France continues its domination of all things heavy with Aussitôt Mort, which is evidently French for “as soon as dead.” This quintet from Caen plays post-hardcore, post-metal, post-whatever you want to call it. Some reference points might be the melodicism of Hot Cross with the rolling 6/8 grooves of Burst and the atmospherics of fellow countrymen Year of No Light. 6 Songs (Level Plane, 2007) adds two tracks to their phenomenal four-song demo, which Level Plane released last year on 12″.

Aussitôt Dort, Aussitôt Mort

This EP is an incredibly mature debut. The tracks are melodic, yet drop little bends and dissonance here and there. A nicely natural recording captures the fluid, organic drum work. The lyrics are in French, though the band’s website provides some English translations. Despite the screamed vocals, the French very much comes through, and it’s a delight to hear. You’ll be yelling “Percuté” even if you have no idea what it means (Babelfish says “struck”?).

I usually don’t use this word in reviews, but here it is: emotional. Even at their heaviest, Aussitôt Mort are full of subtle, poignant twists. Dig the downward spiraling notes and clashing sword sounds (or is that some sort of funky cymbal?) in “Aussitôt Dort, Aussitôt Mort” – these are the small moments that stick for days. The packaging is lovely, printing the lyrics inside an environmentally friendly recycled cardboard sleeve, with vegetable-based gold ink and no use of glue. Of course, six songs is short, and I have no doubt that when these guys put out a full-length, it’ll be tout-puissant.

For whatever reason, Level Plane’s distro, 29North Records, is “closed for the season.” Interpunk carries both the 6 Songs CD and the 12″ demo, though currently the CD is out of stock. Very and RevHQ carry the 12″. In Europe, the CD is available for 6 euros from Paranoid.