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Review: Gévaudan - A Requiem For The Dead, A Deity For The Living...
Gévaudan
www.gevaudanmetal.com
A Requiem For The Dead, A Deity For The Living...

Label: Independent
Year released: 2007
Duration: 79:55
Tracks: 11
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: June 15, 2007
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
for:
A Requiem For The Dead, A Deity For The Living...

Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (3 Votes)
Review


Gévaudan is a project by Paul Champagne, formerly of Mog Ruith. When I got Mog Ruith's demo back in 2005, I also learned that the band was no more, very bad news considering how excellent their demo "Catatonic Stellar Illusions" was. I ran into Paul last year at a local tavern and he told me that he was working on a new project. All this time I was hoping for something at least as good as Mog Ruith. Does Gévaudan deliver? Yes, although the style is quite different. Mog Ruith was more of an all-guns-blazing Black/Thrash affair, while Gévaudan is more Black Metal than anything, but Paul has thrown quite a big of genres into this album, yielding a very varied, intense, and dare I say entertaining result. Beside the overwhelming presence of a Black Metal sound, you'll find here more than a few hints of traditional and thrash, and even a little bit of power metal-ish sounds creeping in once or twice. What's most notable is that the various genres blend in in a very coherent fashion, something that a lot, if not most bands trying to accomplish this regularly screw up. Ferocious Black Metal goes hand in hand with soothing melodies here. When things slow down a little, you'll get sounds reminiscent of early 80s Maiden and Priest, as well as mid-80s Metallica - lots of galloping, razor-sharp thrashy axe work that more than once prompted me to rewind and replay. I just couldn't get enough of the guitar playing on this album. Add to this some out of this world vocals that remind me a little of Germany's Mjölnir as well as a few obscure Eastern European BM bands whose names escape me at the moment.

Of course I have to bitch a little, and yes, you know me too well, it's about the keyboard work - at least some of it. There are times when I found that the keyboards felt a little out of place and were a bit too loud as well. Some intensely furious BM paired with relatively happy-sounding keyboards just rubbed me the wrong way a little. But, we're talking a couple of minutes out of about 80 minutes of material, so it's not like it's ruining the overall experience. The keyboards are used extensively throughout the album and the vast majority fit the material like a glove.

The guitar and vocal work, as well as how downright great the overall album sounds more than make up for a few shortcomings. This is the kind of album in which you discover something new every time you listen to it. It grabs the attention so much that it's difficult to concentrate on something else while listening to it (which means I'll have to stop listening to it at work...ahem!) This is one of the very few albums that have kicked my ass in the past year. Check out the band on Myspace @ www.myspace.com/gevaudanmetal and on the official web site at www.gevaudanmetal.com.


Track Listing:
  1. The Anti-Art...A fortunate unfortunate
  2. Mistress...Secrecy and Perseverance
  3. Heathen Blood
  4. Fool's Game (Break the Silence)
  5. A Gathering of Desolates
  6. Autumn Conquest
  7. Forgotten Gates
  8. Rise
  9. Vanity Killer
  10. Path of the Damned (mp3 bonus track)
  11. Night-time Driving (The Lost Art Of Sadness) (mp3 bonus track)
Other related information on the site
Interview with Paul Champagne and Kevin Church on November 22, 2008 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
Video: The Anti-Art
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