Asmodee “Symptomes De Ruine” (2002)

A totally ripping opens up the album, and it is relentless ride form there on. A number of things are immediately striking to the listener : good production despite the overall black metal feel, a highly technical approach to composition, inherent violence and brutality, great use of atonal riffing and dissonance and occasional bizarre sounding piano chromatics amidst the chaos. All in all, “Premier Rêve: Tetanos” hooks from the get-go. “Sequelles” has more variety amidst the structure and the strange chord progressions and tonalities seem to reference chaos core and jazz at the same time, while remaining in a black metal framework.The rhythm section does gymnastics to die for, while the guitars will rape your ears yet never stop to the cliches of the genre.”Escadron” has a catchy opening riff that soon leading to a totally horns up middle sections and taking it through the requisite twists and turns so peculiar to this band. The song further stands out due to the ingenious break ; hypnotic and bleak.

The riffing through out the album manages to sidestep the sappy and cheesy melodicism of most modern black metal for the tonalities of free jazz and the chops of progressive / fusion. Although the nice clean production and the tech-savy and brutal nature of music could easily put this in the technical death metal camp, it remains resolutely black metal in approach, ideology, lyrics (the personal and the apocalyptic) and vocals (a fiercely enunciated mid-pitched rasp)as well as the avoidance of chuggy thud of most death metal. The lead work occasionally marries black metal fury with meshuggah dementia and with the blast-mania and crazy fluid rhythms it is overwhelming.

“Embryon” has a dark epic piano intro that builds into a behemoth of a song.”Hurlments” is the closest thing to a typical black/extreme metal tune, but just the bass work in places and the end riffing cycle puts it far above. “Le Passager” confirms some of my suspicions regarding one of the influences : latter day Emperor, albeit a uniquely Gaelic interpretation that leaves behind the cheesy clean vocals and keyboards overdose.

Actually, even at the 40 minute length the album is a bit too much to digest, but in good way, as repeated listens show a lot of details that may have escaped the listener / victim in the first listen/shotgun blast. The bizarre note sequences add to the slightly disturbing ambience. And you know what, I cannot wait to review the sequel. The French do it again !



Release:  2002
Label:  Sacral Productions
Avantgenre:  Atonal Tech Black
Duration:  39:50
Origin:  France
Official site:
Review online since:  12.09.2008 / 20:11:50


1.Premier Rêve: Tetanos
6.Le Passager
7.Les Seigneurs Du Solstice
8.L’Amour Et Le Crâne
9.No Aim Vs. Came

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