As I mentioned in my Glaciation review, Ive been on a French metal kick and the third album from Abduction might be the best of the bunch so far this year.

One of my cohorts reviewed their prior album A L’heure du Crépuscule, and succinctly threw around bands like Borknagar, Arcturus, Ved Buens Ende, and Ulver audible influences, and that continues for Jehanne, (notably with the Garm/Solefald-ish/clean vocal and Gregorian ish hues from vocalist François Blanc) with a gorgeous, progressive and ultimately French sounding take on black metal.

I’d throw last in years excellent Per le Sang Verse from Véhémence as a point of reference also, as their is an air of austere, medieval majesty permeating the material on Jehanne, which is no surprise considering the subject matter of Joan or Arc.

Even with an hour run time,  Jehanne manages to remain engaging for its entirety even with longer 10 and 12 minute songs, and that’s no easy feat. But highlights are hard to pin point across such a long, sprawling display of dramatic excellence. I did however keep coming back to album’s 2 longest cuts, the second track, the 12 minute epic,  “Par ce cœur les lys fleurissent” and third track ” La chevauchée de la Loire”, with its cool little melancholic, mid song break.

“Dieu en soit garde” and “Foi en ses murs jusqu’aux rats ” are a bit more restrained and somber, while the tangibly tragic “Battue par les flots jamais ne sombre” picks up the pace with blistering melodies as the story careens towards its martyr making climax.

It’s around the last 2 tracks “Très fidèle au Roi et au trône” and “Aux marches de Lorraine” that my listening stamina is tested, but by god, I want to hear how this historical masterpiece finishes, and both wrap up the saga of Joan or Arc with ample harrowing closure, benefiting one of European history’s most revered characters.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 10th, 2020


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