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Au Champ Des Morts - Dans La Joie album review

Widescreen post-BM from the wounded heart of France

Cover artwork for Au Champ Des Morts - Dans La Joie album

Having formed in 2014, this three-piece may be new on the French BM scene, but with vocalist/guitarist Stefan Bayle, previously of Anorexia Nervosa, leading the charge, their debut comes with a clout of underground credibility. While his old band’s symphonic black metal sweep is nowhere to be found on Dans La Joie, Stefan’s skills as a songwriter, honed over 20-plus years playing extreme metal, are evident. Au Champ Des Morts move with equal grace and aggression; they encompass the desolate cry of their compatriots in Les Discrets, the widescreen expanse of early Ulver or – more contemporarily – Wolves In The Throne Room, together with Envy’s swell-and-fall dynamics and the more austere elements of coldwave. All of this merges into a post-black metal sound, as dead-eyed gothic vocals and second-wave shrieks add sorrow and depth to songs that display a fully formed identity.

Musically and aesthetically, Dans La Joie is a complete package