In the minds of many metalheads, medieval and symphonic themes are strongly associated with Power or Gothic Metal. Here The Devils Of Loudun come in to show us that those musical themes can be successfully combined with raw Death Metal! In their latest release – a five-song EP entitled “Entering Oblivion” – They take a different musical path than most of the recent Melodic Death Metal releases (which are mostly influenced by the Gothenburg scene), and that makes their release very interesting and refreshing.
The band was named after a novel which tells about the Loudun possessions – Notorious events of public exorcism, torture and burning in the 17th century France – and the atmosphere of those dark times is recaptured very well in their compositions. The classical music themes are sometimes epic, sometimes atmospheric, but never sweet nor cheesy, and always malicious. Combining them with a massive rhythm section and typical Death Metal growling vocals, produces a great soundtrack for a devil’s banquet.
As you’ve probably already guessed, the music of The Devils Of Loudun earns it’s bread not from excessive doses of fast double kicks and blast beats, and neither from concrete drilling riffs – but from atmospheric melody, which is there all over the compositions. A generic pattern of sang verses over heavy riffs is not as common in “Entering Oblivion” – Here the guitars and keyboards take shifts and constantly provide a melodic layer which is also present in most of the sang parts. Of course the heavy riffs and massive drumming are here to stay; Despite their secondary role in the compositions, they do a good job in adding the necessary heaviness, thickening the overall sound and providing a solid base for the lead section.
Obviously, making good melodic music demands a hefty dose of technical skill and musicianship, and The Devils Of Loudun don’t disappoint here: The guitar and keyboard parts are interesting and complex, the drums are fast and massive when necessary, and overall, the music can be definitely categorized as technical. The performance is clear and precise enough to hear every note and to understand every part. The production of “Entering Oblivion” is another pleasant surprise. Unlike most of the technical bands who choose the clinically sterile and over-processed production, The Devils Of Loudun went for a more dirty, natural and organic sound. This adds some “Metallic” quality to the EP which, despite being dirty and almost harsh, doesn’t take anything away from the clarity and definition of the music.
“Entering Oblivion” is 18 minutes of dark medieval atmosphere. The songs themselves are not very long (There are four of them, plus the intro track), but they will require some concentration from the listener to fully comprehend them. In fact, none of the tracks can be called a hit, this is definitely not background music for having some beer at the bar, or wild parties. It is the kind of music that the listener should submerge into, and let it take him to a journey into the darkest times in history of humanity.