Review: Les Chants Du Hasard – Livre Troisième

Well, here’s an interesting ‘band’ to review. To say the least. Les Chants Du Hasard, based in France, started as a solo project by Hazard, which it still is by the way, with the purpose to translate the most extreme emotions, a source of inspiration known to be abundantly used in metal, into an organic whole that is more than ‘just’ music. The initial thought was to create orchestral music with the same intensity, violence and darkness as many metal music holds. He got close with his second release, a full-length called Livre Second, which succeeded his debut full-length Orchestra Livre Premier. However, where it was to be expected that he would continue down the path to perfect this, he decided to abandon the idea and allow more than just dark emotions into his music. And that’s where his latest work, his third release called Livre Troisième, comes into play, in which a host of enlisted vocalists pass in review. The list consists of, in order of appearance, Vaerohn (Pensées Nocturnes), Göran Setitus (Svartghast, ex-Setherial), Marfa Khovansky, Melitza Torres, Solveig and Sabine. Livre Troisième offers eight remarkable songs without the use of guitars, drums or bass. Yes, you have read it exactly right. What you get is 45 minutes of arranged orchestral music that, despite everything, still feels like metal somehow. Needless to say that it technically isn’t of course. Then what is it? Well, classifying the music is only remotely possible as there simply is no genre that sufficiently describes what LCDH produces. That is in no way a declassification, it simply points out the uniqueness of the tunes. Not even the general type of music is easily determined, if you put a gun to my head I’d probably go for symphonic black opera, which would mean creating a whole new genre.

Now, as you probably could guess from the rather extensive introduction rating the songs individually is an impossible task, simply because they are so different from what I am used to review and, equally so, because the structure of the songs is so complicated and non-repetitive you would learn exactly nothing from a measly description. So I’d rather try to review this as a whole, which by the way is the recommended method of listening to this in the first place. Although the individual songs can be enjoyed separately, doing so takes away from the overall experience. The first tones remind me of the music used in the early black and white horror movies like Frankenstein and Dracula in scenes where the bad guy appears to do something improper. Bombastic, dramatic, you know the drill. If not, just look at the cover and you’ll see what I mean. Anyway, Livre Troisième is filled with adventurous, bombastic music with a major classical vibe. The tone and atmosphere of the music offers anything from dramatic to sad, desolate, scary and even soothing. The added vocals, consisting of the scary voice of a child, sopranos, growls and screams, are so varied that they make a whole lot of difference, adding extra layers and atmosphere to an already rather ominous, burdening musical spectrum. There’s a few moments that impressed me as slightly incoherent, which is to be expected in such intricate, highly complicated compositions, but that didn’t affect the experience one bit.

Either way you slice it, the fact remains LCDH in general and Livre Troisième in particular are a curiosity in its own right and will most definitely be on my list of most peculiar releases ever. Although certainly not metal it will still be a good listen for many fans of the darker types of music, including metal. Perhaps the best description comes from the simple observation that this impresses as weighted down classical music with a dark, cumbersome edge. Needless to say LCDH’s music will most certainly be considered an acquired taste, but don’t let that stop you from trying it, which also goes for this review. It’s hard to describe in the right words and regardless whether you’ll like it or not, at least it is something special, something different. I for one really enjoyed it!

Here you can also read our eighth part of Promoting Bands, which includes Les Chants Du Hasard.

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