Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 8 April 2014
Bicephaale, album number two from French Avantgarde black metal trio Neige Morte, is like nothing else you will hear. Ever. This is just colossal. Bewildering, nauseating, mystifying, the reckless nature of the six tracks is unfathomable. There’s no discernable structure to any of it, only a mass of shapes that perpetually collide and morph into, out of, and beyond what could be considered recognisable forms. A mass of black, death, doom, jazz, experimentation, and above all, a consummate disrespect for “music”, Bicephaale‘s forty minutes is like witnessing eternity being destroyed for eternity.
Following the two minutes of a disconcerting melody resonating in some far off distance that opens ‘500 Jours de Haine’, reality collapses. While the first three of the six tracks – I wouldn’t dare refer to them as songs – smash the shit out of existence, the vapour-like ‘Plenitude…’ is the dark menace poised just off-centre, calmly inhaling the fumes from the devastation that surrounds it in readiness for the second phase of its assault. With ‘…Et Vacuité du Combat’ taking more blows, the mighty beast stumbles its way across the ruins, slowly obliterating whatever remains leaving us with ‘Eater Of Soul’ to pummel the last breath out of it until everything ends. That’s it. The end. Of everything. Ever.
Vocalist XT screams, wails, shrieks, coughs, breathes, grunts, and grumbles like a demon drunk on the diabolical, the catastrophic, and all the misery and suffering that it has bestowed upon the universe. JG’s drums pound out tribal beats punctuated with violent stabs, merciless blows, and sadistic cymbal crashes with galaxy-grinding might. And in the hands of SA, whatever the word “guitar” has hitherto come to mean is utterly destroyed. What he does to that plank is an abomination. Together, their sound has all the density and all-consuming power of a black hole. Like being repeatedly and rapidly punched in the face by a planet, when Nietzsche said “when you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you”, he was talking about Bicephaale.
8 out of 10
Read Jason’s interview with the band here
- 500 Jours de Haine
- Death Shall Have No Dominion
- Eaters Of Worlds
- …Et Vacuité du Combat
- Eater Of Soul