French black metallers Sainte Marie des Loups stream the entirety of their highly anticipated second album, Funérailles de Feu, at heavily trafficked web-portal InvisibleOranges.com. Set for international release on November 25th via Amor Fati Productions, in conspiracy with Mare Cognitium’s Extraconscious Records – the vinyl version is to be co-released with Extraconscious in the US, while the CD version will be handled exclusively by Amor Fati – hear Sainte Marie des Loups‘ Funéraillesde Feu in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Sainte Marie des Loups may make mystery and near-anonymity a virtue, but its expression is nothing if not direct, forceful, and feverishly artful. Indeed, raw and grim and even punkish at times may be the band’s attack, but there’s equally a sense of aristocratic grandeur, a questing for absolution, a regal melodicism smothered in ashes of unknown origins. This juxtaposition is perhaps unsurprising given that Sainte Marie des Loups hail from France, a land with myriad generations of black metal, each one as imposing as the last. But while one might expect the band to drink deeply from the ever-bottomless well of the paradigmatic Black Legions, Sainte Marie des Loups actually nod toward the oft-overlooked Concilium collective from the late ’90s and, more recently, can find contemporaries in the medieval-minded likes of Sühnopfer, Autarcie, Darkenhöld, and Véhémence – but, of course, with a blitzed identity all its own.
Indeed, with the second album Funérailles de Feu does Sainte Marie des Loups truly come into its own. The band’s self-titled debut album, released in 2018 by the late/great Fallen Empire, was a blitzed ‘n’ bleary smear of wayward melody and ethereal filth; on its follow-up, those rudiments are extended and embellished, rendered in more robust form. The uptick in production here – muscular, rounded, but still rippling with rawness – gives greater urgency to this even-stronger clutch of songs. The punkishness of yore is understated, more a textural conceit rather than a performance effect/affect; the melodicism, in kind, is brought front and center, frighteningly articulate in its stridency. Above all, mainman Fossoyeur sounds incensed, bristling, as the band is now expanded to a trio. As such, the totality is increased tenfold, resulting in a clarity of focus, fiery in its vision and idiosyncratic in its execution. One need only gaze upon the album’s starkly beautiful cover art to get a glimpse into Sainte Marie des Loups‘ increasingly unique headspace…draw thy sword and prepare for a grand reckoning!
Fully prepare exclusively HERE, courtesy of InvisibleOranges.com. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:
Tracklisting for Sainte Marie des Loupes’ Funérailles de Feu
1. Anciens serpents [4:20]
2. Meurtrieres [5:00]
3. Funerailles de Feu [6:21]
4. Dans les yeux de Meduse [4:13]
5. Interdit et oublié [4:51]
6. Des profondeurs le silence [7:21]
7. Visions [6:23]