Ferriterium - Calvaire
Epictural Productions
Black Metal
4 songs (42:45)
Release year: 2021
Official Bandcamp, Epictural Productions
Reviewed by Goat

Hailing from Remiremont, France, this one-man band plays a melodic and atmospheric form of black metal that is all sound and fury - in a good way! Each of the four lengthy pieces here is built around an angry rush of guitars, swirling atop impressive session drumming (courtesy of former Otargos drummer Thyr) and mainman Raido's raspy bellows. And each manages to stand out, making Calvaire as a whole a compelling listen. This is the third full-length from the project since its formation in 2010, and the professionalism and expertise gained is put to good use across each of these four hymns of blackened emotion. Opener L'Apostasie storms in immediately with galloping drums and a whirlwind of riffs, moving through various passages of sound but mostly sticking to the grandiose, near symphonic melodic effect of the guitars, which is often grippingly atmospheric in a way that hearkens back to second wave purity.

And, after a couple of listens in, it's subtly catchy! The melodies build upon a groovy backing in a way that is simultaneously modern and classic, the audible bass (courtesy of one Lethal) a whole other element in the overall sound. A fantastic opening. And from then on, Raido and co barely put a step wrong. The following La Proie du cloître takes steps towards melodic black metal territory with a greater emphasis on virtually Dissection-esque melodies atop a solid blastbeating barrage, while L'Opéra de Géhenne moves towards black n roll with an infectious central groove raising its head between bursts of brutality. The closing just-under-twelve-minutes of L'Apogée du Martyr is where Ferriterium truly excels, however, switching between almost post-punk, downright proggy sections and the most desperate and melancholic bursts of bleak blackened metal on the album. This is the peak of Raido's vocal and guitar performances, the former a despairing shriek, the latter a sublime mixture of textures.

Black metal is often criticised for being anti-life, anti-humanity, against all the things that we cherish about existence. Yet sometimes it's a rallying cry, a warning that life is precious and all too easily stolen away, and Calvaire's emotion-laden examination of what death actually means (sometimes even Google Translate can turn a tirade of shrieks and moans into a profound piece of poetry) will resonate in these plague angel-cursed times. Black metal doesn't always need an avant-garde gimmick; sometimes, it's enough that it is played well and with heart, and Ferriterium do that and more. Recommended for necronauts willing to dive deep.

Killing Songs :
L'Apostasie, L'Opéra de Géhenne, L'Apogée du Martyr
Goat quoted 82 / 100
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