With Norway being so synonymous with Black Metal from its roots to the present day, by now France can hold an equally high association with its latter-day avant-garde offshoots. As much as black metal was always about experimentation and evolution, France is particularly prominent for bands pushing black metal into even further trajectories, from the philosophical and conceptual reaches of Blut Aus Nord to the likes of Alcest and Deathspell Omega encompassing polar opposite ends of the spectrum. Purveyors of mystique Abduction; whilst not necessarily envelope pushers in comparison to the aforementioned are, however, similarly unconventional in their approach as second album Á L’heure Du Crépuscle (Finisterian Dead End) attests.
Openly being influenced by the likes of Primordial and Dissection, Abduction evokes the image of nature and the history of their nation in their music, transcending from wistful serenity to blistering and frantic throughout; and whilst this approach in today’s climate is far from an original concept, they pull it off extremely well. Album opener and the longest player ‘Sous Les Cendres et la Pierre’ sets the tone for this formula immediately with a gradual clean opening building with spoken word samples and extra layers before it breaks out into complete pace and intensity around the minute and a half mark, before dipping back into a dreamlike passage with faint, echo-like soft vocals akin to Alcest’s Neige.
In fact, throughout the album Abduction pack in a hell of a lot; with even the shorter (around 6 minute) songs manage to muster pace and direction changes aplenty, but do manage to avoid sounding crowbarred in for the sake of it. Such changes feel so organic and as a result, it does conjure a plethora of emotions and atmospheres. The only drawbacks are that such components never quite feel entirely unique to Abduction, that they have been done before elsewhere and, by now, very frequently. Aside from this, however, Á L’heure Du Crépuscle is dynamic and richly layered and vivid work that melds conflicting tones and aspects and executes it all so well.
Abduction may not be the benchmark for experimentation like some of their peers, but fans of such bands will find so much to love in this.