Published Jun 22, 2016Black metal is an inherently rebellious genre: against organized religion, against dominant hegemony, against the sanctity of life itself. Ranging from stark nihilism to deeply embracing Satanism, there is always something black metal is railing against and seeking to overthrow, whether it's gods or governments.
Quebec's Forteresse have taken all the bilious and brimstone-reeking hatred that characterized early Scandinavian black efforts of the early '90s and brings that to bear on a different kind of discontent. Thèmes pour la Rébellion tackles the issue of Quebec seeking independence from the rest of Canada and the resulting conflicts, in particular the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837. The gunfire sampled here is musket fire; the seething anger of this martial, warlike album is deeply personal and immediate.
The songs are sharp and toothsome, with lots of thick and crunchy textures and a curious kind of muscular brutality. There are clever, carefully deployed choral moments, such as on "Là où Nous Allons" and "Par la Bouche de mes Canons," and monologues that feature just the right amount of historical awareness and theatrical flare. It's the narrative that takes Forteresse's classic approach to traditional black metal and makes it fresh again; its smouldering fury and deeply intimate resentment takes that sound and makes it seem dangerous. For that, they should be commended. (Sepulchral Productions, )