Ville Morgue

While subgenres in metal tend to diversify (think of the many iterations of black metal or death metal going around these days), some genres seem natural pairs and have coalesced into genres of their own. Take for instance black metal and sludge. Ville Morgue, the first full-length offering from France’s Carne, plays riff-driven sludge metal but adds a blackened, claustrophobic vibe. For a two-piece band, Carne inflicts a considerable amount of damage and conjures up a surprisingly thick dark atmosphere.

The thing this album has in spades is groove. Shit tons of groove. Once a song finds its pace, often right at the beginning, there is no letting up. The drums set the pace and the guitars move from one lurching riff to another. The riffs are solid, reminiscent at times of Zozobra, and at others jumbling together with the drums into the rolling, pummeling sound of Mosquito Control-era Isis. A healthy dose of crustiness hearkens back to the genre’s crossover roots. The oppressive atmosphere brought about by dissonance, similar to fellow Frenchmen Overmars, permeates many of the tracks.

Although the music is principally sludge, it is steeped in black metal. The Deathspell Omega comparison is a popular one to throw around, but it shows up here in some of the plucked, dissonant riffs of the opening two songs.  The black influence finds its way even deeper into the songs on the latter half of the album, as in the dark winding riff of “Slave/Her” (featuring a guest appearance from Marion of the aforementioned Overmars), finally erupting full-force with blastbeats and tremolo guitars of the final, titular track. The production is on the raw side, but not particularly lacking in bottom end, especially considering that there is no bass being played. It sounds almost live at times, which adds to the energy of the songs.

There are a handful of bands now playing a dark, crusty variation on hardcore/sludge. Carne’s offering is fueled by unrelenting grooves and raw aggression. In the end, Ville Morgue is an excellent album. Highly recommended.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J. D. Anderson
January 21st, 2014


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