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Review: Smohalla - Resilience

Label: Arx Productions
Year released: 2011
Duration: 45:27
Tracks: 8
Genre: Black Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: April 5, 2012
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating

Rated 5/5 (100%) (3 Votes)

It's easy for a Black Metal act to impress with Christ-raping blast beats and high speed tremolos, but I'm just as impressed when a band can terrify on a whole other level, something French duo Smohalla do rather well. Resilience is an atmospheric trip through an alien civilization; its soundscapes are eerie, epic, and arcane, with space-age vocals, dissonant guitar riffs, and black, dripping walls of sound that saturate without invitation. Far into the mental mind fields of Arcturus, Enslaved, and Blut Aus Nord, Smohalla have little time to slay you like so many cemetery ghouls; they'd rather suck you into their smoke-choked vortex and watch you suffocate.

French Black Metal is so often like this, and it always takes longer to appreciate than something from the usual corpse-painted brethren. This means that while Resilience is a frightening, at times quite nauseating experience, it does blend into an ungodly headache after a while, though that is never far from its original intention. Intelligent and visual, this would be an adequate companion for space travel, though from the sounds of things, I wouldn't like meet what was awaiting your first step out.

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