• Putamen Insula - Souriez (2013) - Thoughtful statements and talented musicianship - 95% (13/02/15)

    Putamen Insula - Souriez (2013)

    The nihilistic black metal trio is back with its second full length release somewhere between black metal, crust punk and a shot of doom metal. Their sound is characterized by a bleak, cold and desperate atmosphere. 

    The songs feature short and emotional vocal passages that are painfully howled by guitarist and singer Sovannak. In addition to this, the band is perfectly bilingual as five songs are performed in French and two songs sung in English which adds some diversity to the sound. Anyway, it's nearly impossible to understand the lyrics but a look at the booklet helps. The lyrical topics are sometimes socially critical and accusing but also ecological and almost sarcastic and at other times nihilistic and repugnant. These lyrics are short and simple but I think they are very meaningful and original for their genre. 

    The main focus lies though on the long instrumental passages which are extremely variable. We get to hear short and hyperfast crust punk passages, slow to mid-tempo paced atmospheric black metal and slow depressive doom metal parts that almost have slight jazz inspired moments. Despite an uncompromisingly raw underground production, one can hear the talent of the involved musicians. Instead of using the usual blast beats, young drummer J. is able to play fast parts, tight and almost grooving passages but also very slow and emotionally thought-out moments. The pumping bass guitar rhythms by Vincent VDM are sometimes depressing and repetitive and at other moments angry and startling. The guitar play is at times simple and gives the other instruments enough space to shine while it comes around with slow and haunting melodies and almost garage rock influenced riffs at the right moments. The instrumental work sounds epic, intellectual and almost progressive and I mean this in a very positive way as the tracks are never overlong or pretentious. The seven tracks have a great flow and the album never gets boring. I really suggest you to listen this record as a whole as it takes you on an atmospheric yet entertaining journey to the abyss of the human soul. It doesn't make sense to point out any particular song as they are all equally inspired and complement each other.

    I'm convinced that even those who are less into black metal could appreciate this band because of its diversified and original instrumental work that never fails to surprise, its gripping and haunting atmosphere and its unique lyrics that give some food for thoughts. This band is pushing the contemporary boundaries of extreme metal further than most of its peers. Old school black metal fans who are looking for fast and violent tunes might find some parts of the album too slow and tame but it's the perfect fusion of appeasing and pitiless passages that makes the listening experience even more valuable as a whole. If you are looking for intellectual and original extreme metal music that differs from the usual genre stereotypes, you should give this band a fair chance, support the guys and and spread Putamen Insula's name. This band is maybe the best band of the contemporary black metal scene in Quebec and since this scene is very rich and unique, this statement means quite a lot. Make sure to check one of Putamen Insula's extreme and intense live shows out as well.

    « Iron Reagan - The Tyranny of Will (2014) - Half hour of power - 88% (10/02/15)Beyond the Black - Songs of Love and Death (2015) - Commercial plastic pop masked as symphonic metal - 28% (02/03/15) »
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