ARIES
D'Ombres et De Flammes (EP 2015) By xDemoNx

I haven’t seen a cover that beautiful for quite some time now and this will be the first thing that will catch your attention by seeing the quite recent (it was released the 1 of July) EP of Aries. The impressing work of the French painter Théophile Schuler, it presents the transportation of the dead by an angel with that big chariot which is dragged by skeleton horses, an almost classic depiction of the Chariot of Death. Aries is a two member band from France, which was formed during 2015 and “D'Ombres et De Flammes” is their first release which includes four compositions of overall duration of twenty five minutes. After catching my attention with the cover that they chose to have for the EP, it was time to move on to the music part of the album. Although that you might waiting to listen to some kind of epic Black Metal, Aries here are presenting to us a classic, atmospheric, cold, melancholic Black Metal which puts out a sound full of feelings and very intensive images and reminded of their compatriots Celestia and the Norwegians Emperor as also other ones from the French scene.

What is really special in this album is the riffing. The listener will come across the characteristic long, monotonous, high toned riffs, combined with very interesting, fast, typical Scandinavian riffs as also both with some rhythmic or some slower, melodic riffs. In each of their form, the riffs can create various feelings and they create images to the listener, while although they are quite simple regarding their structure, their technic and their inspiration, they achieve to maintain his interest to a high level and to drag him into an intense journey with a lot of feelings and images. By paying a closer attention to the style of the music, the listener can observe a more “sophisticated”, sometimes romantic approach, which is combined very nicely with the violence and the cold feeling of the band’s Black Metal influences. That combination of some totally different feelings and means of expression is offering an interesting final result. The duration of the tracks is long (every track lasts more than six minutes). There are parts which can become quite tedious and repetitive, but overall the structure of the tracks is quite good.

Concerning the technical part of the album, all of the instruments are played quite well, with the guitars to be the ruling instrument and leading the compositions. So, the guitars other times have a cleaner sound and other times a dirtier, while they are good regarding their technic, they have accuracy and passion. They are the ones that create the atmosphere and the feelings of the compositions with their intense and sometimes sharp sound, as also with their sentimental style of playing. The work that has also been done for the bass is quite good. On one hand it is very intense and gives a quite dark and obscure touch to the compositions, while on the other hand it fills the sound very well. The drums are fast and powerful, but sometimes they become quite repetitive. Surely though, they are played with passion and power, but also with accuracy. The vocals are very weird, harsh but strangling vocals, they sound like they are coming out of a dark, obscure creature and it absolutely fits the music. The production is somehow flat and it doesn’t give to the music the depth that it needs, so the sound that is coming out is clean but without depth. The mixture is very good as it has the appropriate balance between the instruments. The thing that could have been worked more is the massive and solid sound of the compositions. Finally, the lyrics are contained in the cd and they are written in French and I don’t know what they refer to.

To sum up, I think that the first attempt of Aries is quite good. For sure they step on structures and melodies which will sound to you familiar but the band has achieved to use those influences with creativity and to add its special character and its personal element. It is an album addressed to every Black Metal fan and surely it worth to support another talented band which is trying alone without the support of any label. The album has been released into digital form and into cd limited to one hundred copies. Buy it.

1. D'Ombres et De Flammes 06:45
2. Souvenir du pays de France 06:10
3. Poussières de Renaissance 06:47
4. Hyperborée 05:38