Sunday 25 November 2018

Calvaire - Je Me Souviens

Labels: Purity Through Fire Records/Worship Tapes
Formats: Tape/Digital/CD(TBC)
Release Date: 25 Nov 2018


1. Nous Ne Descenderont Plus La Riviere
2. La Dernière Bataille
3. 15 Fevrier 1839

There's a been a lot said this year about the Quebecois black metal movement, which has been led by the rise in popularity (if that's the right word) in Forteresse. Montreal's Calvaire is a new addition to that wave of bands, with the duo only recently releasing their debut digitally and tape via Purity Through Fire Records and Worship Tapes. "Je Me Souviens" consists of three songs on the tape version, while the soon-to-be-released CD version and indeed the digital version feature four songs. I'm reviewing the tape version here. Calvaire is a band that's proud of their ancestry, heritage and country, which form the influence for their songs and music.

“Je Me Souviens” begins with the welcoming sound of traditional and upbeat folk-music at the start of Nous Ne Descenderont Plus La Riviere. It’s only a short intro and it gives way to French language black metal that’s cold but also melodic. You know what you’e getting now with black metal of this nature and Calvaire definitely takes things in an icier direction compared to that of their US cousins. The song ends with the same sampled folk that seems to temper the extremity that came before it.

La Dernière Bataille is straight-forward and blasting from the off. The vocal shrieks are backed up by metallic guitar tones and pounding percussion. The guitar work does add a slight orchestral layer to the music, but there’s no escaping it’s heaviness. Like the opener, there is some clean singing but it’s closer to chanting than anything else. It does add an extra sinister edge to the music though.

Calvaire’s music is deeply rooted in the history of their province and 15 Fevrier 1839 is the epitome of that as it winds itself through over six-and-a-half minutes of atmospheric and metallic black metal. It relates to the French Canadians who were executed by British colonisers in 1839 and it was also the name of a 2001 film by French Canadian filmmaker Pierre Falardeau (fact for film buffs there!). This piece is more together than the previous two in my opinion. It’s slightly slower in tempo giving an oddly martial feel.

As black metal goes, Calvaire has produced a very decent first demo. Black metal fans will find enjoyment here, though crossover appeal may be minimal but that’s not what this duo are after. 

You can stream this full demo along with the extra title-track that will appear on the cd below:-

You can purchase "Je Me Souviens" on tape and digitally from Calvaire above too.

You can also purchase tape copies from Purity Through Fire Records here - and via Worship Tapes here -

Purity Through Fire Records -

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