Top 5 New French Live Acts w/ Cadaveric Fumes
This week we chat with Reuben of the incredible French death metal band Cadaveric Fumes to discuss the Top 5 Live Acts coming out of his country right now!
Hi, how’s everything going? It’s been just over a year since the release of the amazing Dimensions Obscure, what’s been keeping you busy in the time since then?
Hi! Thanks a lot for this interview! Many things happened since the release of that EP. First of all we toured quickly after it came out to promote it, that was in the South of France, Italy and Spain. After that we had a short hiatus until the beginning of 2016, but we’re now extremely busy writing songs and preparing our next shows, including festivals such as Morbid Catacombs in Berlin, Germany and Immortal Rites in Lyon, France.
Right on! That particular EP saw Cadaveric Fumes’ sound take on a more grandiose progressive tangent, can we expect the next release to continue further down that path?
Yes and no. We found our sound as a 4-piece band on this release (these were actually the first songs written with me as a bassist). We perfected our atmosphere and started to express our various influences on it. However, the progressive structures of the songs will not remain in the future. We realised we were always far too concentrated on stage by having too complex compositions, this forced us to be less wild, and much slower with our songwriting. From now on we’re writing less progressive songs, and we already feel it’s a welcome change: we write quicker, we have more fun playing them, and we can focus on atmosphere, improvisation and violence. Nevertheless we did not abandon our will to bring various influences into our sound, I think it is a logical continuation.
The transposition from studio to a live setting is something I often think about when hearing some of the more ambitious albums being released these days, refreshing to hear that your enjoyment takes priority. Now, towards today’s topic – France has been producing some incredibly interesting bands in recent times, do you think there is something that makes the French metal scene unique relative to other regions?
It is hard to compare with other countries in which I do not live, but I can explain why our scene is working well these days. There is a new generation of metalheads (ours) which is really devoted to old-school and underground metal. With years, when bands started to pop up in our country, a sense of community has arisen and a strong emulation between bands appeared: we all got to know each other, play with each other, party with each other… This has both positive and negative effects: on the good side playing with other awesome bands led people to always improve themselves, and to take note of what others were doing to get inspiration. Yet, with time, I feel there is a perverse effect with some people trying to seek easy success within the community, only playing ready-to-cook metal by following simple conformist rules that have appeared within years.
Right, I can see that being a double-edged sword of sorts, thankfully I don’t think anyone could describe Cadaveric Fumes’ music as being conformist! Same for most of your label-mates at Blood Harvest Records really. Speaking of which, Blood Harvest have an almost unmatched roster when it comes to death metal these days, if you could pick one band from it to do a split with, who would you choose?
Indeed Blood Harvest have a killer roster! As for the choice, it would be easy. We like to know the band with whom we’re sharing a split, and the only guys we really know here (if I’m not mistaken) are Bones. They are friends of the band since a long time, we really dig what they do, and we like their attitude. So this is the obvious choice for me.
Cool, you’ve got some excellent tour lineups coming up, do you prefer to play live with similar sounding bands or do you think it’s better to play on a diverse bill?
Rather than a matter of sound it would be a matter of spirit for us. We wouldn’t care much playing with some other Death Metal band if the guys in the band were real cunts. We always enjoyed playing with various old school Metal bands for they understand what we’re at. We just want to have a good time on tour.
Makes sense. Now for our topic today you’re going to take us through 5 of your favourite new French live bands. Pumped to see what you’ve chosen for us, let’s get into it!
This is a topic that matters much to me. I spend most of my free time at hundreds of gigs, which are almost always Metal, Punk or Rock ones. I love live music so much, and I have seen so many bands, that I would be unable to choose my favourite live acts. However, as of the new French Metal underground, I can, even though it is difficult: I had to withdraw some awesome bands, and I already feel sorry for all the great acts I did not mention here! But that’s good news: it means our underground scene is doing well. So here’s my list! These are of course my own opinions, some members of my bands strongly disagree on some choices, and agree with others. Anyway…
5. CHAOS ECHŒS
I am a huge fan of psychedelic music, Hawkwind for instance is one of my favourite bands. Recently there has been a renewed interest for psychedelia in Rock and Metal scenes, for the better or worse. Among the most spaced out bands, there have been great and very interesting bands such as Oranssi Pazuzu or France’s Aluk Todolo, none of which I would call Metal, even though they are influenced by it. Well, same goes for Chaos Echœs. Nevertheless I included them here because of their Death Metal parts.
The first time I saw this band live, it was at Hell’s Pleasure Metalfest in 2014, and to be honest I did not like it at all, they were still looking for themselves I believe. But only one year later we played with them in Nantes, so I decided to give them a second chance and I was right to do so! They had a renewed line-up, great new songs and an incredible sound. The two Uibo brothers in this band are incredibly gifted musicians, and they use this musicianship in order to create a real trip. Once the band is on stage, the songs become alive, they take you somewhere else, and the atmosphere in the venue becomes inescapable. The sound layers are very diverse, but it always seems logical, and the whole creates a very intense experience. If you like bands with such an approach to music, you have to give them a try.
Hexecutor is a band from our town Rennes, or as we like to call it, Roazhon (in Breton). We are extremely lucky in Rennes to have an amazing underground scene, be it in Rock, Punk or Metal. I could talk for hours about it, but this is not the topic here. What you only have to know is that, out of all the numerous good bands we have here in Brittany, this is the one that I pick. They play Thrash Metal, but in an evil way. They use the violence of this genre to punch you in the face without mercy, which fits the Black Metal atmosphere of their songs. They play extremely fast, yet they are subtle: their two guitar players know about Heavy Metal, and you can hear in their songwriting harmonies, chords, and many other variations which make their music interesting. This means that if, like me, you believe there have been too many generic Thrash bands recently, which managed to make fast music soporific, give them a try!
On stage they’re even wilder than in their recordings, but knowing their songs prior to seeing them makes the experience even more enjoyable: they have some hits which will make you shout between two headbanging sessions! But of course it is not necessary to know them before, they do a great show and move a lot on stage. And if any of you still doubt my sincerity, saying that they are friends of us from our city (which is true), you have to know that every time that we played with them we never wanted to play after them: we’re always afraid to sound like pussies after their nuclear show.
This is the only band in this list that I have seen only once, but they really made a lasting impression on me. To be honest, even though I like their albums, I’m not a big fan of their music on studio. In my opinion, they’re still a bit too close from Mournful Congregation. However, once I saw them on stage, I completely changed my mind.
So they play Funeral Doom Metal, or Death/Doom, as you wish. What made their gig so unique was the way they were listening to each other. At a slow pace, many things can happen. They were playing loud, not ridiculously loud, only enough to play on feedback and have a good idea of what each one in the band is doing. And by seeing them I realised how good this musicians were, that they really master their songs and know exactly how to make some parts heavier, some others more ethereal, some darker, some heavier… And while I’m at it concerning the comparison with Mournful Congregation, I thought that these Aussies were not as good on stage, even though they released my favourite albums in the genre! So, if like me you call yourself a doomster, they really are a band to see on stage. This is where all they music make sense, and I really hope that someday they’ll manage to make this magic appear on their studio releases.
Barabbas is a Stoner/Doom Metal band… But they don’t sound like any band in the genre! What make them so special is that when they’re in their more Stoner leanings, they’re much more Rock ‘n’ Roll than many bands in this genre, they sure know how to boogie; and when they’re Doom, they are full of emotions… Emotions which are to me what made Doom Metal the best genre ever in the ’80s and early ’90s. The lyrics, sung in French, treat of sentimental and introspective topics which add much depth to their music. It is also worth saying that they recently recruited Thomas Bastide from Northwinds, perhaps the oldest Doom Metal band from France (too old to be in this list, but awesome enough)!
On stage they are wild, Rodolphe is an amazing frontman! I have never seen a venue were the audience didn’t become crazy at the end of the show. Well, that might be weird to say that after my talk on introspection, isn’t it? Well they manage to marry the two aspects of their music without any problems. When the songs become faster, then it’s time to about some fun and Rodolphe know how to wake the audience up. However, when their saddest songs begin, they calm down a bit, but he can still go in the middle of the audience to sing the lyrics eye to eye with the people at the show. This is something to witness! I became a huge fan.
Even though Barabbas are closer to what I seek musically, in all objectivity Necrowretch is the best French Metal live act of these last years. I must admit that I’m not much into their albums, even though they are great. I feel the more time goes, the more they sound the same.
However, I always forget about it on stage. Really, if you love Death Metal, if you enjoy violence, go to see them on stage even if you were not convinced by their recordings! I promise you won’t be disappointed! They play extremely fast and are evil, they have great riffs and know exactly how to destroy an audience in the wink of an eye. The drummer is the same drummer as in Chaos Echœs, and if you remember well I was talking about a very gifted musician… Well in this band he shows a totally different aspect of his playing, but he’s still on top. He makes some of the most violent blast beats I have never witnessed! The whole band deliver a huge amount of violence, they’re unbelievable. It is worth saying that they’re much more interesting in small venues than in open air festivals, so if you want to live a real Death Metal experience that will leave you knocked out, try to catch them in a tiny place. And you will witness an amazing performance! To be honest, I feel sometimes almost ashamed of my band when we’re playing with them. Almost.
That’s it for this week. Make sure you check out Cadaveric Fumes’ incredible Dimensions Obscure EP if you missed it (name your price!?!), and pick up their recent 2012-2016 compilation album on bandcamp. Keep up to date with tour and release news on their Facebook page.
Previously On The Friday Guest List
Everlasting Spew Records head Giorgio coughed up the Top 5 Bands He’d Love To Sign.