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Review: Visions de l'âme - Ainsi Soit-Il
Visions de l'âme
Ainsi Soit-Il

Label: Independent
Year released: 2000
Duration: 28:16
Tracks: 5
Genre: Black Metal


Review online: April 17, 2001
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4/5 (80%) (4 Votes)

Visions de l'âme is a French Black Metal band formed in 1998. This demo is their first recording, recorded in December 2000. I became aware of this demo through a Usenet post by a band member. Having recently heard some good Black Metal originating from France (Seth, Vlad Tepes, Mutiilation, etc..), I figured I'd give it a try. The band cites influences from Dark Funeral, Immortal, Marduk, and I detect some Darkthrone influences as well, mainly for the overall feeling of the music - and that is a very good thing. There's always the scare of another "copy band", but not so with Visions de l'âme, who add their own sound to their influences and the result is actually very good. The demo suffers a little bit from a bad production, and some instruments such as the drums would benefit from better work in that area. However, I think this is one band that would benefit from NOT going for too clean a production. Visions de l'âme's sound is grim, heavy, heinous and has a depth that in my opinion does require a certain amount of "bad production" to keep its effectiveness. So it is my hope that whatever those guys release next will not be too polished and retain the very dark atmosphere felt throughout this demo.

The lyrics are included as a letter-sized sheet included inside the booklet, with a picture of the band in the background. Simple, yet very well done. The lyrics are in French, not that it will matter much to the listener as the vast majority of the singing is fast and hard to decipher, even for me as a francophone. Well, this sure falls within the parameters of Black Metal vocals, so this is not a criticism, and they definitely are not the first band to sing in their native tongue, something that seems more common in Black Metal than in other genres of metal. The beginning of the third song, "Le Porteur de Lumière" is a mix of clean and BM spoken vocals, the only use of clean vocals on the demo. I won't talk more about the lyrics here, I expect to interview the band and ask them a few questions about them.

The songs are pretty much fast-paced with occasional "slowdowns" and even some acoustic passages here and there. The guitar solos are kept relatively simple, yet effective. Darkthrone is a good comparison for an overall feel of what the music sounds (or feel?) like, but all their influences show in their music, and as I've stated before, the band does add a lot of its own in there and the result is very effective and interesting. A band that I think can be categorized as true Black Metal. Refreshing in this era where most BM band find nothing better to do than abuse their keyboards. Hopefully Visions de l'âme will soon offer us some more material. A demo worth checking out for any Black Metal fan.

Additional Information

- Demo recording

More about Visions de l'âme...
Interview with Maïté (guitar) and Emmanuel (bass/vocals) on May 30, 2001 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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