Ecr.Linf – Belluaires Review

Post-black isn’t a style I would normally associate with themes of viscera or ritualism. Stereotypes and caricatures exist as Deafheaven school of thought, quite cheery affairs with sanguine post-rock melodies atop a foundation of distant blastbeats and shrieks. Ecr.Linf offers no such grace. Belluaires’ breed of post-black offers its full and textured, melody-first approach, but adds an animalistic urgency. Recalling the likes of Decline of the I or The Great Old Ones. Atmosphere is foremost but twisted into the warped image of desperation and intensity. A final cry of humanity is what it promises – does it exit with a roar or a whimper?

Ecr.Linf, the moniker taken from Voltaire’s famous maxim “ecrasons l’infame,”1 in one take translated to “crush the monster,” is a French black metal five-piece with history from acts like Svart Crown, No Return, and Jarell. Their Belluaires debut is a tour-de-force, undeniably French, recalling acts like Celeste and Déluge in its incorporation of hardcore and noise textures. It promises an unlikely combination of post-black and dissonant black, swirling riffs, manic and warlike blastbeats, and desperate barks commanding a dense and thick fog punctuated by moments of clarity. Ultimately, while these newcomers pale in comparison to more seasoned acts, Belluaires nonetheless makes one hell of a statement when it gets going, even if its buildup and on-the-fence compositions temper the hype.

Belluaires by ECR.LINF

There are two flavors to Belluaires: outright punishment and the ominous build-up to the punishment. Opener “Le Désespoir Du Prophète” and “Missive” offer the latter, that while thick and vicious riffs are in no short supply, spoken word and pulsing percussion indicate more patient crescendos. Meanwhile “Tribunal De L’âme” and “La Danse Des Crânes” are taken from the Celeste playbook, ritualistic percussion colliding neatly with mammoth riffs, plus a symphonic flare and wonky accordion closing out the latter doesn’t hurt. However, it’s not until the second half that Ecr.Linf gets their footing: beginning with the mad waltzing rhythms of “Le Royaume Du Vide,” Belluaires begins capitalizing upon the dissonant portion of their sound. “Ultime Projection” and “Valetaille” are easily the best tracks and comprise a walloping one-two punch. Each deals in more subtle songwriting from warped dissonant clarity to a dark and warming melody of blackgaze, punctuated by sprawling contemplative passages dwelling and shuddering in the wake of the colossus, concluded by dusty breaths of a gentle piano. For a black metal album, Ecr.Linf does a stellar job making Belluaires sound as huge as possible, touching upon post-metal, its density saturating every space within it.

For all its hugeness and formidability, I wish Ecr.Linf made more songs like “Valetaille.” Much like the likewise “dissonant black” genre-mates Sisyphean’s Colours of Faith, too much of Belluaires is spent mingling between post-black warmth and ominous dissonance. I’m grateful that Ecr.Linf arrive in grandiose fashion, but the first five tracks, with the exception of “La Danse Des Crânes,” are simply pleasant blackened affairs with a bigger sound, but little else. “Tribunal De L’âme” is largely forgettable, the spoken word of “Le Désespoir Du Prophète” verges on awkward, and “Feu Pâle” is a completely unnecessary closer, comprised of just a few warbling major chords, after the earthmoving and despondent ending of “Valetaille.” Belluaires comprises a very French sound from the despair to the vicious barks. This palette inevitably pales compared to the similarly built but more experienced offerings of Celeste, Amesoeurs, and Alcest.

Ecr.Linf promises a unique fusion, and only periodically do they deliver. While there’s little blatantly wrong with Belluaires in its punishing ritualistic hugeness, but expectations temper it quite a bit. It finally finds its footing in the second act with tracks “Ultime Projection” and “Valetaille” finding a powerful balance of vicious dissonance and post-black warmth in an undeniably atmospheric but relentlessly punishing sound. Ultimately, although initially I was overwhelmed by its weight and rabid intensity, it ends up neither a whimper nor a roar, but rather a firm tone to signal the end of humanity.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: My Kingdom Music
Releases Worldwide: March 22nd, 2024

The post Ecr.Linf – Belluaires Review appeared first on Angry Metal Guy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post “If you drop people in these high-pressure environments too early on, you kill them before they’ve had a chance to flourish”: You Me At Six frontman Josh Franceschi on his concerns for the next wave of rock hopefuls
Next post NCT’s Doyoung Thanking Alleged Sasaeng Fansite Sparks Heated Debate

Goto Top