With my recent interest in metal noir Quebecois such as Forteresse and Neige et Noirceur, I managed to chance upon Csejthe, with Reminiscence being the band’s second full length effort, coming in four long years after their debut release in 2009.
The sounds of a church organ greet the listener as album opener Oraison places the listener into the setting of an abandoned chapel, and one instinctively knows that things aren’t quite as soothing as it seems to be with haunting chants at the background boding ill. With an album title like Reminiscence, one would expect the music here to be somewhat melancholic, and as soon as the title track begins right after the intro, this is immediately evident. Perhaps unsurprisingly as well, the melancholic and somewhat depressive riffs and melodies that are unleashed by Bardunor and Strigat, along with the thick fog that shrouds the music, one is quickly reminded of their compatriots such as Forteresse and Gris, leaving one in cold and bleak desolation. The riffing styles that are utilised and the heavy emotions that are on the album at times even cause one to think of Aussies Pestilential Shadows and Drowning the Light. Bardunor’s lead guitar lines on the album also often serve to help to reinforce the emotional aspects of the music, highlighting the melody and progression of the songs on the album.
Drummer Fiel, who is also a part of Forteresse, displays quite a different style of drumming over here, and the majestic style that he uses on Reminiscence even brings in a slight Bathory touch. With this combination of an epic backdrop, along with the despondency that is so prevalent throughout the album, one can’t help but relate this to the recent Imperium Dekadenz release, though Csejthe‘s craft is certainly much more raw, at least in terms of production, compared to the aforementioned.
Each of the songs on Reminiscence are carefully and masterfully crafted, and the heavy atmosphere provides some sense of mystique to the music, allowing the listener to easily get lost on this beautiful journey that Csejthe has created. The epic closing track, Chant des Martyres is the personal highlight of the album, with the instrumental track allowing the listener to truly, and fully soak in the atmosphere of the record without any other distractions, ending the album on a high note.