öOoOoOoOoOo – 'Samen' (2016)
I thought it was one album everyone already knew about, but I continue to make everyone I know around me discover it. Since the band have announced that they are now working on a new album, it seemed like a good opportunity to write a review about the first amazing effort by the France metal avant-garde band öOoOoOoOoOo.
I must start with the name of the band. It’s a symbol and probably the only universal band name I know (it’s pronounced “Chenille” in French, “Caterpillar” in English. Your auditory experience when you play this opus is superb. It gestates in its’ cocoon and as it cracks open, it then blasts your senses with violence, complexity, humor and even melancholy.
The project was founded by ex-Pinup Went Down vocalist Asphodel and guitarist Baptiste Bertrand. The two talented musicians concocted a metal album that will keep you guessing where it’s going and will do a one-eighty when you’ll think you have figured it out.
The sound is quite good and you can hear everything clearly, but I think the material deserves even more praise. In talking about the composition, the music will stare at you without flinching as it swerves from jazz to power chord rock to black metal. It is a forever-changing organism that emerges from a chrysalis with oil streaked colored metal wings.
And even if the music is meticulously tied together and the guitar riffs are delectable; the show stealer is Asphodel’s voice. Her range is so wide you might not realize that all the voices on the album (with some minor exceptions) are all from her. Clean, poppy, operatic to Growling death notes, throat singing, tribal breathing, black metal raspiness to cute falsetto cartoon character all of them sometime used in the same song. And even with these extremes, it never feels out of place.
So for anyone looking for strange, but accessible madness; go take a dive in the brains of these two talented musicians and resurface a changed human.