In Quebec there is a band called Entheos who we have covered a few times at Invisible Oranges. Their modernist black metal feature harmonies which dazzle and chords unknown to the style (but maybe closer to jazz, a style which I'm certain at least one member studied or studies), making them a welcome addition to the more nostalgic, emotive partition of Quebecois black metal which also gave us Gris, Sombres Forêts, and Miserere Luminis than the more nationalist faction which gets more underground attention these days, but before Entheos there was another band.

Givre initially existed until 2014, releasing a single album in 2010 before changing their name and concept to the aforementioned Entheos. It's difficult to say exactly what happened this year which would change that without asking the artists, but 2021 marked this band's return; now Givre and Entheos exist side by side, an expanded timeline of concepts, compositional techniques, and sounds now existing simultaneously. Now releasing their first album since 2010's ...et dans l'absurde, nous pourrirons, Givre's original lineup return is marked with religious iconography, progressive sounds, and nostalgia for a time which now seems so much longer ago.

Describing Givre's sound is difficult if just because it is so distant from the black metal genre to which they call home. For the most part, upcoming album Le Pressoir mystique -- referring to Christ in a wine press -- relies heavily on ethereal arpeggios (the separation of chords into individual notes and playing them in sequence) and a heavy sense of atmosphere to create a more progressive soundscape. Sure, there are harsh vocals and even blast beats here and there, but the more plodding approach here is different from, well, black metal. I am reminded of, in parallel, fellow scenemates Gris' transcendence into something beyond black metal in their last album, and, to cite an example, the traditionally melismatic moments in album closer "Adieu ces Bons Vins de Lannoys" which feature a clear, sung voice in a traditional chant fashion (think the Hilliard Ensemble's approaches to Early Western music more than Gregorian chant) show Givre approaching new genre territory. Is it black metal? Does it matter? Listen to Le Pressoir mystique in full below.

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Le Pressoir mystique releases tomorrow on Fólkvangr Records and Winter Sky Records.

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