Aug 162021


Those of you who are already familiar with the releases of the distinctive French label Antiq Records know that the bands who gather beneath its banner have an affinity for tales and tunes of bygone ages and old instruments, often melded together with the ravaging power and intensity of metal. And to that congregation of talents Antiq has added Paydretz, a French black/folk metal project featuring members of Véhémence, Himinbjorg, Hanternoz, Grylle, Belenos, and Wÿntër Ärvn.

Paydretz’s striking debut album is entitled Chroniques de l’Insurrection, set for release on October 8th. It’s a 14-track musical narrative of “the War in the Vendée” that took place in France between 1793 and 1796. This was a counter-revolution, an uprising among the French peasantry and a few royalist noblemen in the Vendée region during the Revolution’s reign of terror in Paris. It achieved a series of military victories before the counter-revolution was finally (and brutally) suppressed.

The song we’re presenting today, “Sous le Bannière Blanche“, is the sixth track in this opus. Its title refers to the white royal flag, as opposed to the Revolution’s tri-color flags of blue, white, and red. Later on in history and on the album (to borrow Antiq’s words), “defeats and fatigue of the wartime made the peasants weary of the situation and they abandoned the uprising (around 1800 and the arrival of Napoléon), so this is quite the rising of power of the album, and afterwards it declines to more bitter rage and discouraged feelings”. Continue reading »

Jul 212021


I didn’t try to make this usual Sunday column last Sunday. Just too weary and too hungover, which I did predict on Saturday. By waiting, I came across things that I wouldn’t have written about then, because I didn’t know about them then.

The music in this blackened roundup reinforces my belief (which is reinforced every day) that I will never become bored with extreme music. It continues to evolve, and to be filled with tremendous spirit and inventiveness.

Yeah sure, there’s a lot of boring music being made by metal bands. I encounter plenty of that. You do too. But in general, barring the lightning strike, there’s nothing good in any aspect of our lives that doesn’t require sitting in the stream with the pan in your hand, sifting for the gold until your ass is drenched and your fingers are numb. Here are some nuggets, even if they might slice your fingers and draw blood when you try to grasp them. Continue reading »