SCARS FROM A DEAD ROOM | s/t
1- Calvaire (2:23)
All songs by SFADR except «Temple of the Morning Star» by Today is the day.
Quoiqu’on en dise, quoique qu’on en pense, le Black Metal se doit de conserver une part de mystère sinon d’anonymat. Il doit puiser dans l’obscurité, monde de ténèbres qu’il ne doit pas quitter, au risque de se perdre, de perdre ce qui lui confère des allures de trésors, de joyaux vénérés par une poignée d’initiés. Car l’art noir n’est tout simplement pas un genre comme les autres. SCARS FROM A DEAD ROOM ne l’a pas oublié, créature obscure dont on ne sait quasiment rien et c’est très bien ainsi. Seul a filtré le fait qu’il soit le projet d’une âme solitaire installée au Canada, informations qui sont des indices précieux quant à l’essence de cette libation séminale. Misanthropique et hivernal, dépressive et glacial devrait donc être cet album. Ce qu’il est effectivement, rumination sinistre qui se nourrit du cadre géographique qui est le sien, froid et isolé, propice aux contemplations morbides. Si SCARS FROM A DEAD ROOM creuse un sillon à priori bien connu, lessivé par beaucoup d’autres avant lui (ce n’est pas grave), il réussit pourtant l’exploit de se distinguer déjà du tout venant du black dépressif. En démarrant de manière abrupte avec le court “Expiare”, que précède l’inaugural “Calvaire”, plainte ambient suintant une humidité lugubre et dont la vélocité du tempo étonne, il brouille d’emblée les pistes. Il faut en réalité attendre “Mes yeux s’ouvrant sur l’infini” pour trouver dans cet essai ce que ses atours semblaient promettre, longue macération de plus de dix minutes au garrot que vrillent des accords répétitifs cependant que le chant, volontairement lointain, hurle des paroles qu’on devine minées par un mal-être absolu. Mais là aussi, le rendu surprend car meurtri et perforé de vertigineuses crevasses qui le rendent fascinant (“Inhume”), à des années-lumière de la langueur monotone peut-être attendue. De fait, bien que plongé dans un abîme de désolation, l’album n’est pas ce qu’il a l’air d’être. Il brise les codes du genre en préférant les canevas ramassés aux trames étirées, en jouant sur les diverses tessitures instrumentales (“Temple Of The Morning Star”, Tue le père. Tue-le”), travaillant sur les voix, variant les tempos, parfois rapides (“Exhume”), le plus souvent lancinant (“Il retourne à la terre”). Et quand on croit en avoir fait le tour, un détail, un image, surgissent, marque des grands disques, ce qu’est incontestablement cet opuscule… – Childeric Thor for La Horde Noire – (7.5/10)
Scars From A Dead Room are a mysterious Canadian project that release their debut on the equally mysterious but unique French label Distant Voices. The latter are known for their mostly original releases, and then I am talking about the physical copy of each release. Once again, this album comes in an extremely limited edition; this time it concerns 69 copies only (with no repressing) (good news, however, for this specific album will be available too on cassette, via BLWBCK). The handmade album includes inserted 210-g paper and the title on the ‘cover’ is handwritten. This untitled album consists of eight tracks (which is different from the ‘usual’ Distant Voices-material) with a total running time of thirty eight minutes. The concept lies ‘between philosophical thought and feral instinct’ (cf. the bio), an approach not that weird to understand if you let Scars From A Dead Room’s post-modern Black Metal penetrate your mind. What does this mean? Well, opening track Calvaire gives a first glimpse. This pièce d’Art Obscure isn’t quite unusual for being Black Metal of a most droning kind. In years I haven’t experienced such oppressive and suffocative atmosphere as introduction. Expiare is a weird piece too, so it takes until Mes Yeux S’Ouvrant Sur L’Infini (the longest track, and the only one that clocks over ten minutes) before turning into ‘normality’. Damn, this isn’t but an empty boutade, for ‘normality’ does not exist right here (which makes me happy). I just mean that this song comes closer to a more ‘evident’ form of slow-paced yet ultra-abyssal Black Metal with a fabulous Post-Black attitude. The Drone-details are less pronounced, but not absent either (happy once again…), but this can rather be classified as a Post-Suicidal / Funeral / Atmospheric Black Epic than the opener. …I know this makes no sense, but please try me and give a more accurate description of this kind of majestic creations from the Dark Side. If you call your project Scars From A Dead Room, then would you expect classic tradition? I thought so, neither do I. What to think about the Today Is The Day-cover Temple Of The Morning Star (taken from their Relapse-album with the very same title), integer and semi-acoustic, yet oh so beautifully performed. Exhume is a faster Black assault, enormously powerful and heavy, which starts with a grandiose (though very short) introduction, based on false violin lines. The better part of the track brings dissonant and rhythmic speed-up nastiness with purest emotions of despair and sadness, the bleakest way. The first half of Il Retourne A La Terre is very melancholic and emotional in its melodies, and the most so-called Suicidal Black-piece on the Scars From A Dead Room-album. It comes, as from half of the composition, with a sample from, I guess, a movie, but honestly, I have no idea which one. Yet again, it fits. Unique to notice how natural it seems to combine such spoken-words-only sample within this album’s concept. Inhume is, just like Exhume, a rather ‘traditional’ (Post) Black creation with a hypnotic, Sludge-injected finale. And final song Tue Le Père. Tue-Le is an instrumental outro based on acoustic guitars and distant keyboard lines, with some fantasy definable as black-gazed post-rock ambience. A word, finally, about the production: top! Raw and edgy, bleak and lacking of clinically polished modernism. That’s the way such epic must sound. So, in conclusion, I have to mention, once again, that Distant Voices need to be honoured for releasing such magisterial opus. I think it’s truly sad that the editions are so limited, for the whole human population must have the chance to enjoy such fabulous material. At the other hand, it is nothing but an honour to make part of the limited audience that is able to benefit this excellence pur sang – Ivan Tibos for Concrete Web (91/100)
Not sure if “one man black metal project hailing from the Canadian forests” does excite you, but most of the time for me it serves the purpose, no matter how often this very same “one man” thing is a poor excuse for being a crappy musician. However, when that bio is coming from the French tape cult BLWBCK, whose catalogue is often found jumping from black metal to dubby ambient or electroacoustic lo-fi soundscapes, I’m kinda convinced this will probably be something. The variety Romain & Co are providing with each release is surely one great reason to be coming back to this label over and over again, so if you haven’t already come across their output now it’s a great moment to catch up. All that said BLWBCK were able to discover another musical gem, which is once again breaking their own limits as one man black metal is not a new thing for the label, which has already put out two records by France’s Misery, which is a totally different cup of tea, no matter the black metal label on both artists. Scars From a Dead Room waste no time but grab you by the throat from the very first second of the album until you completely black out. The record is totally deprived from any color, not only in terms of design decisions but soundwise as well. I don’t know which Canadian forests gave birth to this evil, but no vivid natural landscapes are to be found here. Only primal desperation, lack of air and putrid human bile. The music is very nicely produced, maybe only the cymbals I sometimes find brought to much to the front of the mix, which can be also kinda interesting, because at some point you start perceiving them as grim and dead-punctual clock, measuring your time in Scars From a Dead Room’s world. However, I’d liked them quieter as the other percussions are mixed in a very organic way and are just subtly enhancing the guitar and vocal work, making the whole sonic mass sound more as a soundscape than an ordinary black metal band. Still the music is pretty much melody based. The tracks undergo very interesting and memorable transformations. At parts the music sounds kinda post-metallish, which is a great thing and definitely an awesome change for the usual Burzumesque or Xasthurish depressive one man black metal stuff. Scars From a Dead Room is generally not afraid to explore different horizons. He goes from passages, led by melodic singing (Temple of the morning star) to monolithic and epic black metal mantras (Mes yeux s’ouvrant sur l’infini), even to sludgier and more progressive pieces (InHume). Not to mention what takes us out of the album is a fragile acoustic piece, slowly and patiently dying and decomposing in silence, thus giving you the time to realize what you’ve heard was a very intriguing and detailed work, especially for a debut release, and definitely not something you’ve already heard about 35 thousand times. – Angel Godfree for D.I.Y Conspiracy