Free Metal Detector: Dun’s Nature Morte

This album is so castle. Prepare your buttress.

Like the edifice that adorns the castle, Nature Morte, the debut album from multi-instrumentalist Orde, is a stately, even regal monument to genius design and breathtaking scope. It’s apparent immediately that Orde built this structure with masterful hand and eye, each stone and spoke a carefully planned element intended fully to support the entire castle and to cooperate with its adjacent pieces to render the whole all the more majestic. It’s almost perplexing to hear this level of craftsmanship in lo-fi, underground black metal, and yet the grandeur of Nature Morte is undeniable, its curtain walls rising up from the black mire of an analog moat like some austere, impenetrable fortress.

Travelers who visit the castle of Nature Morte report both its breath-taking beauty and its impregnability. Five solid, lofty tracks form its imposing curtain walls, with a sixth, wondrous bonus song looming up as the final spire from within the keep. Each individual track is composed of a rock-solid foundation of mid-paced drum beats and classic black metal riffs. Although the pace never truly collapses into a rockslide of blast beats, the sturdy double bass and measured, intentional drum fills never feel garish or out of place; the drums are the mortar holding the bricks together, and their airtight lockstep with the rhythm guitar ensure that no trespassers will scale these walls. The riffs themselves are the crenellations of the castle, mounting the backbeat with a self-assurance and confidence of purpose that preserves the integrity of the castle’s defenses while still providing plenty of space for arrows and hot oil to come pouring down upon attackers. When he laid his hammer and mortar to the task of crafting these riffs, surely Orde followed the blueprints of the legendary architects before him, honoring Quorthon and Fischer before him while leaving his own seal upon his handiwork. Just listen to the Gothic resplendence of the first minute of “Balade à Dos de Démon” to hear the master at work.

Despite his dedication to the olde way, Orde hides many secrets within his castle walls as well. Throughout the album, melancholy, melodic leads soar above the rhythm like fearsome gargoyles upon the heights. Although the design of the castle is decidedly Gothic, even invoking the auspicious Notre-Dame Cathedral, there is a hint of classical Hellenic engineering in Orde’s lead work, and it’s impossible to deny the somberness of the Greek sound present in the final minutes of “La Furie du Fou” that fall like a mournful rain on the battlements of the fortress.

Most intriguing about the album, though, is Orde’s bass and vocal work. The bass guitar draws as much inspiration from the European tradition as it seemingly does the bluesy roots of the American South and the industrial malaise of gloomy England. There’s a furor and springiness to the basslines throughout the album that is unique in the black metal genre, and yet so fine-tuned is Orde’s craftsmanship that the jaunty low end never threatens to jar loose the impervious walls he has erected. Instead, the bass acts as a surprise attack, volleying out boulders with alarming alacrity from taut siege engines hidden behind the walls. You never see those thrumming basslines approaching until you’re already caught off-guard. The likely culprit of your surprise and the final piece of the puzzle is Orde’s vicious vocal approach. Throughout the album, though perhaps best heard on “La Halte,” Orde shrieks from the tallest spires with an echoing banshee wail; it continually sounds as though there are multiple demons crying out from different directions in the melancholy, melodic fog, and it’s always difficult to pinpoint from whence the next harrowing cry will issue. The vocals are the perfect capstone to the august structure, lending it both an edge and a grace that would be otherwise missing if the singing had been more conventional.

The most amazing part of this incredible castle is that you can visit it for free. Orde is offering his debut Dun effort completely for free on Bandcamp. While you’re there, you should definitely check out Dun’s second album Hors du Gouffre, released just this year. Although I haven’t yet gotten the chance to fully explore its mysterious passages, I know the album offers much of the same beauty, melancholy, and craftsmanship that makes Nature Morte. I’ve also seen others refer to the album as the best black metal release of the year, so explore its twisting corridors and find out for yourself here.

I hope to see you in the banquet hall of Orde’s regal estate.

(Photo VIA)

Written by:

Published on: August 17, 2016

Filled Under: Metal

Views: 617

Tags: , , , ,

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    the bass is thicc

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    This article has piqued my interest.

    • Howard Dean

      *peaked

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        *pooped

        • Howard Dean

          *shitted

          • Brutalist_Receptacle

            ARE YOU DUN? THEN WIPE YERSELF.

  • Eliza

    I’m on mobile now, but I’ll gladly open up my computer for this. Great stuff.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Switching electronic devices, that’s what’s up.

      • Eliza

        At least it did open up. It doesn’t always do that.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    This shit ain’t bad.

    • Dubbbz

      The riffs are just rock-solid, old-school riffs. There isn’t any one element that’s too flashy (aside from maybe that fat bass), but they all work together to make something special.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Agreed. I’m still questioning if those are real drums. So hard to tell sometimes, but there are some solid riffs here.

        • Dubbbz

          I’m not sure. They didn’t distract me, but he doesn’t do too much with them either.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            True.

        • Elegant Gazing Globe

          Tyree will be able to tell you

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            I await his comments!

      • Brutalist_Receptacle

        ITS LIKE MOLLY HATCHETT OR USE YOUR ILLUSION ERA GUNS MET PANOPTICON, HAD WOLF SEX IN A CASCADIAN FOREST, THEN ATE THEIR NEWBORN OFFSPRING. BUT IT IS NOTHING LIKE OFFSPRING.

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    I will meet you in the banquet hall, Warrior Dubbbz!

    Excellent review, good sir. Your descriptions were beyond compare and you have readied my ears for listening.

  • RustyShackleford

    Awesome post W; I love the descriptions! I really dig the production and the PHAT bass. Seems to me like the vocals are a little deeper in the mix than I’m used to, but I think that adds to the atmosphere you describe. I definitely hear some of the bluesy qualities as well, very interesting. Yep!

  • Howard Dean

    This is great stuff. Very much a Nocternity feel to what I’ve heard so far with all of the mid-paced riffs and plodding drums and castle atmosphere. Nice rec!

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I really liked that last Nocternity release, think I mini’d it for the site. Mid-paced black metal can be >>>>>>

      • Howard Dean

        Yeah, that was a solid album. One of my favorite Iron Bonehead/Necroshine CDs I picked up last year, along with Ithaqua’s demo.

      • Stanley

        Have you heard of Hagl?

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          I have not!

          • Stanley

            Solid mid-paced BM. It kind of get’s a bit one dimensional, but a few songs every now and again when you are in the mood are pretty good. Here’s a taster.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn0zr2V7zYI

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Flame emojis.

    • Dubbbz

      That Nocternity vibe sort of surprised me in a French bm release. There’s a nice blend of Greek and Scandinavian bm here.

      • Howard Dean

        Indeed. This is a very “un-French” black metal sound, but I definitely dig.

        I think the typical “French BM sound” (which isn’t endemic to France, of course) is getting a little tired anyway. Too much second rate dissonance coming out of scenes all over the place these past few years. DsO will probably never resurface now, as they’d be too ashamed and saddled with guilt to be associated with the smeg they influenced and “inspired.” Feelsbadman.jpg

        • Dubbbz

          Actually, Christian and I were talking about that at some point. We’re both in an FB group for dissonant music, and the style has reached the point where there’s definitely a lot of filler (some of it very high profile) being released. I still love that sound and really enjoy it when done well, but I won’t pretend there aren’t a bunch of boring copy-cats now.

          • Howard Dean

            Good to know I’m not just some crotchety bastard stuck in 2007 and that dudes who still actively follow the dissonant scene feel this way, too.

            The glut of dissonance in BM and DM definitely pushed me away. It all started sounding the same–even the bands that tried to use it to create a unique “atmosphere” just sounded like they were throwing shit together to make it “moody” and “opaque” and “esoteric.” Flush. The only dissonant band I still listen to with any regularity is DsO. They just feel different to me, and always have.

          • Dubbbz

            Haha, I wouldn’t go as far as you. I think the style, just like every other genre, has reached the point where you have to sift to find the really good stuff.

          • Stanley

            Dissonance <<<<<.

            W, did you see that new release from the dudes in Skaphé and Mispyrming? It's pretty chaotic as you would expect. You might dig.

            https://martrod.bandcamp.com

          • Dubbbz

            I disagree with your arrows and chalk that up to you being old and feeble, but I will check this out.

          • Stanley

            I disagree with your assessment of me being old and feeble ( I’m just old) and chalk it up to you being young and impressionable.

          • Dubbbz
          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Checked out a track today and was rather bored with it.

          • Stanley

            It’s not my thing.

          • Same. I’m all about that new DARVAZA track though.

          • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

            As also a fellow-member of that FB group and a fan of the style, I’d be willing to admit ti grew “stale” and “filler-ish” rather quick compared to many other styles.
            First there weren’t many bands, then a few more sprung and once a few of them had received attention suddenly there was a TON of bands.

            And in a bunch like that there’s bound to be a lot of filler.

  • I was about to ignore this, but I saw a comment about old school riffs. Glad I clicked play, this is a great way to start the morning for me

    • Dubbbz

      I’m glad you dig it, Randall “I’m scared of change” Thor.

      • I prefer Randall “traditional values” Thor

        • Dubbbz

          Randall “It’s Heritage, Not Hate” Thor.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Riffs in the old style >>>>>>

      • Riffs that remember the face of their father

        • Howard Dean

          Riffs that haven’t been sent west for failing in their trial against Cort.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Riffs that select a loyal hawk as their weapon in said trial >>>>>>

    • RT,

      Bought that Angel Sword LP. I love it man. Great stuff.

      Thanks,

      GL

  • Waynecro

    A great find and a nice review, Dubs. Thanks! I may rock this album during my hour-long drive to the bar where I’ll be seeing Abigail Williams, Shining, Origin, and Belphegor tonight.

  • tertius_decimus

    Nice, Dubs! Enjoyable stuff.

    • Brutalist_Receptacle

      В бывшем Советском Союзе STUFF НАСЛАДИТЕСЬ ВАС!

  • Brutalist_Receptacle

    THIS BAND. I LIKE THIS FUCKING BAND.

  • That second sample track is pretty. Should I wear it to the dance?

    • Dubbbz

      Wear it like one of your French castles.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    This is a great post W. Really cool BM band, and I appreciate the music even more now after reading your stellar write-up.

  • Phil Zepain

    This bass is insane !