Grisatre - L'idée De Dieu

Xasthur may be dead, but his influence lives on through many other bands after him. One of those bands is Grisatre. Hailing from France, mainman Rokkr crafts a nightmare of an album with twisted piano and symphonic soundscapes that clashe with high dissonant black metal melodies and uses his own voice as an instrument of howling torture and pain to only heighten the depressing experience. The best thing about the album 'L'idée de Dieu' is that it is very well balanced. The album opens with a very somber piano and keyboard instrumental that really primes the listener for onslaught to come. The black metal side which can be heard on tracks like "IV" and "II" do not tend to vary much in style; usually the distortion of the guitars tends to blot out the drums and vocals, which are barely a whisper amongst all the other instruments in their high pitched wailings. Ambiance is the key to this album as Rokkr makes his point not with lyrics, but his sound.

Other tracks like "III" are similar to the opening one in the sense they offer the softer, more somber side of depressive black metal. In this case, it is just the same piano keys being hit over and over, but instead of being monotonous it is hypnotic, every once in a while breaking the rhythm to keep listeners hooked. The massive epic that is "II" is painful to sit through in the sense that it can be repetitive, save for the softer ambiant parts, but for some reason the closing track "L'esquisse des astres" which is almost just as long makes for a very varied track in how Rokkr structures the guitar notes and tends to skip out on the ambient parts. It leaves a deep mark on the psyche and is twistedly aggressive while keeping the atmosphere of the album as a whole untouched by not feeling out of place.

Rokkr is certainly an artist with his music, and though it can easily be compared to Xasthur's, one could say that Grisatre tended to succeed where the other (and many others) have failed in their music. While many other depressive black metal bands just put out the same album over and over, focusing solely on dissonance and reverb, Rokkr merges classical hauntings with his crushing black metal waves. Even the track listing is unconventional in the way he counts it backwards instead fo forwards (perhaps a countdown to the end of time?). Whatever the reason, those looking for a new way to get disturbed and depressed, or just mellow and zone out, should look to this album for a beautiful experience.

  1. V
  2. IV
  3. III
  4. II
  5. I
  6. L'esquisse des astres

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Feb 18, 2011

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