What brought me to this album was the name of the band: Christicide. I thought to myself “who would name themselves that?” but then it was the other obvious question: “why the hell not?”
For metal fans, the above paragraph was obviously a way of showing that I had not heard of this French band before, even though they’ve made a small handful of albums since 2007. The name is what pulled me in and I’m glad I was taken into their realm, for Upheaval Of The Soul (Those Opposed Records/Hospital Productions) is one hell of an album that will please a wide range of metal fans. They call themselves a black metal band, which is true but that would also be skimming the surface of what these guys are capable of. The first vocal in the opening track doesn’t hit until the listener is deep into the song, and once it’s heard, he unleashes a wicked howl that sounds great, as if he has been waiting for this moment to rip out of the speakers or headphones and just scream. Musically, things start out being played very fast and the first band I thought of was Portland’s Wehrmacht. Once the vocals kicked in, I was reminded of the wide range of German thrash and speed metal bands who played furiously, such as Kreator. The great thing about the musicianship is that while they could easily bash non-stop for four minutes, these guys change up moods and tempos throughout their songs, and even get into a slightly bluesy gallop (or a hyper-metallica version of a bluesy gallop) that I’m eating up, and I feel as if they’ve taken the essence of AC/DC or Motörhead and completely fucked it up. I also thought of bands like Death Angel and Papsmear and it wasn’t so much as to compare them, but as a way to say that these guys give me the same emotions, the same feelings their music gave me once before. It’s incredibly intense, and just when one things Christcide aren’t going to play any faster than they already are, they do.
There is also a very nice progressive side to these guys too, which may be surprising to some who think black metal (or any time of metal) can’t be progressive. I found myself enjoying when the band get into these heavy instrumental movements, only for the vocals to take ahold of the proceedings and rip everything up. I found that approach to be a bit like how Miles Davis played the trumpet, where he would allow everyone to play but then come in at the right moments. It’s not lopsided at all, everything gels together beautifully. The music may be defined here as an unheaval, but the listener will get some metaphorical feeling of an uprising throughout its duration, as if this is meant to be taken to a certain level, but it only gets better.
(North Americans can buy the album on CD from Hospital Productions while European residents may purchase Upheaval Of The Soul from Those Opposed Records. Those who would like to have this on vinyl, check the Of Crawling Shadows Records website.)