Today is the day when Debemur Morti Productions releases Dans La Joie, the debut album by the French band Au Champ Des Morts, and we’re helping people to discover it.
That’s a worthy mission, because the album is an emotionally intense experience of rare quality. Over the course of helping to premiere two tracks from the album, I’ve already spilled a lot of words about it. So in a rare attempt at brevity, I’m going to introduce the album stream in a summing up that focuses more on the music’s emotional resonance, as I feel it, than on any kind of intricate dissection of its many facets and ingredients.
The thorns of black metal draw blood throughout the album, but that’s only one of the music’s many stylistic ingredients. The songs are overtly emotional, and not with the emotional resonance of black metal that’s dedicated to manifestations of hate, the end of all life, the return to the void. This music instead plumbs the depths of pathos, the peril and pain of the daily grasping for survival, the mental abrasion of tragedy, the longing for people lost to you, the yearning ache for happier times that have become only memories and seem never to be repeated.
There is passion and thunder in the music, the sound of forest fires and flooding rivers carrying life away in great torrents of implacable power. And there are the sounds of losing a child, of ambitions that have died, of bitterness that has become sustenance.
There are also bursts of vibrancy that verge on joy, but still with an edge of wanting, a pang of regret, a fear of failure. And in yet another dimension, the music captures the resilience, dignity, and glistening splendor that sometimes can be achieved in our fragile existence, against all odds.
We’re here, and in the blink of an eye, we’re not here, and we don’t know if the eye will blink tomorrow or next year or after decades have left all our friends in the grave before us. And the music captures that uncertainty, the tension that comes from not knowing, and the wildness that comes from not caring. It’s very heavy, and very, very beautiful.
Hardened hearts may be immune to this. For the rest of us, these songs can make you catch your breath, without even realizing you’re doing it. They cast a long, deep spell. You’ll eventually wake from it, maybe with damp eyes. And then you’ll probably want to be ensorceled again as soon as you can. I have no doubt that 11 months from now, I will still think of this as one of the very best albums of 2017.
The album was recorded at Drudenhaus Studio by Benoit Roux (Anorexia Nervosa, Alcest), mixed at Under The Sign Studio by Stefan Bayle, and mastered by Bruno Varea at Upload Studio. Its cover art was created by Dehn Sora.
Pre-order links are below:
AU CHAMP DES MORTS on Facebook: