We first made the acquaintance of Mickael André in the early days of this blog when we developed a fascination for the French metal band of which he is the bassist — Eryn Non Dae.. I counted, and we’ve posted about them seven times since 2010, most recently here. The band’s own description of their music is one I would endorse: “Complex and brutal structures, black and apocalyptic moods, an obscure music where dissonant compositions carry an in-your-face, aggressive vocal style… A trip into the depths of the soul.”
I asked Mika if he would share with us a list of the metal he enjoyed most during 2011, and he responded with a list, which I’ll come to eventually. But this post also gives me an excuse to feature music from the many projects in which Mika is involved. Eryn Non Dae. is only one of those projects, though it’s Mika’s main one. The latest news from END. is very sweet news indeed — they are now beginning to record their second album. Their 2009 Metal Blade release, Hydra Lernaïa, was a remarkable debut, and I’m really curious to hear what the band will come up with next.
But END. is not Mika André’s only musical project. He’s also the guitarist for an instrumental band called Nojia (that’s their photo at the top of this post), who recently released a fascinating debut album called Solarchitect. (available here).
The album starts with a 6-minute overture and then proceeds through four long songs, ranging from 11 to 18 minutes in duration. It was recorded live, with all the musicians performing together in the studio — and when you hear the range and complexity of the music, you’ll appreciate even more what that means. I’ve embedded a music player later in this post that will stream the entire album — listening is an intense, mesmerizing experience.