Peste Noire, one of the most interesting bands to come from France, released this EP in 2007. The first press, which I happened to buy, was sold out in a few days, but luckily it was repressed a bit later so that it didn’t become a mere collector item. The A side consists of four rehearsal tracks that were later re-recorded for the second full-length Folkfuck Folie. The B side has a different version of ”Phalènes Et Pestilence” that appeared originally on the debut album La Sanie des siècles. A funny thing is that the four main tracks sound more professional on this rehearsal than the versions that later appeared on Folkfuck Folie. This was most likely intentional, because Folkfuck Folie was made to sound as crazy and bad as possible, according to the front man Famine.
The four main tracks are fast and aggressive, but with relatively clean production. Musical comparisons are hard to make, but in case you have heard the debut album, think of those tracks but in more brutal way. This time the songs don’t contain much melodic passages and that sort of semi-progressive stuff. These songs are short and to-the-point, and they sound great especially due to the way they were executed: basically they are live tracks with studio sound. ”La Césarienne” is the only Peste Noire song made by anyone else than Famine: it is written and sung by the guitarist Neige, nowadays known from such acts as Amesoeurs and Alcest.
Although the A side was good, the B side is a total surprise. I already knew Phalènes Et Pestilence was a great track on the debut album, but this version beats it 100-0. In fact, I don’t want to hear the original after hearing this! The song is now 20 minutes long instead of 12, so there is extra 8 minutes of total audial pleasure. The sound is dustier and it fits the vinyl format nicely. From acoustic keystrokes and monk choirs to massive black metal climaxes with howling guitars, this song must belong to the category of best black metal songs out there.
If the main tracks deserve 3 stars for being good, and the bonus track 5 stars for being excellent, 4 stars is an appropriate score. I would say Lorraine Rehearsal is a worthy buy even for the bonus track alone, but the main tracks are good material too, especially if you think the versions on Folkfuck Folie are too weird.