Ascension by Regarde Les Hommes Tomber

Release date: February 28, 2020
Label: Season of Mist

It is always a pleasure to be back at the altar of heavy French music, basking in its unique glory and drinking from the well and with Ascension yet again I am not disappointed. Album number three from Regarde Les Hommes Tomber continues on the atmospheric black metal theme whilst twisting away slightly from the darker roots of its predecessors. Here a burning hot pace drives the band whilst all its old trademarks are heard on the route past.

Whilst countrymen Celeste are oppressive in their sound Regarde Les Hommes Tomber play at a faster pace and whilst both share a cloak of darkness Regarde Les Hommes Tomber have slightly brighter edges, but are just as relentless. It took me awhile to grasp the subtle change but on this album from its predecessors as the band uses the vocal delivery to smoke the music with atmosphere whilst the guitars have a cleaner ring to them. Some of that may be down to the increased recording budget as well as a slight variation, but it doesn’t cause any deterioration in the quality of the output.

‘A New Order’ gives a good insight as to what to expect from the album as it blisters through 8 minutes without a struggle or a boring moment. There are rises and falls, but the band always comes back on a different path and there is no end of catchy riffs. The real driving force here is drummer RR as even during the slower moments such as the mid-point breakdown in ‘The Crowning’ he is ever present urging the pace back to its blistering aural attack. The different techniques he utilises help differentiate even when the pace remains the same and it is a brilliant performance throughout.

This is modern black metal at its finest with small nuances twisting each track and out with ‘Stellar Cross’ you are never kept waiting for the track to kick in. The band has yet again produced an album that is varied yet catchy and would no doubt be stunning in a live environment.

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