Monday, 10 August 2020

Helioss - Devenir Le Soleil



Labels: Mourning Light Records/Satanath Records

Formats: CD/Digital

Release Date: 23 Apr 2020


Tracklist:


1. ...Et Dieu Se Tut

2. A Wall Of Certainty

3. The End Of The Empire

4. Let The World Forget Me

5. Singularity

6. An Endless Stream

7. La Lepre Des Hommes

8. Devenir Le Soleil

9. Now...Shine!


One thing I'm really fascinated with is how bands and labels strike up relationships that lead them to collaborating on releases. Helioss are a case in point. The French symphonic black/death metal band released their fourth full-length Devenir Le Soleil via Russian label Satanath Records and UK label Mourning Light Records in April. I heard about this releasee through my contact with Satanath Records, hence this review. The CD has been limited to 500 copies worldwide and the album is also available digitally. 


There are so many images that could be conjured up when staring at the artwork that adorns Devenir Le Soleil. Musically, you might think this album is made up of progressive/shoegaze-like black metal or doom but you’d be a bit wide of the mark if you did. Helioss delivers a rabidly infectious take on symphonic black/death metal with album opener ‘…Et Dieu Se Tut’, which is made more engrossing by the French lyrics and the relentless drumming, which has been programmed excellently. 


Not all of their songs are delivered on French, as ‘A Wall Of Certainty’ demonstrates. It’s filled to the brim with industrial tempos and technical guitar work that fights with the bursts of melodic synths to keep you guessing as to exactly what genre or sub-genre this duo fits into. Thankfully there are plenty well-placed tempo changes that don’t allow you to pigeonhole Helioss. Each one of their full-length’s have been getting longer but that’s fine given the quality of their instrumentation. ’The End Of The Empire’ seems to pick up where ‘A Wall Of Certainty’ left off with cracking lead-work and lower than low vocal growls. When they slow things down, those growls are replaced by higher-pitched screams/shrieks and plenty of atmosphere, even if in short bursts. The pace is so frenetic that it’s hard to keep up.


The melancholic ‘Let The World Forget Me’ is the song that bridges the gap towards both doom and more accessible metal, oddly. That’s not to say that this is accessible. It just has something about it that seems strangely comforting and familiar for some reason. Following on is the somewhat brief number ’Singularity’. It only seems brief because it just about breaches the three-minute mark. It makes up for that though with musical influences that range from industrial music (once again), to traditional strings and virtuoso guitar work. I could name bands that follow those three parts but that would be cheating.


Helioss returns to more familiar pastures on ‘An Endless Stream’ and it’s artistically driven piano seems to lord over the music, at least during the opening two-and-a-half minutes anyway. What follows it is another extremely engaging tome of melody and up-tempo black/death metal that’s hard to ignore. ‘La Lepre Des Hommes’ is very much a more avant-garde proposition with an intro of organ melodies and choral chanting before Helioss launches into a mid-paced progressive beast of a song. It regains it’s trademark pace towards the end to help keep the heart racing.


It’s only right that the penultimate song should be a twenty-four minute mammoth and it just so happens to be the title-track ‘Devenir Le Soleil’. If you were thinking it would be slow to build then you were wrong, as it continues the albums wild trajectory. It’s the first song on the album that contains melodic vocals. At least, they’re the first I’ve heard here and I could be wrong. It’s so easy to become mesmerised by it all. The term ‘progressive’ does get thrown around a lot but this song epitomises the term in my opinion. 


It almost seems pointless following that title-track but Helioss decides to do it anyway with album closer ‘Now…Shine!’. From the ridiculous comes the sublime with an instrumental post-metal/doom/death song that rounds things out perfectly. I was in no way expecting Devenir Le Soleil to be this good but I guess should stop expecting the unexpected. This is phenomenal from beginning to end. Chances are this will have passed you by so far this year but now is the time to remedy that.


You can stream and purchase Devenir Le Soleil on CD or digitally below:-



Helioss - https://www.facebook.com/Heliossband/


It's also available for purchase via the below links:-


Mourning Light Records - https://mourninglightrecords.bandcamp.com/merch

Satanath Records - http://satanath.com/shop.html


Mourning Light Records - https://www.facebook.com/MourningLightRecords/

Satanath Records - https://www.facebook.com/satanath666/

No comments:

Post a comment