Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions: Sühnopfer + Darkenhöld


Let’s get medieval…

Les Acteurs De L'Ombre Logo

Donning his best cape and whipping out his mighty weapon, MR’s Jason Guest takes on two limited tape releases from French Avant-garde Black Metal label Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions: Sühnopfer’s Offertoire and Darkenhöld’s Castellum.

For more on the label, you can check them out on their Website, listen to some of their releases on Bandcamp, watch videos on their YouTube channel, and keep up to date on their Facebook page. In the meantime, let’s get medieval…

Sühnopfer – Offertoire

Release date: 1 January 2015

That Offertoire is the work of one man is astounding. All too common are the one-man bands whose skills on one instrument far outweigh that of the others and so render their music little better than demo material. But Ardraos (of Endymion, Peste Noire, and ex-Christicide) is as accomplished on guitar as he is on bass, on drums, and as a vocalist. Not only that, but his compositional skill is outstanding too. With tracks ranging from 3- to over 10-minutes long, between the acoustic medieval majesty of ‘Majestueux Repaire’ sat perfectly at the album’s centre and the 10+ minute closing track ‘Messe des Morts’, at every point Ardraos proves himself an adept and audacious musician. The second album under the Sühnopfer banner, this is one that’ll have you keep coming back.

Sühnopfer – Offertoire Tape9 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Intro – Saints Mystères
  2. Sonnent les Aurisses (Montmorillon)
  3. Les Légendes de l’Ours
  4. Majestueux Repaire
  5. Chevalier Maudit
  6. La Tour du Pendu
  7. Messe des Morts


Darkenhöld – Castellum

Release date: 1 January 2015

Medieval black metal – all castles, capes and swords – does very little for me. But it’s not just because of the imagery, it’s the keyboards. The cheap sounds and the feeble attempts to create some sort of medieval feel usually ruin what are otherwise well-written tracks. Darkenhöld appears in the inbox and almost gets binned immediately. Whether it was curiosity or masochism that got the best of me, I’m unsure, but somehow Castellum ended up being blasted out of my speakers. Expecting the black metal equivalent of Morris Dancing music, Darkenhöld did quickly disappoint as it’s much better than what I expected.

With a distinctly developed musicianship and a bunch of killer riffs in their armoury, Castellum plots an always interesting journey. Well-produced, the album moves between the dark and the light, the melancholic and the malicious, and the ambient and the ambitious very well, shaping and shading the album with a diversity of musical approaches that always brings something new to the listener. But the keyboards on ‘Le Castellas…’, ‘The Bulwarks Warlords’ and the two instrumental tracks, ‘Feodus Obitus’ and ‘Medium Aevum’ take the edge off an otherwise excellent album. Castellum would have been good enough without them.

Darkenhöld – CastellumTape7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Strongholds Eternal Rivalry
  2. Le Castellas Du Moine Brigand
  3. Majestic Dusk Over The Sentinel
  4. Glorious Horns
  5. Feodus Obitus
  6. Le Soufflé Des Vieilles Pierres
  7. L’incandescence Souterraine
  8. Mountains Wayfaring Call
  9. The Bulwarks Warlords
  10. Medium Aevum