It must be incredibly frustrating to make music as liberated and emotionally resonant as the (largely instrumental) songs on this Parisian band’s debut, only to be instantly shoulder-barged into the “post-metal” pigeonhole.
Yes, there is a slender resemblance to music by (and inspired by) that sub-genre’s appointed overlords Neurosis here, if only in the sense that Ddent favour slow, hypnotic riffs that exude a strong sense of melancholy and dismay. The generic link crumbles right there, however, as overt psychedelia hisses through sonic cracks in the sprawling, snail’s pace likes of Ghazel and Almeé, skittering ripples of sequenced electronic percussion adding a bleak, industrial edge. At times this almost verges on doom metal, and yet the melodies that the Frenchmen weave into their sustained wall of six-string haziness are too obtuse and graceful to allow pentatonic cliché to take over. Too heavy to be post-rock – closer Azahar’s main riff is a monster – but so atmospheric and artful that its progressive intentions are unquestionable, this sounds like a strange new sonic universe being constructed in slow motion as pitchblack shadows are cast across mankind’s limping, hapless demise. Fun times.