The Power Of Sound — A Stunning Fusion of Black Metal and Classical Music
Album: A L’Âme Enflammée, L’Âme Constellée… (and more!)
I’m posting a whole album this time, rather than just a song. I feel this album by Gris is one big piece of music, and I can’t just pick one piece of it to represent the whole. Musically, I’ve never heard anything like it. Classical music and metal music blend into an introspective style sounding beautiful and delicate, yet powerful and fiery at times, just like our own nature. In my opinion, this is the kind of music best experienced eyes closed, drifting away into the strangest corners of the mind; however it can make great background music for studying, cleaning, whatever you like, if you’re open to strange genres of music.
This duality of beauty and anguish is emphasized further when you compare this album to the band’s history. While I cannot speak about their first album, Neurasthénie, I am familiar with their second album Il Etait Une Forêt. Frankly, it has none of the polished recording, mixing, or mastering present in their third record, A L’Âme Enflammée, L’Âme Constellée. Yet, if you listen past that, and really hear the music itself, not only does it not matter, but it becomes part of its beauty.
Il Etait Une Forêt is pure, honest, raw emotion, no filters, no sugarcoating.
On the fourth track, Veux-tu danser?, you are greeted with a melancholic atmosphere of acoustic guitar and drums, topped with lyrics screamed in pure despair, and finally, sprinkled with some mixture of crying, coughing, and/or vomiting. It could easily turn many unfortunate listeners away. The fuzzy, primitive recording, unintelligible vocals, and hazy wall of distorted guitar atop somewhat muffled drums in this album is very off-putting at first, even without any half-vomiting your ears may be exposed to. If you don’t let that bother you, though, the music on this album is well worth a listen. Turn the volume up and let it wash away the deepest of pains.
After five songs blast a primal release of inner torment, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
La Dryade doesn’t have perfect audio quality either, however it’s as good as it needs to be. The black metal is traded in for a classical palette of piano, flute, guitar, and violin (there may be a cello or viola; I am not familiar enough to distinguish the difference) taking you away on a breathtaking journey.
Gris explore this classical beauty further and integrate the two extremes into a unified and flowing sound in their next album A L’Âme Enflammée, L’Âme Constellée, transcending the bipolar nature of their earlier music and reflecting the spiritual development of its two members, Neptune and Icare. This brings with it a newfound clarity; the music is recorded, mixed, and mastered very well. The composition is more refined, more mature; while Il Etait Une Forêt is genius in its own way, A L’Âme Enflammée, L’Âme Constellée is less brutish and more intricate, much like the masterpiece that is La Dryade at the end of Il Etait Une Forêt. Its darker moments are more complex, varied, and transient than before, with a healthier balance of light throughout the album. Suffering no longer perpetuates itself when one learns faith (and I’m not promoting any religion; one does not need to follow any religion to have faith).
I realize I’ve shared a lot more music than you’re probably willing to take the time to listen to. My recommendation? Listen to a song or two from A L’Âme Enflammée, L’Âme Constellée. Doesn’t matter which; they’re all good. If you like it, I encourage you to listen to the rest, and maybe even give Il Etait Une Forêt a chance, even if only for its last song, La Dryade.
The reason I ended up linking the rest of their music is because I feel the band’s musical development reflects progress I’ve made, and continue to make, within myself. I find all their music beautiful; I want to try to explain why a band so seemingly primitive and raw (at times) can be just as beautiful as anything else in the world. It may even be what you need to get through dark times.
Yes, it sounds like dumb chaos on the surface — and it is chaotic sometimes, but there is always a hidden genius within it. I feel that’s true not only for music like Il Etait Une Forêt, but for the soul, as well. Know Thy Self. It’s worth it. It will be more than worth it.
This is a cross-post from my Steemit blog.