Angellore – Errances

Take the mournful melancholy of Saturnus’ guitars, the melodic taste and use of vocals of Draconian, the poignant violin of early My Dying Bride and a splash of post metal a la Alcest; mix carefully et voila, the dish containing perfect gothic doom is served. Easy, you will say, not so easy, I will add: we have lost count of the number of bands that in recent years, despite having the right ingredients have produced bland or, even worse, inedible dishes, releasing albums that, at best, turned out to be faded copies of the originals. Fortunately, this is not the case for Angellore, who with Errances prove that they know how to handle the material with due mastery by offering us a record of very high value that, while inevitably paying dues to the aforementioned bands, dribbles with ease the possible risk of appearing a trivial copy-paste. The French duo, made up of Walran and Rosarius, has been active since 2007 and in this its first long-distance release has taken up and reworked most of the songs featured in the various demos, ep and split albums released to date; for the occasion the line-up has been completed with the permanent entry of drummer Ronnie and with the help of guests on female vocals and violin. The album opens with Dans Les Vallées Éternelles, which, after just a few notes, leaves no doubt about the band’s natural inclination to create glimpses of oppressive melancholy and, like the subsequent Tears Of Snow, constitutes a sort of musical manifesto for the band. I Am The Agony is a song in pure Draconian style, where the typical contrast between extreme scores and growls and more relaxed moments with clean vocals, including female vocals, appears anything but obvious thanks to the mastery the French guys show in creating catchy melodies that are never banal, while Weeping Ghost is, in chronological order, the first song of the band to be released and perhaps, because of this, it suffers from a certain lack of fluidity in the transition between acoustic and electric parts. Errance is a short semi-acoustic interlude that introduces …Where Roses Never Die… which, being the only unreleased track to appear on the record, allows us to take a snapshot of how Angellore’s sound has evolved from its beginnings to the present day: the piece shows an orientation toward a more rarefied form of dark especially in its coda with an interesting use of vocals. Shadow Of Sorrow closes the work in a great way, re-presenting in a more decisive way the post metal influences already scattered earlier and blending them superbly, leaving us with the pleasant feeling of having discovered another band capable of giving us great satisfaction. As already mentioned, not only on the occasion of this work, but also for many other releases in the doom field, the search for the new at any cost turns out to be a cloying exercise when faced with compositions that are satisfying for those who appreciate this genre built on notes cloaked in melancholic sadness. Certainly this is the kind of album I would have liked to hear from Draconian after The Burning Halo, precisely because in Errances they do not indulge in more enjoyable but less emotionally impactful solutions as, on the other hand, the Swedish band has chosen to do with more recent releases. Considering the still young age of ours and the potential expressed in this collection of songs, it is fair to expect from Angellore, already with the next release, a confirmation of the talents already exhibited and, why not, a further leap in quality: the competition is strong and numerous but the qualities to rout the field are all there.

2012 – DreamCell 11 Entertainment 2013 – Shunu Records