Déluge – Æther


An intense and brutal debut…

Review by Jason Guest

Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions: Website; Bandcamp; YouTube; Facebook

Release date: 19 September 2015

“Untrve French Black Metal”, huh? French five-piece Déluge do a nice line in black metal atmospherics combined with some serious brick wall-density hardcore. All guns blazing, opening with a ravaging blast beat and rapid trem-picked riffing, ‘Avalanche’ goes for the throat with an intensity and immediacy that is suffocating. Allowing itself to abate for a cold, wet and increasingly discordant atmospheric mid-section, it soon returns to full force to complete the battery. Such a stunning opening, Déluge make a mighty initial impression.

Though it follows a similar structure – loud, fast and intense followed by an atmospheric mid-section before returning to full fervour – ‘Appât’ sees the band further unveiling their melodic and emotive sensibilities as well as their capacity for brutality. with Alcest’s Neige making a guest appearance, the atmospheric and melodic might of ‘Mélas-Khōlé’ is balanced well with the bruising black metal onslaught and hardcore vocals. By the time ‘Naufrage’ and ‘Houle’ come around, the band have laid all their cards on the table and so the remainder of the album is Déluge’s defiant declaration of their identity: this is us and this is what we do. No compromises. No excess.

At nine and a half minutes, instrumental ‘Klarträumer’ should fall flat on its arse but the band proves themselves masters at their craft. ‘Vide’ drags the tempo down before letting rip, ‘Hypoxie’ has a beautiful intro, calm guitar lines that resonate in their own soft echoes before the brick wall hardcore collapses in on us – the piano adding a refined touch to the hazy atmosphere – and ‘Bruine’ does what you’d expect it to do.

Atmospherics, melody, intensity, diversity, brutality – you name it, they can do it. Very well. But occasionally the album sounds like the band is working at the boundary of their capabilities. Their propensity to shift between the loud and intense and the quiet and atmospheric – with rain filling every quiet part of the album – seems to be the foundation of their sound upon which they rely maybe a little too heavily. But if this is where they are now, I suspect that their next release will be something extraordinary. A great début, Déluge have very quickly established themselves as a band to keep a keen eye on.

Déluge – Æther20157.5 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Avalanche
  2. Appât
  3. Mélas-Khōlé (feat. Neige from Alcest)
  4. Naufrage
  5. Houle
  6. Klarträumer
  7. Vide
  8. Hypoxie
  9. Bruine