Forteresse – Thèmes pour la Rébellion


Brutal, bleak and bloody…

Dissent disseminated by Sepulchral Productions on 24 June 2016 and charges made by Jason Guest

The events of 1837 are an interesting read. Dickens’ Oliver Twist is published in serial form, the electrical telegraph was first patented, the 18-year-old Queen Victoria acceded to the throne and shifted her shit into Buckingham Palace, and America has its first great depression and sees – no surprise here – riots break out and – even less surprise here –ethnic and racial tensions intensify. Notably however, Canada granted African Canadian men the right to vote (over three decades before Congress passes the Fifteenth Amendment in America) and the twin colonies that were to become the Province of Canada mounted rebellions against the Crown and the Roman Catholic Church.

Turbulent times indeed, and times perhaps not too dissimilar from what we are experiencing today. But regardless of whomsoever’s side you may be on – Trump vs. Clinton or the other one(s?), Brexit vs. Bremain, West vs. East or whatever form of “us vs. them” you may choose – what you need to carry you through such a confusing period is a song in your heart. Enter Forteresse, the spearhead of the Quebecois black metal scene (or ‘Métal Noir Québécois’ for those preferring the French), who bring unto us album number five, Thèmes pour la Rébellion, an album title that even the most Frenchly illiterate amongst us can guess what it may translate as.

Yes, every track is a vehement call to battle, each a stirring string of savage riffs, majestic melodies and vicious vocals intoning their imperative for war bloody war! After forty six seconds of the sounds of the uprising, we’re knee deep in rivers of blood. With ambient and atmospheric passages scattered across the soundscape, Thèmes pour la Rébellion becomes so much more than a black metal album about war. It has a depth and an emotional weight to it that not only enhances its ferocity but also emphasises the complexity and the chaos of war. And closing out with the sombre electronic instrumental piece ‘Le Dernier Voyage’ is a masterstroke. Intense throughout, the tracks are unyielding in their assault and epic in scope. Executed with precision, passionately delivered and vehement throughout, Thèmes pour la Rébellion is brutal, bleak and bloody. Recommended.

Forteresse – Thèmes pour la Rébellion8 out of 10

Track list:

  1. Aube de 1837
  2. Spectre de la Rébellion
  3. Là où Nous Allons
  4. Par la Bouche de mes Canons
  5. Le Sang des Héros
  6. Forêt d’Automne
  7. Vespérales
  8. Le Dernier Voyage