Angellore - Rien Ne Devait Mourir | Album Review

French gothic death/doom metal band Angellore bring us their third full length offering Rien Ne Devait Mourir.

Named after the Tristania song, Angellore create music in a similar vein – gothic, death, doom. They also take influence from funeral doom groups such as Shape of Despair, which is apparent in the slow, drawn out nature of their songs.

Their latest release is noticeably more ambient and atmospheric than previous releases. featuring longer songs (‘A Romance Of Thorns is almost 20 minutes long’) with long, slow introductions to build a sense of mood. There are still some heavier, faster paced moments within these longer tracks however, with double kick drums and harsh vocals.

A blend of 3 vocal styles is used - soprano, bass and death growls. Sometimes these different vocal styles are used in unison, for example on the final track ‘Que les lueurs se dispersent’, where soprano vocals soar over the top of death growls in the typical ‘beauty and the beast’ style as used frequently in death/doom bands. The soprano vocal lines are mostly very melodic and catchy in contrast to the more rhythmic, rumbling death growls. The higher and lower clean vocals are sometimes harmonised together in folk inspired melodies as well.

Barely audible, half-whispered, distraught-sounding clean vocals are used at one point in ‘A Romance of Thorns’, which gives a slightly unsettling, haunting effect. There is also a spoken word section in ‘Drowned Divine’, adding a sense of sorrowful drama. Another vocal highlight is the impressively deep bass vocals on ‘Blood for Lavinia’, one of the shortest songs on the album, it stands alone as a catchy gothic number.

In comparison with the previous record La Litanie des Cendres, on this release the blackgaze influence has all but disappeared, but the tremolo guitar and dreamy ethereal vocals are still here, although this time mainly used for more folky melodies, often alongside violin. There are more harsh vocals and slow mournful guitar lines as well, denoting a bigger death/doom and funeral doom influence.

Atmospheric, calming strings are present throughout a lot of the album. The violin sometimes takes precedence and leads the melody, with session musician Catherine Arquez getting a chance to shine. Occasionally woodwind is also used adding to the folky atmosphere created in some moments. Additional instrumental diversity can be found in ‘Que les lueurs se dispersent’, where eerie organ and glockenspiel make a feature.

Overall this is quite possibly their best album yet, focussing on atmosphere and experimenting with different styles of vocals and instrumentation to great effect. ‘A Romance of Thorns’ and ‘Blood For Lavinia’ are particular highlights, holding their own as individual songs enjoyable both on their own or within the context of the whole album.

Recommended or fans of: Tristania, Draconian, Shape of Despair, Estatic Fear, Saturnus, Empyrium

Score: 9/10

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