Record Label: Norma Evangelium Diaboli
France is the birthplace of one of the most profound modern day underground Black Metal scenes. They have managed to take the genre a step further through vast experimentation with bands like Peste Noire and Deathspell Omega, inspiring a whole new generation of bands throughout the world. Somewhere there, under a cloak of darkness, you will find Drastus, an innovative one man Black Metal band that stands out from the rest of the bunch.
Drastus through hard work have managed to capitalize all the elements that make the French scene so unique, along with some Icelandic influences from the likes of Svartidauði, and present them to us through their latest release “La Croix de Sang”. An album with a spirit shrouded in darkness, a combination of complex compositions and showcase of skillful writing, is without a doubt a step further from their debut album. Specifically, the installation of intricate drumming, that lacked from their previous work, along with being very meticulous to every little detail, lifts the album up to a whole new level of existence.
The album kicks off with “Nihil Sine Polum”, an outstanding album opener that sets the dark tone of the album from the beginning, with high pitched vocals before concluding with some amazing tremolo picked guitars. Coming up next, “Ashura”, comes crushing in with a wave of intensity explosion, ominous vocals and blast beats appearing out of nowhere. “Crawling Fire” demonstrates everything this album has to offer creating a frightening atmosphere in agony. The combination of harsh and clean vocals works exceptionally well with the seething guitar riffs to produce a stunning result.
“The Crown of Death” is a continuation of the frightening experience that the previous introduced us into. Groaning riffs, clean vocals and masterful showcase of complex drumming make this track one of the standouts. “Hermetic Silence” is an instrumental track providing the album with ambience and mystical atmosphere, while also enabling the listener to contemplate upon what has passed and what’s yet to come. The last fifteen minutes are a great unification of two prolific tracks that make for a perfect epilogue. “Occisor” is my personal favorite, with jaw dropping ceremonial chants, thunderous riffs and piercing menacing aura. To finish it off, “Constrictor Torrents” is a multi-layered dark track that takes you away from reality to a trip of finding your inner-self.
In conclusion, this album is a journey full of thrilling moments, filled with variety bringing forth a modern style of Black Metal full of aggression. A very professional production complements the album’s elements and dynamic tempo changes very well, while the lyrical themes consist of occultism, cosmos and death. Drastus have managed to take their place in the French elite and is a band that will definitely concern us in the years to come.
Drastus “La Croix de Sang” – Full Album