Few episodes in French history, or indeed of world history, have captured the imagination of so many people, or proved as inspiring, as the short life of Jeanne d’Arc (or Joan of Arc, for us English speakers). Born to peasant parents in roughly 1412, she claimed to have received visions in her teenage years of the archangel Michael and various female saints commanding her to lend her support to the unanointed king Charles VII in an ultimately successful effort to rescue France from English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War.
As part of a relief army, the king sent her to the Siege of Orléans, which was lifted only nine days later. But in May 1430, after further military triumphs, she was captured by a faction of French nobles allied with the English, who turned her over to the English. They tried her on a variety of charges, declared her guilty, and burned her at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was about 19 years old when the flames took her.
We’ve provided this truncated reminder because the new album we’re premiering today by the French black metal band Abduction is a concept album based on the life of Joan. Entitled Jehanne, it will be released by Finisterian Dead End Metal Label on April 29th, as a remembrance of the day on which Joan entered the besieged city of Orléans in 1429.