Amesoeurs - Ruines Humaines
Northern Silence Productions
Modern Gothic Black Metal
3 songs (16'04")
Release year: 2006, Northern Silence
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Another week, another EP from Northern Silence, and it is a good one as well. I wonder how much Amesoeurs mastermind Neige gets irritated by everybody comparing this to the last year surprising melancholic and romantic Alcest. I will have to risk some of that annoyance as well, but I need to make the comparison, although from the total antonym standpoint. Perhaps, because the intent of this music is so much different than Alcest, or so I think, Neige needed two different bands/projects to portray different emotions.

I am not saying that Ruines Humaines is not melancholic or romantic, but I understand the origin of it to be different from Le Secret. In that album the listener is taken on a nature road trip. The path winds through the field and mountains, decorated in even parts by season change and by the sensual poetry by Charles Baudelaire. Ruines Humaines is planted firmly in the metropolis, and I am getting my opinion reinforced by the artwork as my French is non-existent to decipher the lyrics. Big city to the core, this is the soundtrack of a loner slowly roaming the streets of the less than friendly urban slum, its dirty subway with heroin-full needles, endless gutter streets and depot railways. Most importantly, it is the soundtrack of the blurry faceless crowd drowning the voice of the lone searching soul.

For two tracks Ruines Humaines features shrill throat slicing Neige screams and clean piercing guitar leads pitting them against fuzzed out guitar background, bubbling bass and buried in the mix drumming. Moody melodies on Bonheur Ampute and the title track, the acoustic interludes, and overall dreamy searching trance always collide with the grungy dirty backdrop. The latter represents that soulless indifferent environment of the modern metropolitan area that often chews and spits out a rebellious individual. I know, having faced this hardship 20 years ago. If Le Secret was a fusion of black metal with age old ambiance, then Ruines Humaines attempts to put contemporary gothic rock and black metal on the opposite sides of the fence. Industrial and synth moments, like the mysterious hammers at the end of the title track, further bring forth the sense of this record’s modernity.

This whole approach is what makes the closer Faiblesse Des Sens to appear not out of place. Still dreamy, this track has little to do with black metal and has female bassist Audrey, Neige’s partner in Amesoeurs, sing mostly in a clean voice, her French creating almost a chanson atmosphere. Mostly, as the harsher notes are trying to break through and the tigress comes out in one wild final scream, joining Neige’s lone wolf howl of the other two tracks. The mates are finally meeting to be able to conquer the unfriendly confines of the city which was hoping to defeat the pair, like many before them.

Ruines Humaines is a modern French BM record, which connects the style’s origins with modern gothic sound, all in one well produced package.

Killing Songs :
Ruines Humaines, Faiblesse Des Sens
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Amesoeurs that we have reviewed:
Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs reviewed by James and quoted 76 / 100
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