Incandescence – Le coeur de l’homme

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Following the release of their third album 'Ascension' Quebec-based black metal duo, Incandescence has returned with a brand new album titled 'Le coeur de l'homme' now out via Profound Lore Records on April 19th, 2022. Formed in 2013 by the multi-musician Philippe Boucher (Beyond Creation, Chthe'ilist) who aims for a dark and epic sound on the fourth album. With Louis-Paul Gauvreau on vocals, it creates an ominous tapestry opon which the guitars offer a plethora of tremolo-picked riffs.

This time the songwriting is weaved from a mixture of the second wave of black metal and epic elements that make the songs more appealing. The first track ‘Avilissement’ opens with clean guitar strings where the guitars and the pummeling drums seamlessly interlace with the sinister vocals. The instrumentation is perfect allowing the tempo changes to flow. The drums are extremely powerful and the echoing blast beats grow intense with the gloomy guitars that go along with the somber fabric. It’s interesting how Philippe Boucher combines the textured tremolos with a modern feel. The wall of sound makes all the instruments clear on the following track ‘Tréfonds macabres’ which begins with pounding double bass drums. The rhythm guitars then bring a sense of melancholy. The dark crescendo unleashes captivating hooks that are seemingly placed at the right moments. The song meanders through the outraging percussion. ‘Le coeur de l’homme’ has a dark and morose atmosphere that comes into comparison to the 90s Scandinavian flair of black metal.

The song arrangements are structured upon sorrowful melodies and grandiose guitar riffs, whereas the drums are highly dynamic. Despite the description, Incandescence has managed to create many captivating moments. Each track is layered through thick melodies. Therefore, the atmosphere is mainly dark. The modern touch of the guitar in creating the thrilling moments is constantly followed by massive blast beats. The band infuses sharp black metal riffs by giving emphasis to tremolo-picked riffs and blast beats. The most menacing aspects of the music are the growls. The subtle melodies are interspersed in the mid-tempo while the drums are highly dynamic. The duo possesses a talent for creating epic black metal moments.

 

Though there is a modern approach to the guitar riffing and melodies, the music is equally dark and profoundly provocative. The resonance of the heavy riffing emits bleak melodies in songs like ‘La descente’ which is meticulously layered with a variety of tremolos. The drums on this track are loud and never still, so that you can hear every single drum beat pummeling like billows of thunder. The songs are savage, fast, at time slow and the technical skills show a different presentation from the previous album. You will also notice that the songs on the album make smooth transitions from one song to another. For example, ‘Avide de cris’ feels like it continues right from the closing riff of the previous track. While the tremolos are professionally layered, the guitars emit a somber mood, yet there are plenty of moments when the vocals and guitars provide the right atmosphere.

There are some elements like the brooding atmosphere that make ‘Le coeur de l’homme’ similar to the Norwegian style of black metal. The fourth album resulted in a fresh vision and creative output. This is due to the variety in composition and the effects of the drums creating a sonic wall of pummeling beats. ‘Écroulement vers l’abîme’ offers plenty of standout moments where the guitars are very rhythmic and have a brooding sense of atmosphere, while ‘Le coeur de l’homme’ gets all dense and dark. The drums here dominate!

Besides the blasting drums, the guitars set the somber tone for this track. Through the pitch-black atmosphere the piercing tremolos become the backdrop. The mid-tempo plunge into the dark, yet effective atmosphere showing the talent of the composer. Raspy growls echo as the guitars are laden with tremolos. Incandescence gives emphasis to the epic ingredients strewn across the album. ‘La spirale de l’échec’ is full of dark and melodic hooks. The vocals show an immense range of growls which mesh perfectly with the haunting guitar lines. Despite being constantly dark, the guitars add depth and a sorrowful feeling to the music. While the vocals are grim, there is an undeniable sense of a very cold, gloomy, dark and thick atmosphere.

REVIEW SCORE

  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 8/10
8.8

‘Le Coeur De L’Homme’ managed to keep me hooked throughout the whole run of forty-two minutes. There are plenty of ominous moments to enjoy due to the grandiosity of the composition and the adept performance.

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