Any single person who has taken the time to explore black metal knows that it’s an ever-growing tree of innovation, creativity, and imagination of all sorts. But what happens when a man seeks to transcend the genre itself? What happens when they take out the metal and expand upon the black? A very vague and daunting task that is, and it’s been somehow accomplished by one French man whose vision of black metal is something greater than anyone else could’ve ever imagined. And what he’s imagined can be formed into a simple statement that he has put forth: “NO GUITAR. NO BASS. NO DRUMS. ORCHESTRA IS THE NEW BLACK.”
That is an extremely daunting and possibly even confusing for some. And I find something a little ironic about this record: the fact that this one-man band hails from France – a country known for romanticism and such jargon. Yet, the self-titled debut of Les Chants du Hasard is anything but the classic idea of romantic, except maybe in the darkest of ways. Les Chants du Hasard has somehow taken the idea of black metal, stripped it of the conventional instruments, and replaced them with a fully fleshed out and expertly executed orchestra the likes of which has the capacity to do an epic score for an immense movie. Granted, everything about this debut is epic in several ways, as Les Chants du Hasard has got an impeccable sense of pacing, suspense, and mute story-telling where there are no words, only dark symphonies. And if you’re wondering where the black comes from if the metal is ditched, then look towards the vocals which don’t come around quite often but they bring an amazing sense of menace that would quench the thirst of any black metal fan. It certainly did for me! Les Chant du Hasard is the very definition of unorthodox for metal, but goddamn does it really work as it takes the idea of progressive thinking for a single genre to a completely different level to where it transcends two completely different genres! Most progressive thinkers can only dream of doing that as masterfully as Les Chants du Hasard has here, and this debut is a feat that this French man should absolutely be applauded for without question.
There are albums that conform to a style and just go with the flow, those that stand out amongst their respective styles, and those that set new fucking standards. Les Chant du Hasard is without a doubt the latter as this piece defies every single kind of expectation for anyone going in blind. It’s a marvelously entertaining trip through darkness and so much more, and it’s the sort of thing that this world needs more of. And if I had to guess… I’d say that this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Les Chants du Hasard, and that makes me very excited.
“Les Chants du Hasard” releases on June 23rd via I, Voidhanger Records!
LISTEN to a sample of Les Chants du Hasard on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Les Chants du Hasard on Facebook here.