“We're a post black metal band from France called Smohalla.“
This was my first contact to these French buggers and everything seemed simple enough.
On their website Smohalla states that the “post black” been misused.
No from my personal stance proclamations like these tend to get my defenses up.
Has the band failed to live up with the label of choice?
Why the need to defend their choice of label?
A quick listen answers these puzzling questions and lifts a weight off my soul. I can easily admit my ignorance and tell you that black metal is not the genre that springs to my mind from this music, with or without the “post”. Smohalla’s other proclamation in their bio hits the spot dead on: “Incredibly composed music with an intelligent progression“.
The music is closer to contemporary art music than black metal and reminds at points of Ulver’s later efforts. Orchestral elements are placed all over the album and the sounds are quite decent even if some plastic vibes show their ugly faces here and there.
The vocals are well executed and suits the different moods of the release. The additional use of guest vocalists is a prefect solution in order to bring forth different atmospheres along the way.
Sadly due to my obvious handicap concerning the french language I cannot comment on the lyrical output for Resilience.
Last, but definitely not least I have to compliment the band on the quality of their digital promo. High quality files with tags in order and even complete scans of the booklet with lyrics were included. Many labels could learn a lesson from this.