Hymn for a vampire...
Genre: black metal
One thing that I have learned on my educational journey through the universe of black metal so far is that one of the countries with the most interesting black metal scene is France. One of the representatives of the French black metal scene is the band Seth which was formed already back in 1995. Originally released in 1998, Seth's debut was rereleased earlier this summer and enhanced with a new artwork (I like the old one better though) and two bonus tracks.
Having never heard Seth before, I did not know what to expect, but I was definitely positively surprised by the album. The seven tracks on the album (or nine tracks if you include the bonus tracks) combine the harshness of raw and aggressive black metal in the vein of Mayhem with a more melodic approach. Thus you get tremolo picking and fast (really fast!) blastbeats side by side with heavy and slow passages (and sometimes almost folk-like melodies), often accompanied by atmospheric keyboards and piano effects which sometimes generates an almost Gothic feel.
This melodic and Gothic aspect goes well together with the lyrical matter of the album which focuses on vampyrism. And, metal elitists, fear not - this is not your teen-friendly vampiric Gothic metal. The black metal aesthetics are dominant on the album and, although the production is far from lo-fi, the intensity that characterizes black metal is ubiquitous on this album. It is, however, paired with a sense of melancholic darkness, so perhaps the album even qualifies as depressive black metal... at least in terms of musical expressiveness.
In any case, Seth's "Les Blessures de l'Âme" is yet another example of the innovative spirit of French black metal and, if you like melodic black metal and even symphonic black metal that retains the intensity of the genre, then you might want to invest in the reissued version of this fine album.