Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Forgotten Lore: Torgeist

Torgeist were an obscure, short lived French black metal band that belonged to the Les Légions Noires ("The Black Legion" for you non Francophones). Started in 1992 and dead by 1996, Torgeist left their mark with a meager 4 releases (pretty much the norm for these short lived, incestuous bands). A peculiar thing about the Les Légions Noires is that from its start sometime in the early 90's until its demise right before the turn of the century, only one band was able to muster out a full length album (it being Vampires of Black Imperial Blood by the only "successful" LLN band Mütiilation).  History lessons aside, there was something that always caught me about this lo-fi obscure outfit.

One listen to Devoted to Satan and you've probably made up your mind about the band. One of the better recording jobs for a LLN band (listen to Vlade if you want an idea of how awful production could be or better yet La Morte Luna by Vlad Tepes) Devoted to Satan is more primitive and evil sounding than the melodic acts of Mütiilation or Vlad Tepes. Death metal like mid tempo drumming pinned to scratchy hazy guitars and surprisingly audiable and effective bass creates and surging headbangable sound that many of the LLN strayed away from. The title track from the demo is one of my favorite songs, especially the melodramatic and haunting intro. 

Thankfully Time of Sabbath offers a better production job as opposed to Black Legions Metal (a split with Vlad Tepes containing the same tracklist but poorer sound). In comparison to acts now, Torgiest might seem needless raw, unimaginative, or stale, but when I first heard them amidst my exploration of black metal I was fascinated by the paradoxical production and their ultra rhythmic approach, not to mention its hard to ignore the whole LLN thing (although in all actuallity it was probably just a poor attempt to follow their idols up North). For a real fun time, listen to the 1994 Rehearsal Tape and try and enjoy those ridiculous vocals. And yet, as much as I can knock this band I keep listening to them, and enjoying them as they act as an interesting time piece for black metal's development and departure from death and thrash metal

Obvious links to acts like Torgeist and Vlad Tepes exist in black metal's current incarnation (Akitsa, Peste Noire, Celestia, many tape devoted labels/bands like the Black Twilight, etc to name a few) and the importance of the LLN should never be discounted. Fans of noisy, disruptive, and painfully bad production will flock to bands like Torgeist but won't appreciate what's hidden under all the fuzz and thinned out cymbals. 

Be weary if you plan on buying anything LLN, especially pieces that claim to be originals as they are one of the most highly sought after groups of releases in the metal community. There exist numerous bootlegs of almost every bands and one of the only reliable sources I could think of would be Drakkar, a label very closely associated with the LLN. If you find yourself thinking Emperor got too clean, or things now seem a bit too easily done, then Torgiest is a band for you. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...