- Year 2017
- Genre Black MetalPost-MetalSludge
- Country France
- Label Deadlight Entertainment
- Rating Solid
France’s Deliverance has gone for as bleak of a sound as possible on their debut full length ‘CHRST’. That may not be that surprising for a band whose first EP was titled ‘Doomsday, Please.’ But it’s clear that they’re well suited for this type of music, which takes elements of sludge and post metal and injects some of black metal’s haunting tonality and jagged vocals for good measure. Spread across six sprawling tracks, Deliverance lets atmosphere build into hypnotic layers that push listeners further and further towards their own demise. It proves to be a little too stretched out at some points with some of the riffs overstaying their welcome, but as a whole ‘CHRST’ still holds plenty of appeal.
It moves at a much slower, methodical pace, and while the layers of sound aren’t quite as overwhelming by comparison the dreary melodic leads get under your skin the longer you listen…
There are quite a few French bands out there doing their best to create bleak and utterly hopeless soundscapes, and this is exactly the type of music Deliverance is going for. Initially the record gives off hints of other French acts like Celeste, but where that group went for chaotic riffing that had more of a hardcore influence the material here feels more firmly rooted in sludge and post metal. It moves at a much slower, methodical pace, and while the layers of sound aren’t quite as overwhelming by comparison the dreary melodic leads get under your skin the longer you listen. That’s not to say that the instrumentals merely follow the same pattern for the entirety of the album and call it a day, as there are a number of passages where the tempo suddenly increases and the riffing takes on a more violent black metal influence. It gives ‘CHRST’ just the right boost of intensity when the music needs it most, and attacks the listener after they’ve been sucked into a hopeless and despaired state. Given the stretched out nature of post metal and sludge Deliverance does run the risk of having riffs that end up feeling a bit repetitive and lose their impact, and there are a few songs where this proves to be true. The Discrucified in particular lets its lead riff wander for a bit longer than it needs to, and there are a few other moments where this also occurs. But the high points are definitely able to overcome this and these songs are able to leave a lasting impression.
Deliverance’s riffs may head into faster black metal territory during key moments, but Pierre Duneau’s vocal work is where much of that influence comes through. Where a lot of sludge chooses to go for low pitched growls and cavernous vocal work, Duneau utilizes a raspy scream that is full of jagged edges. It’s the type of scream that seems to hover over the instrumentation, adding an abrasive feel that’s akin to being dragged across barbed wire. For the type of tonality that the group has gone for throughout ‘CHRST’ that’s definitely appropriate, and the recording gives plenty of space for the vocals to steal the spotlight. The pitch may stick around the same general range for the majority of the album, but it never wavers in intensity and consistently keeps you on your toes.
‘CHRST’ could use a slight bit of trimming, as some of the longest tracks start to feel repetitive, but as a whole Deliverance’s merging of black metal and sludge is still an enticing proposition. Their more controlled and methodical take on this bleak and apocalyptic music delivers a tense atmosphere, and it also leaves plenty of room to further blur the lines between these genres as the band moves forward. France continues to generate groups that have a feel of their own, and Deliverance is another intriguing addition.