The CNK - L'Hymne à la Joie
Season Of Mist
Epic Industrial Metal
9 songs (40:34)
Release year: 2007
The CNK, Season Of Mist
Reviewed by Goat

It’s interesting when bands feel the need to change their names, as there’s often a sense of underlying insecurity about it. French ‘electro war metal’ brigands The CNK certainly suggest that, having gone from Count Nosferatu to Count Nosferatu Kommando, and then in 2006 to its current incarnation as The Cosa Nostra Klub; the band starting its career as Black Metal and gradually heading towards Industrial. L'Hymne à la Joie - only the second album in eleven years - is more Laibach than Leviathan, taking the mock-Germanic pomp of the former and welding it to Metal riffs and a screechy singer.

Interestingly, rather than the techno influences most Industrial bands have, The CNK utilise epic Wagneresque Classical backdrops to give its music a kick. Of course, there are plenty of programmed beats and 80’s sounding synths to keep purists happy (in Vote For Winners especially) but it’s the Classical melodies and overall Teutonic atmosphere that sticks in your mind. For those wondering what in the hell the aforementioned Laibach is, it’s an infamous Slovenian band noted for its usage of totalitarian aesthetics, with concerts sometimes appearing as political rallies. Although generally seen as a parody of extremism rather than extremist itself nowadays due to the exaggerative nature of its work (especially with many cover versions, for example of Queen’s One Vision, turning it into a Germanic mock-paean to nationalism – ‘One race, one hope/One real decision’) there’s still enough controversy surrounding the band to keep its name a divisive one, despite the likes of Rammstein acknowledging its influence.

The Laibach influence in L'Hymne à la Joie is clear from songs like Dinner Is Ready with samples of patriotic children’s songs, and the male choir in Die HolzHammerMethode, both of which are very effective. Where the band stumbles is the Metal elements, often feeling clumsy and secondary to the other ingredients. The chants and applause in the intro track and start of C[osa] N[ostra] K[lub] work fine until the Dimmu Borgirish vocalist starts to scream, and from then on it depends entirely on your tolerance for that sort of yelping. There’s a distinct impression that the band would do much better to drop the Black Metal pretext altogether and move towards a more NeoFolk sound, expanding and progressing on the heavy Martial influence in its sound. Although you can understand the band wanting to cling to its past (vocalist Mr Hreidmarr used to be in Anorexia Nervosa) there’d be much better results if it could take another step and drop them altogether.

In the meantime, The CNK is sure to be lumped in with the Marilyn Manson-inspired Deathstars, which is a shame, as there’s a lot of good ideas here. If you enjoy your Industrial Metal and are seeking a fresh take on the at-times rather stilted formula, then this is certainly worth your time, but those already acquainted with the Martial and NeoClassical genres might find the Metal influences too much.

Killing Songs :
C[osa] N[ostra] K[lub], Vote For Winners, Die HolzHammerMethode
Goat quoted 73 / 100
Other albums by The CNK that we have reviewed:
The CNK - Ultraviolence Über Alles - Übercharged Edition reviewed by Goat and quoted 65 / 100
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