Grimoire are a Canadian atmospheric black metal band formed by Fiel (notably of Csejthe and Fortresse) in 2010. The follow up to 2011’s debut À La Lumière Des Cendres, Grimoire’s latest EP, L’Aorasie Des Spectres Rêveurs, is far from being the most original release out there. In many cases this would be a problem, however L’Aorasie… is a wonderfully dreamlike black metal release that manages to capture and transport the listener through its ethereal atmosphere like great atmospheric black metal should, and it is something that elevates Grimoire from its current crop of competitors.
The EP features a wonderful sense of pacing with three very hauntingly emotive black metal tracks and a closing ambient track. The black metal tracks feature expertly intertwined sharp guitar lines and dreamy, almost maudlin, synths; something which is surprisingly unusual in the genre due to one instrument usually drowning out the other. The vocals are varied and compliment the guitars and synths perfectly with Fiel incorporating the usual black metal rasp along with choral vocals, and another style that can only be described as ‘longing cries’ (such as during Tragédie Des Ombres). One slight critique would be that the bass is not very present in the mix, however this has come to be expected in black metal. The drum performance more than makes up for this however, and is fantastic throughout, featuring more than your usual blast-beat black metal affair, however this is not at all surprising as Fiel has come to be known in the scene for his drum performances in the aforementioned Csejthe and Fortresse.
For a short release of such a high quality it’s hard to pick a highlight, and ideally this EP should be listened to in full for best effect. However, a special mention must go to the final two tracks (alternatively, Side B), Cachot De Cristal and Cantilène Céleste, with the former being possible the best example of Grimoire’s wonderfully nocturnal, dreamlike atmosphere and is not unlike a heavier Alcest, while the latter is a beautiful ambient track featuring only choral vocals that brings the EP to a wonderful close. L’Aorasie Des Spectres Rêveurs is an absolutely beautiful release that improves with every listen and is a definite highlight of 2015 thus far. Hopefully we will be seeing big things from Grimoire in the future, as everything is already in place.