"Chapelle Ardente"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Canada - while being home to metal legends VOIVOD, stalwarts RAZOR and GORGUTS, to say nothing of the Alberta black metal stronghold – has never been well-known for its contribution to doom. Enter Montreal, QC’s CAUCHEMAR, hoping to bring a little doom from the Great White North down upon our sun-baked heads. 

Debut EP La Vierge Noire and 2013’s Tenebrario, both found on the ridiculously prolific Nuclear War Now imprint, didn’t do anything to tie my noose as far as originality, that’s for doom sure. The fire just wasn’t there. And thus, onward to Chapelle Ardente. Beginning with a clear AC/DC-influenced toll of the bell, Annick’s vocals (sung in French, natch) more moan than intone over the loping groove of ‘Necromancie’, while ‘Sepolta Viva’ latches onto a could-be-VAN HALEN-could-be-early-WIDOW riff and just. will. not. stop. Sometimes this works to a band’s advantage, but here it just seems like so much 4th-tier mimicry. I’ve heard bands of teenagers with more passion, quite frankly, and it should be embarrassing to CAUCHEMAR. Need a nice nap? Experiencing insomnia? Give ‘Voyage Au Bout De La Nuit’ a spin, and prepare to be bored to sleep, the lazy drumming and sluggish guitars stumbling beneath lyrics delivered under the influence of a litre of NyQuil. NWN!, are you so in need of a doom band that you’ll accept this pandering shite on a shingle as worthy of release? Not being one for creating false hope, I’ll go ahead and let you reading this know, ‘Etoile D’Argent’ could’ve been any one of the other eight tracks found on Chappelle Ardente, and I wouldn’t have known. 

Zero variation in guitar tone. A drummer with all the urgency of a comatose sloth. A “singer” with the vocal range of Stephen Hawking, all converging to live up to their name.

Well, you’ve done it, CAUCHEMAR. You’re a nightmare.