HDR - 010 : Neige et Noirceur - L'Abime des Jours, l'ecume des nuits


Released: December 19th, 2009
Details: Pro-Manafactured-CDr(2CD Set), 4 page booklet/standard jewel case - Unlimited release
Genre: Ambient Black Metal/Dark Ambient


By: Unknown Reviewer

***This review was written for the original version of Neige et Noirceur Demo III - Originally released on Dungeons Deep Records in 2007. Therefore, there will only be a mention of Disc I of the HDR Re-release and it also speaks a bit of the original artwork and presentation as it was released on Dungeons Deep Records***

The awesome site of a winter landscape is inspiring and beautiful, but only when used correctly. The same thing goes for a winter black metal band. Most band can't do it correctly, and just overdo the theme. But Neige Et Noirceur does it perfectly, and to a person like myself who speaks English, in a subtle manner. Their very name translates into English as "Snow and Darkness". Even the cover of the album is discrete in its wintery ways, showing a single, small, black and white snow-flake. The tracks on this album are both over ten minutes; the first one being over 25 minutes, and the second one being a little over 12, but this neither diminishes nor negatively impacts the sheer beauty of the album as a whole. Neige Et Noirceur has successfully been able to tie together many different sounds and riffs into one complete song that doesn't sound like multiple songs all combined into one. For me, it's a flawless album.

The first track, being the longer one, is my personal favorite. It combines many different parts, but it sounds as one, not as many. Some parts are complete ambiance, whilst others are black metal. The song commences with such ambiance, including arctic wind sounds, with the soft spine-tingling whisper of a man. Occasionally you hear the soft hit of a bell. As time progresses, you realize that the sounds of a church bell are growing louder and louder, and suddenly with a great hit, everything stops. The song bridges into beautiful arpeggios reminiscent of wintered times, whithered, blackened, and frostbitten. The arpeggios progress for quite some time, then, literally out of nowhere, the guitar slam in with a cold and cruel synth part. The two part line up perfectly, making for a very wretched (in a good way) part. The guitars and synths stay lined up, although going through various riffs. After a long time (although it seems like nothing) the distorted guitars and synth cut out, and in walks a new type of guitar, this time and acoustic one. It makes for a very depressing acoustic breakdown, and by depressing, I mean awesome. The guitars are so sad, and leave you in a state of quietness, and yet again, the guitar come out of nowhere. They bring you out of your quiet state and to an all new black metal part, similar to the one before the acoustic breakdown. A great follow up to such a perfect acoustic part. Unfortunately, the guitars and synths finally cut out, leaving behind a dark ambiance filled with a cruel freezing feeling. Such ambiance can be compared with artists as Paysage d'Hiver or Vinterriket. The song is over after this part, yet it seems like that almost half-an-hour passed in no time what-so-ever. I consider such amazing work to be art.

The second track, Loin des Hommes, Près des Bêtes, is a completely ambient track. Its similar to the ambient parts in L'Abime des Jours, L'Ecume des Nuits. It's an amazing song, and the fact that its twelve minutes, yet again, does not lessen the effect the song has. Its a very minimalist track, and sometimes while listening to it, you'll forget its playing, because you'll be lost in its murky, enveloping depths, letting your body be surrounded by the beautiful and at the same time horrifying sounds of winter. They can comfort, as well as terrify the listener, and either way, its an adventure one must take.

This perfect album is amongst my favorite albums, as well as it should be in yours. Its a little "true" as some black metal fans might call it (meaning it's very lo-fi), but that just adds the wondrous effect the album has. It inspires, terrifies, silences, and motivates many people, as well as myself. Please support this amazing band.


From: Defiance E-Zine www.myspace.com/defiancemagazine

Once again we are graced with Neige et Noirceur and their unique sound with this 2-disk offering, I was intrigued to see what else the band had conjured. The first track on the first disk starts gracefully,almost like a mask to fool you into what lays ahead, pure old school doom style black metal which is undecipherable to the ears vocally but where the instruments play a more important role. The title "L'Abime des jours L'ecume des nuits" track being the main track just peaking in at 25 minutes long, is certainly one where you pick up something new each time you hear it. From the sombre screams in the background to suddenly become climatic with the organs and guitars and that nice change in tempo that helps this track flow smoothly into the more sinister and delicate side, with haunting clean guitars adding to the mental cruscendo for the listener and building up the anticipation for what is to come next.

The second track on the cd "Loin des hommes pret des betes" is the complete opposite, you immerse yourself in the simplicity and let the waves of the synths take you away from the build ups of the first track, it's more of the track to bring you down in a good way, a nice way to round up the cd and feel like you just had the depressive black metal experience. Music that can physically take you on a roller coaster ride of sorts is something I'm always willing to embrace and this does it in such a subtle way, as not to scare the listener but rather build intrigue and yet even more anticipation.

The 2nd disk on this album is almost opposite to the first, there are more tracks at more manageable lengths in time but equally just as great in grandeur as their longer time spanned siblings. I absolutely loved "Leveil dans la mort". It's more my kind of track, a little more upbeat and fierce but not over doing it as to confuse the genre but if you like your charging guitars then this track will be the wake up call you need from the more chilled out sections on this album.

The one thing anyone new to this genre appreciates most is the fact you have to let go and feel the music inside you. It's not one for sticking on at your typical party. The music, the genre and the concept is something you have to surrender to in order to understand it. In short it's a mind fuck but it's definitely a good one to have in your musical repertoire.


From: Chronicles of Choas Webzine www.chroniclesofchoas.com

L'Abime des Jours, l'Ecume des Nuits was originally released in 2007 through Dungeons Deep Records, containing only two tracks, but almost 40 minutes of music, with one track surpassing 25 minutes in length. Now entirely sold out, Hypnotic Dirge has decided to release it again. This time it comes with tons of bonuses like liner notes and an second disc of rare /sold-out material from Canadian ambient / black metal band Neige et Noirceur.

This trek begins to unfold with what sounds like a demon awakening from a slumber deep in a snowy cave or a man scraping against moist cave walls. Church bells are heard overhead, with all blending into jewel-encrusted keyboarding that dances around like ice pixies. The atmospheric black metal comes into play, with ambient diversions chopping into the track. 25+ minute long "I - L'Abime des Jours, l'Ecume des Nuits" pretty much sets up what to expect with the rest of the album: long ambient passages of coldness, bursts of thick atmospheric black metal and an overall feeling of enchantment. Take a track like "L'Eveil dans le Mort IV - Le Cimetiere Perdu" and you're getting soft, gothic-themed synth / piano. Then "Apres la Nuit VI - Orlok" jumps at you with maniacal black metal for those in padded cells. The painfully lo-fi black metal will bring a wicked smile to purists. The music will also win over any fan of mind-encompassing, synthy music as Neige et Noirceur captures the unsettling mystery and strange calmness of wintertime perfectly on "L'Abime des Jours, l'Ecume des Nuits".

This re-release can't be easily written off as with most. Neige et Noirceur have the whole beauty through insanity thing down. The music is recorded through a frozen filter that makes sure every note is well below freezing and the vocals are drowned and evil, Zifond screaming like a mad-man and whispering like an imp

Reviewer: Yulon Zhu - 8/10


From: Hierophant-Nox Webzine www.hierophant-nox.com

If dark ambience from Canada floats your funeral barge, Hypnotic Dirge should be your early port of call, and this release from Neige et Noirceur is a rimefrost-encrusted lighthouse that will guide you into the label’s waters with its grand, sub-zero atmosphere, stumbling, counterflowing found sounds, and raw, loose, super-bestial black metal shapes. This is a special release, encompassing Neige et Noirceur’s 2007 release on Dungeons Deep on disc one, and a collection of rare and unobtainable tracks on disc two. Its compilation-like nature means it’s not entirely coherent as a single entity, but there’s a rich imaginative charm in its slightly jumbled manner, and Spiritus’ new artwork makes this a beautiful package.

Disc one, “L’Abime des Jours, l’Ecume des Nuits” proper, comprises two long tracks, the first of which starts in a familiar fashion with a snowstorm, distorted whispers and the tolling of bells. The keys here sparkle with frost, but it’s not N&N’s style to skimp on the darkness, which erupts viciously here with a neat but desolate black metal riff. For a while this approach grimly obscures the tracks capacity for beauty with its submerged vocals and weak programming, but it’s all a means to an end – when the symphonic synths and pooling clean guitar make a re-emergence, they are all the stronger for the contrast. A gorgeous, mysterious melody and soaring glacial synths bring to a close a track which is fascinating and organic, despite its need for a firm editing hand.

The bonus tracks offered on the second disc are all strong examples of N&N’s melding of icy, ambient starkness with grim, black metal spite. “Décor astral sans Lune” is especially potent, its chaotic, filthy riff-work playing against an amazing clean, high synth line. The percussive element is an explosion, the eventual demise into snowfall and low strums and pulses a stark, wide-eyed relief. “L’Eveil dans le Mort” has a different flavour, a catchier and looser, yet still decidedly mean way of operating, that reminds me of fellow countrymen Poete Maudit, whilst “Apres la Nuit” is more stylistic, all ravens, growls, chains and icy sheen. These extra tracks are more to-the-point than the main feature, meaning that they’re an accessible hook to the new listener at the same time as being a treat for long-term fans.

If you’re fanatical about Quebecois ambient black metal (which isn’t as ridiculous an idea as an unbeliever might think – this is a remarkably rich vein), this limited run is a must-have; cultish, interesting and at times satisfyingly obscure. For the less accustomed to these wintry verses, N&N might prove a little unfocused, too prone to skipping the impulse to self-edit, but all the same, “L’Abime”’s aura and the varied nature of the second disc will, as mentioned, garner new support. Cold, atmospheric grimness of the most malicious kind.

Ellen Simpson


From: Funeral March Zine; Issue #6 www.myspace.com/funeralmarchzine

This is a re-issue of the 2007 album from Neige et Noirceur, and it also includes a six track "bonus" disc. The first song is 25 minutes... that is a very long start, especially since I haven't heard this band before. Anyway, it is partly very good and interesting, then there are some parts that I could have lived without, some sort of passages that isn't my cup of tea. But when it is good it is really good, very harmonic and dark even though it is raw. A nice mixture. The second song, "only" 12 minutes... it is just some ambient, noise thing, I don't really care for that to be honest, for me it could have been just silent there. It gets better after that though, the rest of the album is much better. Even here there are some ambient songs but way better. Part two of this record is the best, part one is partly good but I must say that I would have been satisfied with just part two.


From: Meridian 9 Magazine; Issue #5 www.myspace.com/meridian9

Quebecois Black Metal masters auteurs Neige et Noirceur's "L'Abime des jours, l'ecume des nuits" was originally published by Dungeons Deep Records in the winter of 2007, but as one might expect when speaking of an underground Black Metal act with a dedicated cult following, that release sold out quite quickly. Now thanks to Nick Skog and Hypnotic Dirge Records, those folks like myself that missed out on the original pressing can now own this little piece of Canadian Black Metal history. The re-release comes in a standard jewel-case with updated artwork from N&N's Spiritus plus liner notes, lyrics, and a bonus disc showcasing other rare and sold out material from some of N&N's previous efforts. That's all well and good, but how does this two-disc set sound, hmmmmm? Pretty bloody fantastic, if you ask me. Disc one is the album "proper" containing two loooong tracks, and while disc two contains some others tracks in the same stylistic vein. Both discs feature songs that are made up of some of the finest, and thickest, Dark Ambient/Black Metal I've had the pleasure of listening to recently. The songs ebb and flow between suffocating synthetic atmospheres and fuzzed out guitar work highlighted by minimalist drum work, and crackling blackened shrieks. Truly marvelous compositions that tug at your emotions and pull you along with an eerie panache that is worthy of the highest praise.

Reviewer: Owen Wears


From: Nocturnal Cult Webzine www.nocturnalcult.com

This is a 2-disk rerelease of Neige Et Noirceur's 2007 demo originally on Dungeons Deep Records. And Hypnotic Dirge has done a great service to the underground by repressing this. This demo profoundly illustrates Neige Et Noirceur's penchant for meshing cold ambience and even colder black metal into a nebula of icy darkness. The title track is a 25-minute, methodically shifting journey through different movements of ambience and black metal, including a the shimmering dance of fairy keys, gurgling monstrosities residing in the fog and a tempestuous fever of black metal might, like an avalanche of icicles. The raw black metal riffs buried beneath deep guttural vocals and desolate synth evokes a feeling of naturalistic and obscure magic. Frolicking wolves baying in the night announces the arrival of Loin Des Hommes, Pret Des Betes. Atmospheric keys paint astral swaths through the music before being overtaken by dungeon sounds. From this silence arises an ever increasing drone of windy white noise. Souffle is a indistinct march of piano which then fades into the chilling female voice and angelic keyboard of Decor Astral Sans Lune. The track quickly devolves into raw black metal ferocity, possessed of an anger rarely felt within underground circles. L'evell Dans Le Mort is not nearly as memorable because the midtempo riffs and simplistic keys don't excite as much as the rest of the album's material. The album is rounded out by Orlok, another cosmic textured ambient track combined with venomous black metal. The initial and final stages are a bit like a more structured Neptune Towers with wind and subterranean noises. Sandwiched between them is rapid black metal layered with dense noise. As always, Neige Et Noirceur elegantly dances between raw black metal and haunting ambience. This demo highlights the maturity that was displayed on their debut album, Crepescule Hivernal...

Reviewer: Bradley Smith


From: Alternativ Musik www.alternativmusik.de

***The original version of this review is published in German. The following is an English translation using Google Translator.

L'Abime of Jours, L'ecume of nights was originally published in the year 2007 in an extremely limited edition and is now on the Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records were reissued. In addition to the material of the original album L'Abime of Jours, L'ecume of nightsConsisting of two pieces-the eponymous piece and Loin des hommes pret, the betes there is an additional CD of bonus material, which consists of already published, but is no longer available songs. Additionally there is background information in the booklet and a new CD cover for republishing.

The first song starts very slowly and sounds like an ice storm, with church bells and the moans and hissing any creature, and gives one the feeling of being lost in a snowstorm in the middle. After about six minutes then the E-Gttarren join to aggravate all the more disorienting and later with shrill and wavering church organs one more, until you again after about 10 minutes has peace, but not last long. This game runs about 25 minutes back then - including the sinister riffs, demonic grunts and cold-threatening atmosphere, until Loin des hommes pret, the betes follows, which clearly has more ambient elements, but the atmosphere is similar to her tightly. Here you can hear storms and organs, which make one shudder.

The bonus disc is different on the other hand to an astonishing way: So moves L'Eveil dans le Mort with piano accompaniment in gothic plains, while Le cemitiere perdu with Lo-Fi cruelly hinbrettert on. Lovely!

Simply mistaken, offer what Neige et Noirceur here. You can learn at first hand how one's blood freezes in the veins, which one accepts a malicious joy. Lovely!

Reviewer: Tristan Osterfeld