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Review: Fhoi Myore - The Northern Cold
Fhoi Myore
The Northern Cold

Label: Broken Limbs Recordings
Year released: 2012
Duration: 35:22
Tracks: 7
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: June 23, 2012
Reviewed by: Memnarch
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.5/5 (90%) (4 Votes)

French black metal has always been one of the more fascinating and dynamic scenes within the black metal sphere, it has a rich and oft overlooked history and never lets up in consistently yielding a wide array of new and impressive bands. Acts such as Aorlhac, Peste Noire and Celestia to name but a few are hard to ignore and remain testament to the quality of black metal being produced in the south of France at the moment. Fhoi Myore themselves are from Nice, bearing many similar traits to the ‘mini-scene' which appears to exist in that region; a strong traditional DIY aesthetic and a heavy distaste for shiny production values and all things modern are the foundations of which The Northern Cold is built upon, and for what was essentially a ‘test' EP for the band to hone their recording skills in preparation for a full-length, it's a pretty damn fine effort.

The intro sets the tone for the rest of the release, a soft acoustic passage surrounded by samples of thunder cracks and rain which initially threw me a bit as I was expecting something much more rough from these guys. The guitar tone and riff structure throughout "Orage" is lifted straight from Autumn Aurora, not that that's a bad thing, on the contrary. That hypnotic glare is replicated extremely well and lays a heavily haunting vibe which lingers throughout. "Souvenirs" though is a much more frenetic number containing some rather devastating riffs and a battery of drumming that lies somewhere between Horna and Peste Noire in its vicious and melancholic fervor. "Mist" would be my pick of the release though; a skull-crushing bulldozer of a track driven by the hugely aggressive drumming and Balahr's freezing, razor sharp guitar harmonies and Sreng's piercing vocal delivery.

Rough, chaotic and unpolished; it's what black metal is supposed to sound like, none of this gay fancy ProTools shit here, just pure authentic black metal hell. And aside from "Forest of Doom", a track much in the same vein as the others, the black metal ends there. The others, a cover of the cult Parisian band Ancalagon which doesn't really diverge too much from the original and an instrumental acoustic closer called "Songes Funestes" which I have to admit does nothing for me other than coming across almost as an extension to the intro and sending me half to sleep. As far as the black metal side of the release goes, it's pretty much top drawer, the last two tracks are a bit unnecessary though but it's only a minor fault as it's only an EP.

The original material on this release I would recommend to anyone who's into the whole ‘underground' feel that comes affixed with bands like this and is an ethos more bands could do with adopting because Fhoi Myore show here on The Northern Cold anyway that it can still sound professional and allow appropriate room for all the different elements to interact while avoiding sounding like it was recorded by a socially reclusive teenager in his bedroom on a four-track. It recalls everything from Drudkh to Peste Noire and a lot in between, and any self-respecting fan of proper black metal could do worse than check this out. Who'd ever have thought when black metal was in its infancy that the rather sunny climes of the Mediterranean would harbour such cold and unforgiving music? I was also subtly impressed by the nice nod to Moorcock as well. Recommended.

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