Belenos
Chants de Bataille

Belenos is back with their 4th crusade of brutal Pagan black metal. Chants de Bataille has been finally released by Adipocere after the last several releases on Sacral Productions. Other than a jump from one French label to another French label, not much has changed. The most obvious change is the inclusion of seven interludes. The Celtic folk elements are now in standalone tracks instead of integrated throughout each song. That is not to say that the songs are now just straightforward black metal, the Belenos style is still evident in every song. Loic Cellier has once again proven that he is the ultimate creative control of the music and that he can surround himself with talented musicians to help him realize his goals. Over the years the music has progressed more and more from mellow atmospheric black with harsh elements (the demos) toward fast aggressive black with beautiful melodic elements. New drummer Gilles Delecroix fits in well with regard to aggression but it is the slow folkish moments that, as always, make this band stand out. One needs only to listen to “Fureur Celtique” to experience the whole vision, harsh and somber, aggressive shrieks and clean chants, slow atmospheric passages and full speed blasting all come together in one coherent mix.

I have been waiting for this release for quite some time and when I read that Chants de Bataille was actually being finished I started counting the days until release. No, really! What a long delay. Both Spicilege and Errances Oniriques made my top ten lists their release years. Music that is dynamic, aggressive and melodic all at once with high vocal versatility and beautiful folk infused arrangements scores highly with me, and Loic once again lived up to my expectations. Belenos has been around for 10 years and I have been listening to them regularly for the last 8 years. I imagine I’ll be listening regularly for the next eight as well.

My favorite songs are, in order as they appear on disc, “L’ombre du Chaos”, “Fureur Celtique”, “Sacrifies”, and “Funerailles,” but it is the album listened to in its entirety including all the interludes that really wins me over. When I first listened to this disc I thought second best Belenos release, maybe only third best but the more I play it the more I hear that impresses me and I am certain I will be playing this disc regularly in the years to come. Without a doubt a top ten release for 2006. Definitely battlefield music.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
May 6th, 2006

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