Amesoeurs - Amesoeurs
Profound Lore Records
Post Punk/Black Metal
11 songs (58:23)
Release year: 2009, Profound Lore Records
Reviewed by James

Amesoeurs were never the most prolific of bands, having only ever released roughly 70-minutes of music and playing just one show in their 3-year lifespan. Indeed, the band imploded due to personal problems (and you can read the whole ludicrous story behind it on their Myspace) before this album was even recorded, and just barely managed to pull it together to finish it before finally calling it quits the second the sessions were finished. And so Amesoeurs is the recording of a moribund band. Not that it's all doom and gloom of course. Mainman Neige is still very much active in metalgazers Alcest, frontwoman Audrey Sylvain handles bass and vocal duties in the monstrous Peste Noire, and drummer Winterhalter appears to have disappeared into the filthy underbelly of the French black metal scene, currently plying his trade in several unsigned acts.

The combination of black metal and post-punk is by this stage not an altogether new one, Have A Nice Life having released their excellent Deathconsciousness last year (despite an underwhelming review from yours truly). Amesoeurs however, should perhaps be considered as Have A Nice Life's mopier, black clad cousins, their sound owing more to goth rock than anything else. The black metal elements are more European sounding too, with a hefty dose of French black metal melodies and blastbeats (as you'd expect from a band containing two ex-members and one current member of Peste Noire) where Have A Nice Life reckon from the likes of Xasthur. Amesoeurs bounces from the likes of the dark goth-pop of Faux Semblants to the more aggressive likes of Heurt throughout the album, with elements of shoegaze creeping in every now and then, particularly in opener Gas In Veins. The results may be a little light for most black metaller's tastes at times, but Amesoeurs were on to a good thing here, and a great shame it is that they're defunct.

After instrumental opener Gas In Veins, we're thrown into the brooding Les Ruches Malades, initially appearing on the band's split with Peste Noire side-project Valfunde. It strikes the perfect balance between dark and light, sorrowful riffs and bleak basslines meshing perfectly with rock-influenced drumming and Audrey Sylvain's wonderfully sweet vocals. It shows what a force Amesoeurs were when they got it right.

However, Amesoeurs did not always get it right, and at times the record meanders, songs going on for far longer than is strictly necessary (Recuillement, I'm looking at you). Amesoeurs were clearly at their best at their catchiest and most straightforward, and attempts at trying to be a little more obtuse often fall flat, and will probably have you staring at the song timer waiting for the damn thing to end. Heurt and Recuillement start out strongly, before tailing off into aimless goth metal riffing. Particularly baffling is the inclusion of Trouble (Eveils Inflames), sounding like a Peste Noire offcut stuck in the middle to insure the band's black metal credentials were kept intact, which for all I know it could be.

Amesoeurs could have been something pretty special. La Reine Treyuse in particular shows the band were onto a winner, starting off light and poppy, before turning into post-black metal riffs and shrieks from Audrey that are nothing less than disturbing (why she only sings cleanly in Peste Noire is beyond me). As it stands, Amesoeurs will be remembered as a good band who made one strong yet flawed album, who had the potential to be great, and split up in utterly ridiculous circumstances.

Killing Songs :
Les Ruches Malades, Faux Semblants, La Reine Treyuse
James quoted 76 / 100
Other albums by Amesoeurs that we have reviewed:
Amesoeurs - Ruines Humaines reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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