[Albums] Plebeian Grandstand – False highs, true lows

While the mysterious creator behind Deathspell Omega are taking their time to release some new music, or to bury their project forever with some form of announcement, many of their fans are creating music influenced by their own brand of Orthodox Black Metal. The discordant chords found on Si monumentum requires circumspice are now part of the vocabulary of some Black metal band as well as the mysticism glowing from this now classic album. It is partially because of this obsession with the meticulous analysis of Christianity and the metronomic chaos of Fas – Ite, Maledicti, in Ignem Aeternum and Paracletus that Orthodox Black Metal found some receptive ears outside of the genre and in the room of fans of Converge. Fans of the Parisian from Comity might have also recognized Deathspell Omega as admirers of other genius than Georges Bataille and taken the later part of their career as the continuity of As everything is a tragedy, one of the best album produced by the son of Converge. Another one.

Four years after Drought, the last studio release from Deathspell Omega and the one which sounded the closest to the music of Converge and Comity, the not so mysterious four piece from Toulouse releases its new album only two years after the fantastic Lowgazers and proves that while they don’t intend to steal the throne from Deathspell Omega, they are also perfectly capable of creating their own niche.

Plebeian Grandstand is not a studio project and it shows it well by interpreting feats of physical prowess while retaining the human emotion absent of the calculating genius of DsO. False highs, true lows breaths down heavily on the neck of its audience like a monster constantly running behind its prey. The aptly titled album moves between some of the darkest material composed by the band at its fastest but also at its slowest with some shades of SunnO))) on songs such as Volition or Tame the shapes. Glowing in a sanguine red, the album covers leaves little room for darkness as the material always pushes to the verge of collapse by pushing each musician to the end of their ability. You can almost taste the sweat on the drummers neck on a song like Oculi lac.

Plebeian Grandstand followed the footsteps of DsO but they have definitely carved something quite different. The shadow of Converge can be felt in the determination and in the intensity of the album while the obsessive complexity and technique of the godfathers of Orthodox Black Metal have been put at the service of a more vibrant and pulse pounding music.

Much like Portal, Gorguts, Coalesce or Converge, Plebeian Grandstand‘s music is not made to impress but to imprint an impression of uneasiness and raging beauty over its audience. False highs, true lows is a gorgeous monstrosity made to be admired and feared at the same time. Unlike many Orthodox Black Metal who focuses on complexity and forget about emotions, Plebeian Grandstand does not forget the lesson they learned in the Chaotic Hardcore days and play Black Metal with the determination to push their own limit and the one of their audience. A fascinating piece on album that I cannot wait to discover live.

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