1 Mar 2016

Wendess: "Nuée Noire"

Immersing themselves in the shadows cast by their predecessors the band emerges victorious
The branch of black metal that usually deals in plus ten minutes tracks, long stretches of highly distorted tremolo riffs, reverbed vocals and monotonous drumming is in some circles frowned upon as an "easy" modus operandi in terms of songwriting. Some bands make it work, and some don't.

Hailing from Québec in Canada, Wendess is in many aspects a traditional atmospheric black metal band with a few depressive themes. Given the city's rich scene of bands like Gris, Sombres Forêts, Forteresse and many MANY more, that's hardly cutting it in its own right. It's hard to put your finger on what exactly it is that works for Wendess. Like many of their local brethren their focus lies with oppressive melancholic feelings invoked by pained vocals and a foggy atmosphere created by heavy ambience. The contrast between the sporadic cadences of clean guitars and chaotic cacophonies of traditional black metal shredding is, and this goes without saying, almost obligatory. But ever-present is the subtle impression of craftsmanship; A fleeting spell of savory charisma.

Wendess is one of those bands that master the transitions from violence and aggression to grand soundscapes painted with broad strokes of the thickest brush, with a hint of elegance. Just when you thought the trio had come short as they turned down the scenic route they cross over into new winding trails, always building and building. And they do so without cutting corners.

"...the rigidity of their complexion is as fitting a criteria for the definition of their character as a band as any."

"Nuée Noire" offers just over one hour of sombre tunes for the listener to enjoy. The production work is as crystal clear and necessarily gritty as it needs to be, when it needs to be. It's a crowded scene, but comparing them to the likes of Ash Borer and Fell Voices, or Monarque and Sorcier des Glaces, is needless. There are definite similarities, true, but that profound readiness of disposition and the rigidity of their complexion is as fitting a criteria for the definition of their character as a band as any.


Released in 2011 by Self Mutilation Services

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