Happy Days
En enfer, j'ai régné

I used to watch Happy Days religiously. Every week my parents and I would be glued to the TV to see what antics those crazy fucks would get into. I mean, they had a fucking band, the Fonz jumped the shark, and every show was wholesome and taught life lessons along the way.

Happy Days the band is a different type of bouncy, if you can consider Suicidal Depressive Black Metal bouncy. There’s not much happiness to go around. I’m finding this all out slowly because I only have a passing familiarity with SDBM and apparently Happy Days have been around for a minute or two (since 2007 if Metal Archives is accurate) and I’m trying to figure out why I didn’t want to delve into this blackest level of human suffering before. That could be due to the soundtrack to my suffering being different from Happy Days’. But I digress.

En enfer, j’ai régné is the sixth full-length from this cheerful quartet, and while I do like it, I don’t love it. Well, why not? Ummmmm… FUCK!!! “Ils flottent tous en bas” is a whole lot of anguished screaming, serving as a fitting introduction to “J’y étais” which has this crazy hauntingly beautiful riff that winds it’s way through the song like a depressed serpent. It’s tracks like “Hollow” that make me not completely dismiss the idea that death is better, a 7.10 emotional rollercoaster that features the Black Metal howls of Holly Fox (Vakvnt), it’s a bit classical with more of a traditional Black Metal feel than the SDBM in that there’s some blasting and quick, thrashy bits. This is the part where the not really loving comes into the picture because, unless you’re focused on it, the songs just blend into one another mid-album, like background Chamber Music, if the chamber was lit by candles and there’s blood on the walls. I found myself having to keep looking to make sure the song had changed; so, while “Non Ducor, Duco” is a fun track and so is “Forgive Me”, fun is fun and all but it’s a wretched fun.

Overall, this is my first experience with Happy Days; and if you noticed I didn’t mention any other bands until now, the infamous for fans of SDBM and I can safely recommend this for fans of (naturally) Happy Days, but also Life Lover, Shining and An Autumn for Crippled Children. I have a liking for En enfer, j’ai régné on a level of ritual music, possibly background at a funeral, but it’s not a love where I’m like “fuck, I need to hear this now!” For the dedicated fans!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jeremy Beck
April 27th, 2023


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