The last time I wrote about the Québec black metal band Délétère, when we premiered a song from their stunning 2018 album De Horae Leprae, the music un-corked a flood of enthusiastic adjectives from the cask in my head. It’s about to happen again, because we’re premiering another Délétère song.
Conceptually, that 2018 album was devoted to Teredinis, a simple leper whose calling it was to become a prophet of Centipèdes as well as an incarnation of the Plague. I wasn’t the only scribbler of words who received that album so enthusiastically. I enjoyed, for example, this block of praise from Stereogum, which put it at the No. 6 spot on the site’s list of The 10 Best Metal Albums of 2018:
“Délétère’s chaotic black metal on De Horae Leprae is hard to pin down: it thrashes, it rages, it gut-punches with force, it nearly spirals out of control. But somehow, while moving a million miles a minute and swirling like a maelstrom, it manages to be — cough — infectious. There are highly melodic hooks coursing through the putrid, pompous, glorious mess that moves, for the most part, at frantic pace. Surreal quirks abound, with sirens ringing out from below and, most notably, the hysterical shrieks of a backing vocalist that serves as a sort of impish sidekick to the throaty, grating bellows of the commander at the head of the doomed ensemble. There are real high-water marks here — “Cantus III – Ichthus Os Tremoris,” makes a case for the best metal song of the year. And while black metal bands from Québec will always evoke their frozen terroir, a new characteristic has taken hold up north, a rotting pestilence that both Délétère and Cantique Lépreux, this year’s other top black metal release from Quebec, laud with frigid, sordid laurels.”
If you have not listened to De Horae Leprae, you really must do that. But first we invite you to listen to a track from Délétère‘s new EP, Theovorator : Babelis Testamentum, which will be released by Sepulchral Productions on May 18th.
The EP includes three tracks, and is devoted to the tale of Babel — “survivor of the Great Deluge, who undertakes the construction of Babylon and the Tower of Babel with his minions, to liberate Tervenificus so he can begin the Theovoration – the consummation of God.”
In the running order of the EP, “Milites Pestilentiae III – Babylonia Magnissima” is the last of the three tracks. Not surprisingly, it is a raw and roiling storm of sound, but one that melds overpowering gales of chaos with melodies suggestive of zealous exultation and visions of glory, yet also channeling a forlorn feeling of melancholy (we know what ultimately happened to Babel’s project). The drumming is explosive and the vocals are a tyrannical roaring sound, but the song is full to the brim of piercing guitar and bass motifs that are almost immediately seductive and then persistently memorable.
And so, to revert to that block of praise quoted above, it is an infectious piece of music, though this track is not the sound of rotting pestilence, but rather something like a portrayal of extravagant striving and ill-fated delusion. It’s absolutely thrilling to hear it, but what makes it far more than a momentary thrill is that nuanced feeling in the music which seems to capture not merely the intensity of grand human aspirations and fierce striving but also the wretchedness of human self-deception.
While only a three-track EP, this release promises to be one of the best black metal offerings of the year (a full review will follow soon here at our putrid site), from a band who continue to command close attention. Look for it on May 18th, and pre-order it here:
FULL TRACK LIST:
1. Theovoratoris Aduentus
2. Babel Insanifusor
3. Milites Pestilentiae III – Babylonia Magnissima