“Cantiques Funebres”

By Dr. Abner Mality

The frost will be on the pumpkin and a cold moon in the sky when you listen to this, even if you’re in the dog days of August. We all know by now that black metal is associated with themes of cold and described as being “freezing” and “frosty”. A lot of times that’s just talk, but one man French outfit Nazrak really does summon up the feeling of a dead forest on a winter night.

This is not overly ambitious and has its flaws, but is overall pleasing for those who like cold atmosphere and melody  Only four of the six songs here are guitar oriented black metal, but those songs really ooze that 90’s haunted BM atmosphere. “Le fantome et le mortel” kicks off with riffing that would have any evil panda weeping with joy. When the synth chimes in, it distracts a bit from the metal side of the band but still keeps that eerie aura.  “St. Jean de la Porte” is a slower, more measured epic with some acoustics but not bad at all. The real corker is “Sapaudia”…the riff on this is so pure, so classically black metal that it cannot be denied. You’ll need to wear a parka while listening to it.

The record wraps up with a restrained synth soundscape that is still pretty eerie. Nothing here is too long winded or repetitive…it does the job in 36 minutes. A nice little black metal release in the traditional style!