Urgent, ambient and hauntingly melodic…
Exhaled by Sick Man Getting Sick Records on vinyl on 17 June 2016 and inhaled by Jason Guest
Released a year ago digitally with the cassette and CD versions following soon after, France’s Cepheide are releasing their debut EP Respire on vinyl. A dark and atmospheric piece of work, the two tracks are as burning and bellicose as they are textured and testing. Urgent, ambient and hauntingly melodic, both tracks plot captivating arcs.
A dark and brooding intro brings the near-seventeen minute ‘Le souffle brûlant de l’immaculé’ into the light with the drums and depressive and agonised vocals entering as the track builds and blossoms into a fiery and refined blend of post-black metal and doom-like density, the synth adding a near-bright texture before it collapses into its tranquil and serene coda that segues smoothly into ‘La chute d’une ombre’. Ominous in its chilling calm, this nineteen minute track leans more toward the ambient and atmospheric than it does the blistering wrath of black metal, the faster and heavier aspects breathing a colder breath when combined with a wall of deranged shrieking.
Well balanced and well executed, it may be predictable at times, its peaks and troughs following fairly well-established patterns found in many an album of this ilk, but its scope is vast and its depths dense and affecting. Though the production could have been better and the cave-like echo can muddy the listening experience, as a debut EP it’s an ambitious work that indicates that Cepheide have only just begun to tap into their potential.
7 out of 10
- Le souffle brûlant de l’immaculé
- La chute d’une ombre