Album Review: NON SERVIAM - Le Cœur Bat

Artist: Non Serviam Album: Le Coeur Bat Genre: Experimental/Industrial Extreme Metal Review by Alex Logan

Systematic paranoia, governmental denial and religious overreach are all facets that are increasingly becoming a source of discomfort in society today. The collapse of once ‘impenetrable’ systems are a stark reality – as decades of institutional bureaucracy crumble within months. Divisive governing domestically and internationally destabilise communities – truth sold for sovereignty. Individual agnosticism and atheism ascends as educational, legal, political and medical structures are permanently anaesthetised by biblical falsehoods. While 2020 provides the perfect platform for the reformation of the old world into a new world, for decades, once-fringe groups hanging in the shadows by multi-factored climates are now rejoicing in renewed support and understanding. Derived from hardcore punk roots and a distain for compositional expectation, anonymous extreme metal collective Non Serviam was initially born as one man project from the south of France in the early 2000’s. Over the decades, the addition of like-minded individuals from different spheres that contributed corresponding thoughts and sounds into the audio and idealistic spectrum slowly came to fruition. Now based in Paris and fuelled by an abomination of discontent towards societal, moral and religious normality, new album ‘Le Coeur Bat’ highlights the growth from a static electro and noise project to a dynamic force unleashing stubborn layers of extreme metal glossed with industrial, experimental and complex arrangement. Title track, standout track and 25 minute extraordinaire ‘Le Coeur Bat’ encompasses a divergent form of extreme sounds. Female-spoken samples creep as lo fi screams penetrate the foreground that set the framework of intriguing segments of genre rabbit-hole diving. The uncharacteristic song structure challenges the traditional songwriting canvas. Samples intertwine with the vast array of trip hop hints, as its ugliness defines its audible beauty. The interlude featuring a rare Grand Droit Pleyel 1926 piano provides a new door in the soundscape and lightly simmers the gunshot explosion that engulfs the first ‘fresh breath of air’ awe-inspiringly. Reminiscent of Pentemple, it is a distressing energy of unfiltered and unrelenting blackened chaos that disturbs the most warped in a circus-like myriad of enchanting trance. In what would pulsate the demeanour of the average mind schizophrenically, the creative and musical spectrum shines throughout. Engaging lyrically with challenging viewpoints, eerie voices entwined with horror synth descend to fade as the onslaught ceases.

Unsettling and deprived of noise cleanliness, ‘Infanticide’ holds core value with the band’s name.

Starting with whispering excerpts, the percussion and choir sample synth drive the resolute song structure. The vocal work becomes more illuminating through the emotional semblance of the message, with imperial delivery echoing its strength. Robust passages of hollow-Cradle of Filth creep through towards the end, concluding with a strong fuse of industrial-tinged experimental blackened metal. The smartly titled ‘Nights in Black Masses (Interlude)’ provides temporary safe haven from the barbaric volume through a melting pot of folk-tinged horror movie-inspired samples truly designed to unsettle from a distance.

‘What would be left of this world if we took serious revenge?’ The promotional pre-tense of ‘Salem’ is asynchronous with a fierce and unrelenting alternative method for anarchy. Distorted from inception, raw black metal features delectably with tempo changes ineffective in reducing its ferociousness. The use of samples provide a welcome rebuild of attack and slaughter - aiding and embedding dominant re-education philosophies. Its explosive wisdom is captivating to the very end. Gothic infused fear with dystopian agility - that’s the best way to describe ‘S’Evaporer (Instrumental)’. With ambiguous haunting and unnerving undertones, the message that pops into this writer’s head is ‘Change is upon the receiver. Those not on board will suffer’. Take that as you will. The soundscape is sample-driven with string accompaniment with an abnormal atmosphere consuming every last being. Riding on the winds of the potential destruction of the global guard witnessed by those who built it, ‘I Watch You From Afar’ is deafening through random swings of intensity mixed with punk-driven percussion. With rare glimpses of melody, a dominant guitar shriek and clean riffage, penetrating double kick notches the intensity up another level through to a surprisingly calm fade out.

It’s unusual to find covers that stretch back its originality over 100 years. Next up, we are treated to a trip down history’s lane as we are presented with a reinterpretation of an anonymous Italian traditional anarchist song from 1901. ‘Inno Individualista (Cover)’ is chaotic with ever-tormenting vocals allowing the short three minute spectacle to become a burst of convulsing energy.

Each song on the album finishes on any exact minute– except ‘Je Contre (Demo)’. The final track, which concludes 18 seconds after the 9 minute mark, is an ideological speciality. Industrial and ear-splitting, it aims to reignite thought from the depths of ages between perspectives held by Roman lyric poet Horace and Belgian-born writer Henri Michaux. Rather uplifting and bright to start, strong samples take the leading hand as an array of instruments immerse the space. The inquisitive nature of thematic, ideology and audible interpretations is a pleasing puzzle through to finality.

The obscure approach, in a collective context, of having an interlude, instrumental, cover and demo on an album release encapsulates what Non Serviam are trying to achieve in its anarchical, protest music. The anonymity the collective enshrouds itself within allows for an uncompromising approach to controversial topics that the world we currently know hunts to be eliminated and suppressed. Whether new or old guard, the despondency to follow the rule of the letter makes 'Le Coeur Bat’ essential entropic listening. Drenched in neurodiversity, this release is the spectral cross-pollination of extreme noise, eclectic electronica, investigational raw black metal and psychosis-inducing doomed sludge.

Think outside the square you live in. That’s what happens in the new world.

Le Coeur Bat will be released on 2 September 2020

Non Serviam Bandcamp:

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