Photo courtesy of the artist
Quebec's black metal scene is well-known to be one of the genre's most potent metal hotbeds, thanks largely in part to the efforts of bands like Forteresse, Sombres Forêts, Gris, Csejthe, Neige Éternelle, and an ever-growing younger crop of bands following in their footsteps. Now, five years after their last full-length, the Québécois OGs have returned to claim their throne with a brand-new LP (out June 24 via Sepulchral Productions).
As one might expect, Forteresse's new album is more of the same—that is to say, a masterful melodic black metal onslaught, urged foreward by biting tremolo and an epic, triumphal atmosphere. The political nature of their lyrics also adds an interesting dimension, as the band are self-declared Québécois separatists. I'm not familiar enough with the movement to delve into its mechanics or history, but given the album title—Thèmes pour la Rébellion, i.e. anthems of rebellion—Forteresse's intent here is pretty clear-cut. The first track celebrates the memory of the Patriot's War, a clash between Québécois rebels and British colonial forces, and it only gets more intense from there.
Dig out that high school French textbook, brush up on your accent aigu, and listen to Thèmes pour la Rébellion in its entirety below. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the Québécois political situation, too, as it's a fascinating (and ongoing) example of how a conquered people navigates its Anglo-Saxon colonial hangover.
Also, if you're lucky enough to be in town tonight, swing by their record release show at Quebec City's La Source de la Martinière (details here).