So here is the first and last album from Amesoeurs, another genre pushing French act featuring Neige from Alcest and Peste Noire fame, and if you enjoy Alcest’s gentler take on black metal as well as the current trend of organic artistic black metal like Wolves In The Throne Room, Fen and Altar of Plagues, you should probably like this, though this is far more serene.

Fair warning though- there’s a lot of other elements added to the warm early Ulver hues, notably Audrey Sylvain (Peste Noire also) and her clean, ethereal vocals on about half of the tracks (as well as Neige’s typical black shriek), as well as lots of forays into non metal realms such as New Wave, electronica, Post Rock, Goth rock, and the expected ambient, experimental despondency. I’ve seem Joy Division, The Cure and Depeche Mode thrown around a lot as an influence also, but I can’t personally hear it, due to never really hearing any of those acts, so take it as you will.

Either way, this is far from a typical black metal album despite plenty of tremolo picked blast beats as it imbues a far more urban, poetic artistry that some could construe as pretentious with lots of mid paced wandering, acoustic layering, introspection and all the lyrics in French. Still, for me, the end result is a lush piece of brilliant musical art that, as you’d expect from Profound Lore and Niege, pushes the boundaries of the genre and challenges typical genre paradigms.

While most of the album is mostly melancholic, mid paced, almost poppy metal with female crooning (“Les Ruches”, “Malades”, “Recueillement”, “Faus Semblants”, “Video Girl” and delight fully catchy “Amesoeurs”), it still makes for a mesmerizing, beautiful listen and when the band does delve into blacker structures such as “Gas In Veins”, “Heurt”, “Trouble (Éveils Infâmes)” and the amazing last third of “La Reine Trayeuse” it has the clean, delicate Alcest “grey/green” metal quality that’s even more inviting and elegant than most of their current peers.

Eleven minute closing track “Au Crépuscule De Nos Réves” despite being half silence and some industrial/electronic programming closes the album out with some doomy, somber acoustics and very nice, though short lived,delicate blast beat, but it serves to cement Amesoeurs is an album that will drive black metal purists insane. However, those with a more open mind and those that enjoy black metal’s current state of genre crossing and envelope pushing should find Amesoeurs alluring and elegant and a fitting legacy for the short lived outfit and yet another perfect fit for Profound Lore Records.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
June 25th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Shane

    I loved this album. Shame the band is toast. I think Alcest is very close in sound though. I can deal with more of that.

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