Review: “Nervures” by Michel Anoia

The horizon darkens, and the water hardens. The story continues for Michel Anoia on Nervures just as much as it ends, an initiatory journey that has only just begun. From v*olence suffered and acted out, from past experiences to that of the present. The seven songs on Nervures evoke the pangs of guilt and torments the music itself demands. In our relationship with others, whether love or hate, Michel Anoia owns its rage to live and die, an internal combustion engine in the heart of chaos. It’s all about breathing. Everything is just breath.” ~ Michel Anoia

Said to be the third and final album from French Power Violence trio Michel Anoia following 2013’s self titled and 2016’s “Plethora“, the half an hour of power that is “Nervures” is nothing short of a vicious blend of Death Metal, Black Metal, Mathcore and Grindcore, the sonic equivalent of Full Of Hell playing “Under the Running Board” era Dillinger Escape Plan covers in the style of Snorlax. The vocals are a spitting, snarling treat that cause tectonic plate movements on the opposite side of the Globe, while the raw Black Metal guitar tone gives the classic recorded in a Serial Killers basement feel (remember when the Furnace in the basement came to life in Macaulay Culkin’s nightmare in Home Alone? It’s that basement) while the base is huge and funky – and that’s just the opening cut “Nigredo” (Latin for “Blackness“). We’ve taken a minute to translate the song titles like a poorly dubbed foreign film, so feel free to shoot us down in flames should any of the translations be a little left of the mark. “Albedo” (or “Whiteness“) is a short and fast hammer blow of a cut with the drums having a certain amount of volatility to them as if played without a click track, fast and loose which adds to an ominous undercurrent of Acid Jazz that underpins everything despite its vicious leanings and much like the whole of the bands career, their sound is hard to categorise. You might call it Avant-garde Black Metal and there is certainly plenty for fans of Cyclops Cataract and Imperial Triumphant to enjoy here, particularly on the likes of Rubedo or (“Redness“).

The first single was “Nervures” (or “Rib“) which is an intriguing one was it an unpredictable turn around pattern in the riffage that is ever so slightly off kilter, lending itself to a feeling of nausea and displacement while listening, a true psychedelic acid trip that has moments of schizophrenia in it and what could even be a trumpet at one point. It’s dark, bleak and cutting, like an endless sandstorm that starts to tear at unprotected flesh, however despite that there is also a dark beauty to it, like a free flowing Jazz soundscape in New Orleans Happy Hour. The sonic death grip that threatens the bowels is maintained throughout “Suture” (or “a sewn seam“) which is a white knuckle ride in every sense of the word; let go and fall to your death in the endless abyss of the fires below, hold on and your skull may just disintegrate. Chaotic and raw but with more atmosphere “Ibliss” (or “Evil Spirit“) could be a demo from Harms Way, having almost breakdown esq moments between the guttural roars before the oceanic finale that is “L’ombre Et L’errant” (or “The Shadow and The Wanderer“). You can tell that blood, sweat and tears have gone into the making of “Nervures” by the very nature of the beast; the kind of album that is glorious because it has no finesse at all while also having so much nuance and complexity that you’d need a seriously big fishing net to hear it all. After all, even the windswept cliffs on a stormy night with the sea crashing upon the shore is a beautiful scene, even when you look down to see the body of your lover bleeding on the jagged rocks below… [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Nigredo
  2. Albedo
  3. Rubedo
  4. Nervures
  5. Suture
  6. Ibliss
  7. L’ombre Et L’errant

Nervures” by Michel Anoia is out 17th September 2021 and available over at bandcamp.

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