Chronique | Råtten - La Longue Marche

Maxine 1 avril 2024 Maxine

As we enter a very rainy spring in the capital, our mood, in tune with the darkness of the sky as always, is happily turning towards new darkly musical releases. So it was that my ears, following a trail of intertwining shadows, landed on Råtten, a black metal project created five years ago in the south of France by Sid Negativv (drums), Zero (guitars and vocals) and joined by Kozlak on bass, whose debut album Roi de Rats, already an allegory of a vitiated humanity, was released in the midst of a pandemic in February 2021. While the somewhat recurrent themes of the genre are still present on the second opus, La Longue Marche (released on 9 February 2024), the work itself is far from the 'déjà vu' you might expect.

Behind the immense wall hiding an agonising, damned humanity mired in its madness, Råtten's desperate cries can be heard accompanied by a heavy but rhythmic beat, set against a backdrop of crazy, decadent but not without nuance guitars. Some tracks ooze a palpable anguish tinged with an underlying melancholy (the intense Danse Macabre or the eponymous La Longue Marche surprise us with a certain beauty as they build), but always veiled in a violence tinged with deep blackness (flagrant on the tormented Entre Deux Fosses or the suffocating Les Cris de la Meute). The final track, Faiseuses d'anges, is entirely instrumental, bringing the album to a close with notes that are sharp on the first tracks and deeply moving on the piano on the last.

On a path of the cross winding through arid lands from which we imagine distorted Lovecraftian monsters rising up to judge or condemn us, we follow them, desolate, in what seems to be either the metaphor of an inevitable post-apocalyptic future or that of a homeland bereft of all souls in which we get lost only to find ourselves screaming our unbearable pain. This unadorned, aggressive and brutal compendium, with its fast-paced rhythms and heart-rending vocals as we like them, i.e. sincere and unfiltered, reveals a remarkable effort to unify the whole, setting it apart considerably from its peers. What's more, the ambience is perfectly in tune with those tears outside that keep beading on our windows, so it's perfect.