Album Review – Seventh / Vacarme (2020)

Let your soul be consumed by the atmospheric music crafted by this amazing Canadian act, exploring psychological distress, mental disorder and how some individuals will benefit from committing immoral acts to escape reality.

Hailing from the always amazing Québécois independent metal scene, the Atmospheric/Post-Black Metal act that goes by the straightforward name of Seventh might have started their path not a long time ago, being formed in 2016 in the charming Quebec City, Canada, but they’ve managed to put out already two full-length album, those being their 2017 debut effort Limbes, and their newborn spawn Vacarme now in 2020. Recorded at La Boîte Noire Studio in Quebec City with François C. Fortin, and featuring a Stygian artwork by Canadian illustrator Philippe D’Amours linking all the songs together to represent escapism and abandonment for a better realm, Vacarme explores psychological distress, mental disorder and how some individuals will benefit from committing immoral acts to escape reality, all embraced by the massive wall of atmospheric sounds crafted by Jean-Fred Gauvin on vocals, Olivier Falardeau on the guitars, Martin Lessard on bass and Alex “Blaireau” Bernatchez on drums.

The guitar lines by Olivier arise to the sound of a ticking clock in the intro Synthèse, building a strong atmosphere for the band to crush our senses with Echoes and its psychological lyrics growled by Jean-Fred (“Here come all the signs stranding from the mind / To keep death in motion redefined / Held inside I hear it loud and clear / Like a raging storm of noise that bleeds out all my dopamine”) in a fulminating display of Atmospheric Black Metal with a stunning acoustic ending. Then without wasting any time the quartet pierces our souls with Hundred Winters, where the blast beats by Alex walk hand in hand with the Black Metal riffage by Olivier, and the music keeps growing in intensity, darkness and fury until the very end led by the always anguished gnarls by Jean-Fred; and get ready to bang your heads in the name of darkness together with Seventh in The Gift of Death, where Olivier and Martin slash their strings in great fashion, bringing elements of Doom Metal to their already heavy-as-hell sonority.

Serene and melodious lines permeate the air in the bridge titled Bloom, before they come back in full force with Lust, with its over six minutes of grim and mesmerizing passages showcasing another amazing job done by Olivier on the guitars while Alex keeps pounding his drums like a beast in an exciting depiction of what the music by Seventh is all about, whereas those four metallers are ready to smash us like insects In the nine-minute aria Disheartened, a lecture in Atmospheric Black Metal made in Canada presenting elements from what we like to call “Métal Noir Québécois”. Moreover, Jean-Fred is absolutely demonic on vocals, accompanied by the strident riffs by Olivier and the thunderous bass by Martin. And another stylish and charming interlude titled Collapse works as the calm before the storm for Through the Flesh, bringing forward more of their austere lyrics (“As the pleasure consumes all of these laws of morality / We consume all of these laws of indecency / As we consume all of these laws of misanthropy / We consume all of these laws of pure savagery”) and their pulverizing fusion of blackened sounds, ending the album on a truly incendiary and climatic note.

If you want to savor the atmospheric and somber “Métal Noir Québécois” brought forth by Seventh in Vacarme in its entirety, you can stream the full album on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course I highly recommend you grab a copy of the album from their own BandCamp page, or simply click HERE for all locations where you can buy or stream such distinct release. In addition, let’s show our support to Seventh by also following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel, getting absolutely mesmerized and embraced by their dark creations. It’s always a pleasure to witness the rise of Extreme Metal bands here in Canada like Seventh, keeping the scene alive and, consequently, offering us fans of heavy music more and more options for our daily playlists, with Vacarme being specially recommended for the ones who admire the darkest and most introspective side of our beloved metal.

Best moments of the album: Echoes, The Gift of Death and Disheartened.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. Synthèse 1:26
2. Echoes 8:10
3. Hundred Winters 5:47
4. The Gift of Death 5:34
5. Bloom 1:08
6. Lust 6:21
7. Disheartened 9:01
8. Collapse 1:07
9. Through the Flesh 7:58

Band members
Jean-Fred Gauvin – vocals
Olivier Falardeau – guitars
Martin Lessard – bass
Alex “Blaireau” Bernatchez – drums

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