Esphares - Par Delà Le Fleuve De La Mort...

Another recording sent to us by "Mortis Humanae Productions", a small black metal label from France is the new release of an underground demo from the year 2008 CE. "Esphares" consists solely of "Mortiferiis" playing all instruments and providing the vocals. The six tracks amount to about 26 minutes of black metal material.

Beginning with the first impressions and accentuatet on the way throughout the album the guitars are extremely distorted and yet they are presenting sounds from dirty to crystal clear. Overall every song has a very melodic approach to it, the melodies are presented in the known tremolo style usually sound harmonic and seem very thought out. Riffs aren't too recurring which keeps the composed songs interesting. When it comes to the electric bass itself it is present in every song, mostly in a typical supporting style (which means not too many melodic interspersions but harmonic single notes backing up the musical construct). Depths are there for every instrument, even if you're not listening to the recording on a stereo system with a subwoofer. Vocals range from the dominant jangling to the chanting of a small male choir, furthering the already present diversity offered on the album.
As can be seen from the tracklist the central lyrical themes are death, the beyond and to a certain degree mystery. Rough translations (because of me being no expert at the french language) of the song titles are as follows: "Death... Awakens Me", "Post-Mortem", "A Magical Explosion", "Song of the Beyond", "Shadow of the Unknown Sphere" and "Across the River of Death".

01 De La Mort... Je M'éveille (05:41)
02 Post Mortem (03:44)
03 Un Souffle Féerique (04:06)
04 Le Chant De L'au-Delà (03:26)
05 L'ombre De La Sphère Inconnue (04:39)
06 Par Delà Le Fleuve De La Mort... (04:31)

Subjective impression:
I like this the way I'd like to wield a rusty, sharp, sword covered in occult ornaments: very much. It is balanced darkness at its finest, a razor-edged gem; the recordings aren't boring while not being progressive, the mastering is fine without getting into the mainstream, the instruments are played and recorded well and on the other hand don't seem to have been butchered out of their natural tone and dynamics through the post processing. After listening I felt reminded of known bands like Dark Funeral or early Emperor. This review feels like it can't do this output justice. Whatever the future will bring for this project, I'll be on the lookout for it.


Known formats:
MC, possibly CD(R) as well

09.05.12, M.V.