Quebecois black metal outfit, Serment, is a one-man project band fronted by Moribund, the guitarist of the Canadian black metal outfit, Forteresse. Sepulchral Productions proudly presents his first full-length album, titled ‘Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté (Sing, O Flame of Liberty). This highlight release took me by storm, especially, since it encapsulates the cold frigid soundscapes of the floating ambient synth. Many of these Quebecois black metal bands, such as Forteresse, Cantique Lepreux and Sorcier Des Glaces combine the bleak ambient soundscapes as they bond to these sonic platforms. ‘Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté’ demonstrates the gloomy quality of the Quebec institutional technique.
The short intro ‘Ouverture‘ is coated with an ambient texture and opens with a wind sample and a hooting owl. The second track ‘Sonne, la Glas Funébre‘ is based on the binary effect of ethereal ambiance and the vibrancy of the rhythm guitars. The most binding element are the mournful shrieking vocals that set a pervading atmosphere whereas the omnipresent role of the synth takes a prominent part in creating the dreamy sounds in the background. Other instruments like the drums break out like a heavy snowstorm while the lead guitars add a surreal sense to the song texture.
Serment’s music has a somber and contemplative mood, although there are some elements here that are akin to bands like Forteresse and Cantique Lepreux. Moribund has found the right balance with the driving synth as he consistently applies a dark and melancholic feel that matches perfectly with the soaring vocals. ‘Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté’ is beautified by these somber moments. The cold tingling sensation of the synth instrument creates bleak landscapes. The music feels quite eloquent and reaches deep into your soul, ‘Par-Delá Collines et Riviéres’ suddenly breaks into a blizzard of raging blast beats. Where Serment brings the classic methods of the Quebec black metal, the tremolo pickings convey the right chilling sound of cold desolate winter. With melodies that create depth to this epic track the music is full of this enthralling orchestra and includes rich textures. When it comes to the rhythm guitar, Moribund borrows all the effective elements from dungeon synth to ambient music as he profoundly imbues the textures with gloomy proportions of atmospheric black metal. The beautiful work of the guitar arrangements is adjusted to fit into such binding music.
The vocal pitch often ranges from reverb shrieking to grim growling. Serment continues to present different hues of winter. For instance, the dark vocals, contrasted with the soft tone of the ethereal synth, give you a prospect of darkness and light. Moreover, the drums take an aggressive motion and strike a series of blast beats and double bass. Throughout the debut album, Serment harnesses the extreme force of the drums. On other tracks such as ‘Flamme Hivernale’, the song transitions away from the ambient atmosphere and takes a straight forward approach. As you’ll be caught up by the rapid movement of a crumbling avalanche, Moribund brings on the full utilization of the orchestral elements that dance like the colorful Northern lights. The gradual effect of the ambient synth suddenly becomes more symphonic in scope.
As more tracks unfold their ethereal tone ‘Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté’ transforms into a thrilling atmosphere that melds fury and melody together. Moribund delivers all that is relevant to the Quebec institute of atmospheric black metal. Despite the emphasis on the lush synth, the rhythm guitars provide thickness to the texture. The drums are processed by such power, yet the overwhelming effects of the blast beat drift like a destructive avalanche. ‘Avant que ne Meure la Gloire’ never eases the blistering element of percussion along with the dreamy synth and the thundering blaze of riffs. The final track ‘Hymne pour la Patrie’ is purely instrumental. It uniquely presents the melodies with varying tones as if somehow Serment evokes the elements of dungeon synth.
‘Chante, Ô Flamme de la Liberté‘ isn’t a long record. Through its forty minutes of duration Moribund delivers a timeless gem. The debut has many strong aspects: from a wide combination of ambient synths, Serment presents its first oeuvre in a convincing artsy style, proving that the Quebec black metal bands can bring about miracles within the scope of music.
Release Date: June 17th, 2020
Label: Sepulchral Productions
- Sonne, le glas funèbre
- Par-delà collines et rivières
- Flamme Hivernale
- Avant que ne meure la Gloire
- Hymne pour la patrie