When I came across the name of this band in the list with possible reviews I somehow knew this wouldn’t be a review of an ordinary release, so I picked it. After all, what’s in a name, right? Turns out I was spot on. No Terror In The Bang, the reference to Alfred Hitchcock needs no introduction, is a French cinematic metal band that has their home base in Rouen, a city in the well-known province of Normandy. Only being formed in 2019 by Alexis Damien and Sofia Bortoluzzi, NTITB is a young band, next to this duo consisting of Etienne Cochin and Clément Bernard on guitar, Brice Bouchard on bass and Romain Greffe on the keys. Despite their relatively short existence the band already recently released their first full-length called Eclosion. It offers thirteen songs that span a little over 47 minutes, which is on the short side, but hey, the best music leaves you craving for more anyway. Into the world of cinematic metal I go.
Now, I am never afraid to wander each possible corner of the musical spectrum, so I allowed myself to be fully emerged in this particular corner as well. I just have no idea what corner I ended up in though. The music is coherently incoherent, making this first and foremost a true adventure to take in. Opener Saule Pleureur (weeping willow) has more ties to Amy Winehouse and chamber jazz than metal, not in the least due to Sofia’s vocals, throwing me off track for a bit. However, that isn’t long-lived as the moment the second song, Another Kind of Violence, starts the metal in cinematic metal enters. Again this is not for long, as after a few seconds the core-based beat is abruptly halted by a chime and a piano, creating a soothing, yet unnerving vibe, while simultaneously proving to me I was spot on with my estimate that this was no ordinary release. From rage to intense sadness, from soothing to crushing, NTITB’s music bears it all, at times changing at a faster pace than your brain is willing to cope with. I have tried to find a useful description for what is coming your way, but that is impossible. The best I can come up with is that you get constantly get thrown back and forth between metalcore-ish tunes that breathe aggression and anger (Uncanny, No More Helpful Peace Part 1) and much, much more relaxed, sad, even despairing parts interspersed with various arrangements that sometimes border the insane and psychedelic (Poison, 21 Grams).
I have seen a great deal of releases with two or more faces, but rarely have I witnessed one where this concept has been taken to this extreme. Although the individual tracks might not be an accurate depiction of the album as a whole, they certainly show the band is capable of comfortably and skillfully moving round in various musical genres, with the vocals of Sofia acting as the pinnacle of this statement. She has an incredible repertoire of vocal types and she’s not shy of using them either. Having said that there really is only one right way to take this album in, and that is as separate identities that merge into an expressive whole that leaves a lasting impression. Once again an album that is most likely an acquired taste, but once again one I really dig. Despite the impression its opening song might leave, it’s not exactly easy listening or chamber music, it’ll take a lot of focus, but once you allow it in, you’ll be positively overwhelmed. Try if you dare, highly interesting, definitely worth a couple of tries.