I’m pretty sure this is the first self-released album I’ve reviewed (it’s certainly the first for this website) and what a high note to start on! ‘Et les Cieux s’assombrirent…’ is a really great release, one that should come with a stamp of underground authenticity. Not only does it reek of good old-fashioned DIY aesthetics, Malcuidant’s second full-length also happens to be a damn fine Black Metal album.

Generally, there aren’t too many decent bands going down the self-release route, so maybe that’s why ‘Et les Cieux s’assombrirent…’ is such a breath of fresh air. It’s not a cheap CDr either – this is the real thing, a proper pro-CD in a sumptuous digipack with stunning layout and lyrics included. While a label may get the music more exposure, some labels also shit all over bands and bleed them dry so kudos to Ayrhomm and Garrgl for going it alone (although they do still retain their strong ties with Total Holocaust and a few other imprints).

The music itself is aggressive, fast and violent BM, with more than a hint of melody but still as raw and fresh as a cigarette burn. On many levels, it reminds me of the utterly excellent Obtained Enslavement album ‘Soulblight’. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be this harsh. All the songs are in French and the album is done and dusted in 42 minutes (seven tracks). It’s the kind of intense Black Metal that could give you a migraine – always a good sign!

Malcuidant don’t pull any punches. Their independent spirit has given rise to an unrestrained slab of devil-may-care Black Metal, conceived and executed with more than a touch of class. This is a really good album for anyone who likes fast and fierce BM with a trace of variety. The best part? It only costs €10, postage included, directly from the band.

Evilometer: 444/666

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