The French Wedding In Hades come to their second long-distance effort under the auspices of BadMoodMan, a label affiliated with Solitude and, therefore, synonymous with absolute quality. Misbehaviour does not disappoint expectations, presenting a band capable of weaving musical textures constantly poised between death doom and gothic, in the wake of what My Dying Bride did, particularly in the first part of their career. After all, when commenting on new releases in this field, the name of Aaron Stainthorpe’s band is often mentioned, but not always on purpose; in this case, however, a track like Forsaken, which opens the record in a big way, immediately brings one back to the atmosphere of As The Flower Withers, complete with an “a cappella growl” similar to the one present in the magnificent Sear Me. In the next track, Men To The Slaughter, a melodic vein more akin to Saturnus emerges, while Sleeping Beauty is clearly reminiscent of Type 0 Negative, not least because of the clean vocals with a similar approach to that of the late Peter Steele; this shows that the transalpine band is by no means limited to slavishly following a single stylistic model, trying instead to rework in a way that is anything but obvious what has been produced in the past by the best-known names in the scene. Operation that succeeds perfectly with Dust In A Stranger’s Eyes, a track that is nothing short of superlative with diluted and melancholic atmospheres, and Regrets, with a beautiful piano to embellish a musical texture burdened with sadness. The One To Blame appears as the only questionable moment because of its brutal accelerations that clash with what is heard in the rest of the album; things come back into place with the dreamy and delicate Almost Living and with the reprise of Men To The Slaughter, which worthily closes a work of fine quality. Wedding In Hades confirms the good impressions aroused with the previous Elements Of Disorder by landing on a refined gothic doom perfectly in the groove of the genre’s tradition; the French quartet’s instrumental proof is impeccable, as well as S.Toutain’s performance behind the microphone is convincing both with growl and when he tries his hand at clean vocals, although in the latter case the English pronunciation is revisable due to the persistence of a strong French-speaking accent. Nothing that can invalidate, more than that, an album that deserves to find a prominent place in the collection of those who are constantly looking for excitement in music.

2012 – BadMoodMan Music