|Review: Peste Noire - Folkfuck Folie|
Label: De Profundis
Year released: 2007
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: February 9, 2009
Reviewed by: Brett Buckle
Rated 3.77/5 (75.45%) (22 Votes)
Bloody Nora! Peste Noire sure did take it easy after the amazing La Sanie, producing a sub-par follow up in Folkfuck Folie. Gone are the soaring guitar solos, and fuzzed out open chord riffing of La Sanie to be replaced by, well, nothing. This is a stripped down, ugly version of their debut that fails to deliver at the level we know Peste Noire to be capable of.
Folkfuck Folie begins in much the same way as La Sanie with a sickening, whammy bar deformed open chord progression under a stumbling guitar solo, but instead of bursting into some awesome fuzzed out melodic Black Metal, they lurch into a crippled muddle that sounds like it has one short leg that causes it to go around in circles. The album feels rushed, both in songwriting and production, with many good ideas that aren't developed to their full. There are some great tracks such as the furious and ugly "La Fin Del Secle" with its stampeding riffs and gratingly harsh vocals, "La Césarienne" with its filthy, evil Black Metal riffing and Neige's piercing screeching, and the title track with its (again) furious riffing and twisted nursery rhyme style mid section. But for each piece of audio jewelry there is at least one accompanying musical shit stain such as "D'un Vilain" with its uninspired riffing, the three minutes of ranting at the start of "Maleiçon" (although its other 3 minutes of furious Black Metal are pretty killer), or the pointless banging and screaming of "Extrait Radiophonique d'Antonin Artaud". It's not so much that it's bad per se, but it is damaged terribly by the greatness that came before it.
Gone too are Famine's painful screeches and demented wailing to be replaced with a kind of hoarse, snaky whisper that sounds much like someone caught in the latter stages of the plague (well Hollywood plague anyway, I've never spoken to anyone with actual plague before — I guess I should get out more...), and while they do sound appropriately insalubrious, they contribute mainly to the limited feel of the album by lacking the diversity present on the debut. And this is the problem I have — compared to La Sanie, Folkfuck Folie is terribly limited in scope. The songs are shorter and less developed, there is much less diversity between songs and within individual tracks, and the little flourishes such as the guitar solos, and break out bass lines are all but gone. It is a real step backward in writing. The production here can generously be described as "raw" with a thin, band saw like guitar sound tearing over a really flat bass sound and muddy drums. It really hurts the album, and while I've heard worse, this really is music that benefits a great deal from an at least semi-decent production.
Those who liked La Sanie will also like this after a few listens. Once you get over the initial disappointment and try and accept the album on its terms it becomes much easier to swallow and the highlights become more evident, but I can easily understand how someone might write Peste Noire off if this album was their first encounter with them. Like I said, this is not a bad album by any means, but it had a lot to live up to after its predecessor and it ultimately falls short of the mark.
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