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L'Esprit du Clan Chapitre 3 : Corpus Delicti

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L'Esprit du Clan - Chapitre 3 : Corpus Delicti
01. Mesdames & Messieurs
02. Circus Frenesie
03. Dans Cette Fournaise
04. Ailleurs
05. Le Temps Assassine
06. Sextuor
07. Un Message de Paix avec Big Red
08. Le Calme et Le Silence
09. J'ai Pas Les Mots
10. Dernieres Minutes
11. 1992
2007 Galy Records

OUR SCORE
8
USER SCORE
-
Reviewed by: Michael Gluck   //   Published: 11/11/2007

Named for a legal term denoting the body of a crime, L'Esprit du Clan's Corpus Delicti is not your usual loud-bark, small-bite slice of hardcore that many have come to expect from the European territories as of late. Quite the opposite, it's actually one of the most accomplished and inspired metallic hardcore album to be released this year, from any continent. Of course, each time L'Esprit du Clan have released a record, it has embarrassingly blown away the heap of copycats toiling away with the same old E-chord formula. It is not uncommon to hear that Europe should stick to producing high-calibre metal and ease back on the watered-down hardcore. While every country and town is certainly entitled to their scene, some are simply not ripe enough for export. France's L'Esprit du Clan do not belong in that category though, as they have been ready for export for far too long. Fitting then that Montreal's most established metal label Galy Records, one that has been responsible for such important releases from the Despised Icon debut to the Gorguts demo compilation, take on the task of giving the band their first-ever North American release.

An unashamedly talented six-piece from inner-city France, L'Esprit du Clan have built a strictly local profile since forming in the mid-nineties. The band's first three records, Chapitre 0, Chapitre 1, and Chapitre 2 - Reverence, distributed in small numbers in their country of origin but little place else, each boasted a streetwise vibe that made sense without losing itself in cheese, and an infallible, riff-heavy nineties-NYHC sound, without one note or song out of place. On each of these albums, whose musical and lyrical evolution over its predecessor was as real as the progressive album titles, L'Esprit du Clan drew heavy comparisons to three of the leading bands at the time, Merauder, Stigmata, and Madball. L'Esprit du Clan's vocals sound so alike to Merauder's Jorge Rosado and Sepultura's Max Cavalera that if frontmen Arsene and Shiro weren't growling in French (which itself is not so immediately obvious), there could have been many cases of mistaken identity. This is to say that gruff, tough, brutal, or what-have-you vocals simply could not get any better than L'Esprit du Clan's on their last three albums.

On Corpus Delicti however, both vocalists explore stunning new territory, employing gravel-throated crooning that is both impassioned and desperate, adding rich vocal textures to epic metallic hardcore without veering anywhere near the Killswitch Engage-type scream/cry dichotomy. There are also more than enough expert death gutturals lacing the album to authenticate the band as a true metal outfit, which appears to be their goal from this day forward, and one they shouldn't have any problem accomplishing provided they tour abroad on occasion, and continue releasing material in the same vein as Corpus Delicti.

Musically, each of the album's tracks is packed so full of jaw-dropping exhibitions of songwriting dexteritythat can only be considered astonishing for an album of this genre, that singling out particular tracks for particular qualities is a daunting task. If L'Esprit du Clan's latest embodiment were to be compared musically to a current American band, it would be New Jersey's God Forbid, whose last record, the ambitious Constitution of Treason, completely blew away all of the increasingly watered-down output of their fellow main players in the 100k metalcore scene. Although many of the sounds L'Esprit du Clan deliver are likely already familiar to the finest metal and hardcore that has graced our stereos over the past decade and a half, the manner in which they construct songs and develop lyrical concepts (don't forget to order a French-English dictionary from Amazon at the same time as the album), is simply incredible.

Thanks to Galy Records' distribution through Lumberjack Mordam, the likelihood of seeing this album on American shelves soon is strong. To check out their previous album, Very Distro has begun carrying the earth-shaking Chapitre 2 : Reverence since it was re-released with bonus material on God's Child Music.France's resurging metal scene has been increasingly stealing the spotlight in recent years, as progressive metal bands like Gojira, Scarve, and Lyzanxia bring fresh ideas to the table and gradually catch fire Stateside. While their starting point was undoubtedly hardcore, Corpus Delicti concretizes L'Esprit du Clan as a bona-fide metal band, as their sound is ever more derived from the most memorable moments of mid-era Metallica for furious harmonic picking and grandiose soloing, and mid-to-late era Sepultura for the sheer down-tuned, wrecking-ball riff insanity and devastating tempo shifts.

Bottom Line: Those intimately familiar with the L'Esprit du Clan won't be surprised by the strength of this release, while those previously unfamiliar with the band will be picking up their jaws and subsequently manning up to buying one of the best and most underground albums to come out this year.

Comments
Gluck is a faggot_   posted 11/13/2007 4:38:21 PM
God damn you Gluck, I'd beat you senseless but I don't think that would make you write better reviews. You're always going to be f*cking retarded. f*ck you and f*ck you shitty f*cking reviews. The first paragraph alone made me want to f*cking shoot you from all the worthless bullshit you write. You're not a f*cking journalist, kill yourself.
hotaction_   posted 11/13/2007 3:19:22 PM
lets not be silly.fanboy.
Arkangel_   posted 11/13/2007 1:41:22 PM
Well then why not let death metal, thrash, punk, and hardcore die also?
hotaction_   posted 11/13/2007 9:34:51 AM
doesnt matter how long this shit has been around. shits tired. if anything thats worse. they should know better. let this genre die already.
xpx_   posted 11/13/2007 6:53:13 AM
f*cking hilarious reading about retards whining anonymously how generic this is supposed to be when this has been around longer than many generic US bands. If you managed to pull out your heads outa your asses, maybe you would realize that this is actually good. f*cking kids.

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