Per Aspera Ad Pestilentiam
Review by Felix on May 22, 2019.
The last album of Forteresse has set the bar very high for each and every related album from Quebec. Délétère accept the challenge and their new EP almost sounds like the continuation of "Thèmes pour la rébellion". The intro describes a creepy medieval scene, but the four regular tracks do not differ that much from the songs of the aforementioned album. Of course, Délétère's first full-length also offered long songs with constantly flowing guitar lines, but the boisterous production gave the album a slightly questionable individuality. Per Aspera ad Pestilentiam is less blustering. Its well balanced sound matches my expectations. The drums, to give just one example, have a better standing than they had on the debut. Indeed, the production of the here presented EP fits the musical approach.
The duo celebrates its style abundantly. Almost jubilant yet dark, comprehensible but not primitive and vibrant yet nearly hypnotic leads characterize the EP. The average length of six minutes sets the perfect frame for this stream of powerful melodies which are accompanied by mostly fast rhythms. Moreover, a gloomy aura is omnipresent. It is, for example, not only the atmospheric beginning of "IV - Milites Pestilentiae II: De Violatione Ciuitatis Febilis Dei" that sends shivers down your spine. The entire track, equipped with a further ghostly break, spreads frightening vibes - without neglecting the hymnal element of the formation's music. However, it does not really make sense to pick out single tracks. All songs after the intro reveal the mighty, majestic and "Quebec-loyal" approach of Délétère.
As is often the case, one can discuss about the vocals. Call them monotonous, harsh or aggressive, it doesn't matter. I admit that they do not shine with an overdose of variability, but we are not in the opera, we are listening to a black metal opus. Therefore, I do not have any problems with the hoarse and energetic vocals. They are another prominent feature of the compositions. By contrast, the keyboards have an assisting function. They are there, but all songs, especially the ingenious "II - Le lai de la vermine" are driven by the brilliant guitar work. So I have good news; in comparison with Les heures de la peste, the band has taken a big step up the ladder - in technical and in musical terms. I am sure that Délétère can become a highly appreciated part of the legion that spreads the more or less unique sound of Quebec's metal scene all over the world. They just have to preserve their quality level while staying immune to immature experiments or external influences. Honestly speaking, I still want to hear more of Délétère.
Rating: 8.9 out of 10