French obscurity masters Neige Morte are adept at creating soundscapes so abhorrent that just getting through to the end of their second record is a lesson in endurance. Bicephaale doesn’t trip on the more prevalent French rawness or prettiness, instead it resides in filth and dissonance and the very dirt of the earth. “500 Jours de Haine” strips back any semblance of melody to begin the album and punish with swirling vortexes of noise. All gnashing vocals and clashing guitars and sickening drum beats – it’s truly a cacophony and the discordance is dizzying and bewildering. The echoing martial drum beat that blurs into view around fuzzy guitars and XT’s vocals allow the band to step back ever so slightly yet they never lose that forceful rhythm and desolate tone that has been built up so far.
Bicephaale is alarming in its execution and the deep, bottomless vocal that kickstarts “Death Has No Dominion” to give the track a weird, doomed slant is terrifying. It goes against everything heard in the first piece of music and Neige Morte completely step into the abyss in a short space of time. The drum picks up the pace behind the voice in off-kilter movements and absurd time stamps which gives the track a gross, unworldly atmosphere that sits at the back of throat like a bad smell. It’s disgusting and the dastardly rhythm which sits beneath it all draws you ever deeper and closer to annihilation. This curious approach is evident throughout Bicephaale with “Eaters of Worlds” shifting pace with nods from the drum ramping up the pressure and dropping it back down in waves of foul disgrace before “…Et Vacuité du Combat” vomits up a vulgar, obscene sound that clings to your skin and leaves you feeling deeply unclean.
Neige Morte have created an album of abstract, obtuse black metal. It’s not an easy ride and it’s not for the faint of heart. If you enjoy black noise, bizarre rhythms and disgusting, dredged up horror then Bicephaale is absolutely for you. If you can’t handle dread, discordance and a complete lack of melody then step away immediately. Neige Morte are frightening and unsettling and Bicephaale is beyond foul. “Eater of Soul” closes out the record on intense lines of guitar and harsh screams that twist and writhe in agony and misanthropy. Tripped out, fucked up jazz sounds colour the closing moments and push it to the very limits.
There is nothing in the way of beauty to be found in Neige Morte’s black metal – life is ugly and so is their music.
Bicephaale can be purchased through ConSouling Sounds here.