If you take a close look at the cover photograph for Catacombes’ new album Des Glaires et des Briques you’ll see that it depicts a wine bottle and a corkscrew resting on a rustic table. But you’ll also see that the wine-opener doubles as a knife, and shadows encroach along the borders. The title is rendered in an old gothic or medieval font and beneath it are words which Google Translate renders as follows: “Night falls and darkness seizes the dark alleys and busy onlookers…” Sun & Moon Records, the Transylvanian label releasing the album, invites us to “Pour a glass of wine and explore the genuine atmosphere of medieval obscurantism!”
What is one to make of all this visual and linguistic imagery? It’s suggestive of archaic themes and perhaps a degree of sophistication, but equally suggestive of nocturnal menace and maybe worse. Consider that the members of the band have chosen as their noms de guerre Le Démoniaque, La Damnée, and Le Vilain.
Well, we can’t help but engage in guessing games as a result of such intrigues, but it’s better to let the music speak for itself, and so let’s move directly into “La Bête d’Acier“, the song we’re premiering from the album today.