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Shub-Niggurath - Les morts vont vite CD (album) cover





4.08 | 159 ratings

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5 stars From the depths of darkness, or the highest spires during a thunderstorm, a sound is produced, and the gates to a realm of death is open thanks to our imagination. A dense atmosphere that carries with it a visceral fear, one we cannot run away from, nor fight. A beast that creeps and consumes your soul as you cry for mercy, or a savior that will never come. Ladies, Gentlemen, and all Others, only one band, and only one album can reproduce this infinite darkness through their art: Shub-Niggurath with their mind-altering debut album, Les Morts Vont Vite.

It is with great pleasure, and an irrepressible sense of dread, that I finally give my opinion on this album. From my short attempt at Gothic writing at the beginning of this review, you might have already guessed that this album won't be easy to approach for mere humans like us; after all, insanity is all we would gain from gazing upon Cthulhu. No, we must plunge into the darkest part of ourselves, and awaken a desire for somberness, and be one with the music of the Outer Goddess, and ourselves become a monster, incomprehensible in form, perhaps, or a gargoyle gazing upon humans with hunger, or a decomposing skeleton, eager for the living to join its side. Whatever monster your mind can come up with, picture it as yourself. Your clock will strike midnight, you may turn off your lights, and close your eyes, not even a candle must be lit. Then, and only then, will you be able to meet the Black Goat of the Woods.

This is what this band needs to be enjoyed, total darkness, and in exchange, you will be taken into their world, you have all the right to be afraid, to scream, but you must not lose your focus. Delivered with the contrast of an earth-shattering bass, and an ear-splitting guitar; the suffocating and languishing nature of a crushing harmonium, and a foreboding trombone; the eerie beauty of an unpredictable piano, and incantational voice; all supported by drums and percussion, pounding away to the tune of destruction, the music that will envelop you from the first second onward will be incomparable. The thought of listening to music that is comprehensible must be thrown out the window, attempting to understand the composition will only lead you down a path of endless questioning; indeed, you must even throw out any recollection you may have of any other music, for that time being, it will not be useful to you. Les Morts Vont Vite is not to be enjoyed as a group of songs, but as a group of realms, worlds that you will go, run, fall, and die into, one by one.

You may enjoy it, or you may not, but that does not matter to the Great Old One, you must listen to it to the end. Laying down in a bed like a corpse lays in a coffin, cradled by unending darkness, you must go through the six stages of this ritual to be allowed back into your own world. And, as an archaeologist opening an ancient haunted manuscript, and being haunted by thousands upon thousands of damned souls who awaited their freedom for centuries, you will begin your descent into the deepest pits of despair with the fantastic introduction, Incipit Tragaedia.

In this whole album, Incipit Tragaedia is the most comprehensible song, after all, it is the incipit of your story, and tragedy will only truly strike after this point. This song is merely a painful march towards the gates of hell, and slowly, as the song creeps towards its end, you abandon all hope. And as the singers lets out the last of her incantations, and as the menacing thunderous bass becomes quieter, you fall into Inferno. Cabine 67 is the beginning of the end, the dead pile up, they are punished for eternity, in an agony, O so monotonous. As the horror unfolds before you, the bass makes its reappearance in an absurdly low and devastating improvisation along the pummeling and repetitive drums. Panic is the master of this world, just as much as the unrelenting punishment delivered by the drums. Only when your Calvary seems over that you encounter the great spheres of light, the spheres that have always seen, known about you, and known everything since the beginning of time, Yog-Sothoth. Quickly, disaster strikes, thought you believe you had found a way out, once truth is revealed to you, restlessness and chaos smite you with the power that only the strongest phenomena of our universe could muster; a doubled tracked guitar solo that is close to ripping your eardrums and the ominous chanting of the enslaved followers brings you close to insanity. Amidst the chaos and destruction, you are saved by an ironclad horseman who takes you away from the All-Knowing God's accomplices. But misery shan't stop so early, as an endless nightmare would, your savior was but another monster. Now, you are Léonore, and he shall be your companion on your ballad through the land of the dead, and just as H.P. Lovecraft's cosmic horrors had disappeared, Horace Vernet's painting came to life, your few minutes of rests are filled with the dread of a haunting harmonium, cut short by the rider's haphazard and rapid course through the scorched earth. La Ballade De Lénore brings out an incredibly dissonant and violent part of the music, that will only get more distorted and violent from this point onward. As the last of the demented singing stops, you are met with Delear Prius. As you sink further into insanity, tension and heaviness is felt in silence, the thunder grows more destructive, the voices that haunt your mind, even more aleatory. Madness catches up to you, as do the Gods, Helios renders you blind, and Harpies close in to torment you for the rest of eternity, as you have stopped falling, and reached the deepest pits of despair, as the walls of noise buzzes inside your ears, as the guitar rips your flesh, as the bass destroys your bones, as the singer chants your demise.

And so ends your journey through Les Morts Vont Vite. Now back in your own world, you can wake up from your nightmare, the ritual is over, you're no longer the horrific monster, chased by Gods and Mythical beasts. The Gothic and terrifying voyage presented by all of the great musicians present on this album can now be appreciated correctly. After letting yourself become a part of the music, you've experienced something that cannot be replicated. Though you may try the same with Univers Zéro, or Art Zoyd, or even Dün, none will ever come close to achieving the truly atmospheric and captivating qualities of this album. Les Morts Vont Vite is not simply a masterpiece from the chamber-rock era of French Zeuhl, it is, and will remain the masterpiece of the chamber-rock era of French Zeuhl. Shub-Niggurath's debut is the crown jewel of Zeuhl in the 80's as a whole, for its singular beauty, for its unparalleled ominousness, for its awe-inspiring atmosphere, for its uniqueness in every aspect, and for its timelessness. But, this album should not be called a diamond, instead, it should called a kiloton of coal. A coal that dirties the grass, permeates around you as smog, soaks your clothes and body in an acidic black rain, and imbues your soul with love for the macabre. Les Morts Vont Vite is one of the best Zeuhl and Avant-Garde albums to exist, as well as one of the most inventive Progressive Rock albums I have had the pleasure of discovering, but it is to be feared, for it roams around in the darkest hours of the night, looking for its pray, and if I was convincing enough in this review, I have a strong feeling that it's coming for you.

Rating: 10/10 Favorite Tracks: Incipit Tragaedia, La Ballade de Lénore, Delear Prius

Floof-AN | 5/5 |


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