The first impression often gives the deflexion to consume something or not. While the cover sure is appealing, the name of the band and of some songs arouse some bad associations, but as many good black metal bands come from france these days, we sure should risk an ear?
Eleven years lie in between the foundation and the release of the first output of the band. It seems, that the duo used this long period to calm down and to reflect their compositions, so that they will release ripened material, as Among The Lonely Shades sure is not bad.
As soon as the record starts, the sympathetic listener will realize, that the major influence of the band must be Shining, which isn’t a bad thing at all. So there are several references in sound as well as in structure, as the French often switch between rocky passages and pure black metal ones without really using clean vocals.
It is this rocky influence, that spices the record up which is perfected through the incredibly well done song guidance. Every single passage fluently transforms into another, so that the quite cold atmosphere doesn’t crumble at any time. Well done acoustic interplays like Vielleicht besteht Nichts which are a bit slower than the rest of the record allow you to breathe through before the record starts to thrash again.
What the French really lack of is something new, something that has never been heard before as they rely too much on their influences. The tracks surely are well arranged and there are minor suprises hidden in the songstructures but something really special is absent. In addition to this fact it has to be said, that the production is a bit thin (which surely should complement the cold atmosphere) and the vocals sound weird from time to time.
Among The Lonely Shades obviously took a long period to ripe, but this beared fruits. There are some minor flaws and the whole composition needs more rough edges. Nevertheless, the record is really well done for a debut record and I am sure that there will be really brilliant material in the future.
Released in: May 2011