sound like. Love it or hate it, its refreshing in a world where fans complain a lot about there being too many depressive black metal bands formed straight out of the bedroom in a house owned by the musicians grumpy mother.
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- Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs (2009) Retail CD
- 1791 x 1537 px
- 344 KB
- 172 (0 today)
- 29/05/09 by pontiacc
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