01. Quasar
02. Au Sol Les Toges Vides
03. Le Repos Du Lezard
04. Oracle Rouge
05. Marche Silencieuse
06. L' homme Et La Brume
07. Aux Mille Dieux
08. Nos Sages Divisen

Slo: Guitars/Drums/Vocals/Keyboards
Camille: Bass

Nova Persei (2007)
Smolensk Combustion (2006)

Oscar Martin


Released 13/10-2011
Reviewed 22/11-2011

arx productions

Avantgarde Metal from France, with that I don’t need to write anything more about how the band sounds. Smohalla as they call themselves does not seem to mean anything and the album title does not really need any explanation I think. The song titles are in french which is a bit fun and a little odd, the album cover looks quite interesting and exciting. There are several things speaking for this album when one looks at it and reads information and reviews as this album has really been receiving rave reviews from almost everywhere. There are a few that is not as überpositive as many seems to be towards this album but I assume that the band feel very pleased with how their album as been received by the press. Other than that I do not really think there is that much to say about this album to be honest, it is from a french band on a tiny label and all of that, it has a promising look the question is though if it can deliver on par with that look.

The music is atmospheric I would say, layered with a feel of vagueness so it is hard to find something to grab on to. I would say that this is not the easiest of albums to take on to, it requires both time and the right person to be really appreciated I think. The vocals range from choirs to deep dark growls and most of the time it is completely impossible to make out anything they are singing, maybe because it is in french and maybe because the growls are so dark and so far back in the mix that you just can’t make it out and that may have been the intention. It is a bit like a spaced out adventure, maybe through the solar system, maybe around the Sahara Desert inside a scorpion’s belly, I don’t know but it is a progressive, atmospheric kind of black metal. This album contains eight tracks and it will take you just over 45 minutes to play through, so around the solar system in three quarters of an hour can be a decent description of what we have here.

Is it as good as all reviewers say then? No! It is not that good, it has many good elements though, the atmosphere is really good and exciting, the choirs and almost haunting feel that the songs put out is very good. It is in many way like a dream, or a nightmare, hard to grab onto and at the same time very exciting, a difficult but in many ways good album I would say. I think the track Oracle Rouge is the best track on the album because it grabs me every time I get to it and it is really exciting, it also feels like it has a direction and is moving in that direction.

The latter is much more than you can say of the rest of the album, I think that is the main problem of this album. It is not going anywhere, it starts and ends in the same place and the journey is going in random direction to and fro before it ends up where it started, Resilience is an album that is isn’t really getting anywhere. It is in a good starting place, an exciting place which makes it approved or quite good anyway but it is not that eye opener or that album which catches you off guard and gives you that little extra. I would have to say though that this kind of music is not really my favourite and the reviews would point towards the fact that this album is great for those of you who like this kind of music, for me it is a little too vague to be really good.

So an album with many good elements and something probably likened by the fans of the genre but for me it is only alright as it has a great atmosphere but nothing more and the growls are utterly useless as well, they sound like vomit. Other than vomit vocals which fortunately are not that common on this album it is a great album for background music because the atmosphere is brilliant, the songs and the direction of the album is not as brilliant. Maybe they should look for a navigator the next time around because this would have been really good had it been going anywhere. A good album that does not really grab me.



Label: Arx Productions
Three similar bands: Blut Aus Nord/Arcturus/Ulver
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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