In Shadows and Dust
A fleur de peau

If you have ever asked yourself “what happened if black one man black metal was rendered with a classic Swedish death metal guitar tone?”, Frenchman Stephane Thirion is here to answer your question with his self released third album,  A fleur de peau (‘Sensitive’? ‘On edge’?).

First off , I was thankful this wasn’t a Kataklysm cover band, secondly, Thirion has done a decent job of melding the Swedish guitar tone and the black metal stylings. And though it tends to sometimes come off as a wall of noise due to the mid range tone not really being meant for tremolo riffs, it still works, and the fact Thirion includes some grooves and power chords that result in an almost Nasum ish sound (“Betrayal”, “Slay”, “Guillotine”) is commendable.

The 12 songs blaze by with most in the 2-3 minute range, again imbuing an almost grindcore vibe, were it not for the shrill black metal rasps and even some occasional symphonic black metal synths (“All is Black”, “Storm of Revenge”). The black metal undertone is subtle, but there, not just on the aforementioned synth flocked tracks but also in the likes of “Falling into Shadows” and  “Mind War”. It’s certainly not as heavy as the cover,  promotion and press sheets would have you believe.  This has far more in common with Swedish grindcore than Marduk, Mayhem or Emperor.

But that’s a good thing, as by the time “Black Heart” signals the  album is over, my ears are ringing, as Thirion brings it for the 40 minute duration but I’m also a little dazed and woozy due to the constant blistering barrage and I really don’t recall a whole lot, other than i Kinda dug the shit out if what ever just ran over me.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 26th, 2018

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