L’Homme Absurde - Monsters (2016, Fono Ltd.)
Sold as a Post Black Metal album, Monsters by the Russians of L’Homme Absurde, a concept borrowed from Albert Camus, is a Melodic Post Black Metal cum Blackgaze etc. This record enters well into the genre that links Locrian, Deafheaven, and Ashbringer. It captures this melodic melted with shoegaze craze that Sunbather unleashed upon our world of American Black Metal that is not in the vein of the Second Wave or the Scandinavian Black Metal. L’Homme Absurde was at first a one man band formed by drummer A. (Mare Infinitum, Who Dies In Siberian Slush, Comatose Vigil) in 2015 and in 2016 joined by Georgiy Bykov (Mare Infinitum also) and Isod on the guitars and Yuri S. handling the bass.
With the ‘’hipster’’ Black Metal approach of Blackgaze and the Progressive latter Enslaved album, especially the song ‘’Strayed’’, L’Homme Absurde goes a long way in making those sweeping guitars and the intense blast beats sections. They have a sound that is respectable in the form that they make it, crisp, clean, aggressive, and screeching while bearing a simple beauty of the clean guitars. The downfall here is the comparisons and the album length.
The comparisons to the plethora of Blackgaze acts is endless and the progressive touch also suffers from being a bit out there. You can pin point the bands that influence L’Homme Absurde. It also scares me a bit that this kind of Black Metal will feel very dated and trendy ten years from now.
My other preoccupation with this album is its length; 51 minutes in eight songs it is long. The album also feels long and drags here and there. There are repetitions from songs to songs and despite great ideas they are not edited and this makes it suffer at the end.
With all that said, Monsters is still a piece of well executed Blackgaze from talented musicians. A producer that would be able to slim down their music could elevate their compositions to a whole new level. It is solid and effective but not outstanding.