It is not a novelty to note that the French extreme scene is probably the one with the highest number of bands able to propose sounds outside the box, managing to combine originality and effectiveness. In the mid-90s, in the lands beyond the Alps, Misanthrope and Elend, albeit on different stylistic levels, already put widely on display that experimental nature that would lead a few years later names such as Blut Aus Nord and Deathspell Omega to be placed as tips of a movement, broadly defined as avant-garde black metal. Ars Moriendi, one man band of Clermont Ferrand, active for over a decade and arrived with La Singulière Noirceur D’un Astre to the third album, can somehow be approached for moods and sounds to the first two bands mentioned, in the light of a strong versatility combined with a melodic taste of the first order, even if, in fact, in many passages appears quite evident especially the closeness with the German Nocte Obducta. Arsonist proves to be able to amalgamate the roughness of black, indeed not too pronounced, with a progressive nature from the dark tints reaching the result, anything but obvious, to exhibit a certain variety of schemes without this being, at the same time, too clever. The album consists of five long tracks, quite different from each other in style and moods, among which stands the episode that most recalls the band of Mainz, De Ma Dague…, which earns honorable mention for its flow, with good fluidity, between atmospheric scores based on liquid notes of guitar and controlled acceleration driven by the harsh voice, but expressive, of the French musician. But La Singulière Noirceur D’un Astre is really much more than a simple game of references: Arsonist makes his creature live widely of its own light, passing seamlessly from fragments of minimalism to large atmospheric openings, from ecclesiastical songs to the fury of blast beats, for a kaleidoscopic exhibition of unquestionable compositional talent. The third album of Ars Moriendi is certainly not easy to enjoy but it does not present, on the other hand, those moments of experimentation as an end in itself of which, often, many abuse to hide a simple lack of ideas. Really an excellent work that could induce several listeners to make a retrospective reconnaissance of the production of the transalpine one man band.
2014 – Archaic Sound