Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Citadelle – Citadelle (2016) / 85%

Defend the citadel!

France had one of the best heavy metal scenes in the world during the 80s with bands like Sortilège, ADX, High Power or Vulcain and Citadelle from the Occitanie region worships this sound. A wise decision, if I may say so. This is their debut release, a great demo.

With one of the members of Weird Light (the best doom band to ever exist in France) at the forefront of the band, Citadelle were only destined to greatness. France is of course a country with a long and famous (sometimes infamous) history so it makes sense for the band to use it as their background. This demo is based mostly on the Crusades (as illustrated by the artwork) and it’s more than adequate theme!

After a short introduction, we’re served four portions of high octane heavy metal in French with melodic clean vocals and I’ve been told that they’re an acquired taste by non-francophone people but I personally had no issues with them. I guess it helps when you understand the lyrics… Max is a bit rougher on “Hérétiques” but his delivery is fun and fits the music like a glove.

« Les flammes de l’enfer brûlent au fond de mes yeux! »

They rely on effective, to the point songwriting with bouncy classic metal riffs and the inclusion of well placed solos works well within the songs. They’re not a super technical or complex band, relying more on strong traditional melodies. There’s also some slight folk influences (in a Skyclad kind of way, of course) found in the combination of riffs and vocals. The last track ends with monastic or religious chanting to add a Catholic feel to the tape release.

If you’re a fan of French heavy metal, you’ll definitely enjoy Citadelle. The production is solid, the riffs are pretty fantastic and the theme is spot-on. They’re currently working on their debut album and I have high expectations for it.

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