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3.58 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2011


1. Silence d'octobre
2. Le triomphe des douze
3. La lame du passé
4. Mon esprit rôde toujours
5. Spectres du solstice
6. Enfants du Lys


- Fiel / Drums, Keyboards
- Moribond / Guitar, Bass, Lyrics
- Athros / Vocals

About this release

Sepulchral Productions
November 22nd, 2011

Thanks to J-Man for the addition


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The first thing that grabbed my attention about Crépuscule d'Octobre was, surprisingly enough, the excellent cover art. One look at this beautiful naturalistic photograph with its elegantly simple font and I was immediately intrigued - the music contained within this Forteresse album isn't terribly different from what you may expect after taking a glance at the cover, either. Raw, organic, and nature-influenced black metal is the best way to describe the music here, and Forteresse clearly aims to create brutally hypnotic atmospheres in the form of long and extended compositions with this effort. I have a tough time imagining any black metal fan who hasn't heard dozens of albums similar to this one, but there are more than enough redeeming qualities to allow me to consider this a successful observation.

Although the first two minutes or so of Crépuscule d'Octobre are dominated by atmospheric synthesizers, almost the entire rest of the album consists of tremolo-picked riffing, raw black metal aesthetics, and hypnotic drum patterns. You'll find lots of blast beats and dense walls of sound throughout this 45-minute album, but there's always a striking sense of melody in the guitar playing, even if it isn't always immediately noticeable. This, parred with the generally mid-to-fast paced tempos, makes Crépuscule d'Octobre a pretty intriguing listen from time to time, even if I do occasionally find my mind wandering throughout the album. The melodies do tend to blend into each other, and even after repeated listens, only a few stand out as particularly remarkable.

Crépuscule d'Octobre is not a flawless album due to its fairly standard approach and lack of distinction between tracks, but it has sparked my interest in investigating Forteresse a little bit further. While it may not exactly make my blood boil, this is a very good album and should undoubtedly appeal to fans of old school black metal of the more atmospheric variant. 3 stars are pretty fair in this case.
Although I can't say I'm fully acquainted with the band's back catalogue yet due to the painful fact that time is limited and there is always so much other stuff to explore in the realms of underground black metal, I do consider Forteresse as one of the most intriguing black metal groups hailing from Canada. Pagan Hellfire might be my favourite churner of the uncompromising Canadian black arts, but Forteresse is perhaps a serious contender for that title as their sound has interestingly ranged from a harsher approach (Métal Noir Québécois) to an entirely atmospheric affair on last year's Par Hauts Bois et Vastes Plaines which was like an utter ambient record, only played with black metal instrumentation.

So into which category should their newest offering, Crépuscule d'Octobre, be pigeonholed? Admittedly, I've only heard bits and pieces of their pre-Par Hauts material, but I'd still definitely say that this upcoming effort is a tad more traditional black metal compared to the minimalist last year's album. Don't get me wrong, Forteresse still revels in a lush atmosphere of echoing, vast sounds, and a song like ”Mon Esprit Rôde Toujours” could almost fit into Par Hauts' soundscape, but the truth is that overall the album incorporates a lot more blast beats and general aggressiveness in relation to its predecessor. And though the sound is hence slightly different, I still find my mind wandering into barren landscapes, forgetting my surroundings and just sinking into the sound, just like with Par Hauts. Mission accomplished, Forteresse's atmosphere here is top notch.

I'm not sure exactly how much longevity these reverby, simple tremolo picked lead melodies have in the long run, but at least at the moment I'm greatly satisfied. Beneath the overbearing, high-end guitar notes is a steady rhythm guitar line that backs up the main melodies, and the album wouldn't be the same without it even if it's so quiet compared to any other instrument. Drums have a very natural sound to them, effeciently creating a natural feeling, especially the breathing snare drums. The vocals are your general black metal rasps which fit in like a glove, and I have nothing to complain about – not about the vocals, not about the whole album, really. Crépuscule d'Octobre might not be mindblowing but still a really successful journey in authentic black metal that should appeal to other fanatics of rather simple yet atmospheric black metal as well. Plus, just take a look at the front cover! It's brilliant, going hand in hand with the previous album's natural theme.

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