Fange – Privation
Release Date: 10/03/23
Running Time: 40:00
Review by Dark Juan
Finally! I am going to be rid of the far larger than life size turkey head that has been the balefully staring bane of my life for at least two weeks. The main difference with it now is that Mrs Dark Juan has given it a fez. I know not why. It is wise to not ask questions.
Anyway, it’s leaving the house and thereby increasing living space in Crow Cottage by around 17%. The good folk of Sowerby Bridge will have their chance to enjoy it when it is resident in The Turk’s Head and also when Mrs Dark Juan carries it through town to get it there.
None of this has anything to do with the record I am trying to listen to (I say trying because Mrs Dark Juan keeps talking to me and The Dread Lord Sir Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover keeps shouting for absolutely no reason and Hodgson Biological-Warfare keeps nudging me to try and convince me to give him a third breakfast. He’s already conned Mrs Dark Juan into thinking I am an abusive son of a bitch who doesn’t feed him and acquired a second breakfast via deceit. He is a lying chonky shit machine) which is from a Breton Industrial band called Fange. As you all know who read this claptrap, Dark Juan was resident in Brittany for a while (in a village called Lignol, in Morbihan) and so is an enthusiastic fan of anything from there, especially kouign-amann and Breton cider. So, will these Rennes-based extremists live up to Dark Juan’s rosy-hued vision of everything Breton by giving us an amazing record, or will Dark Juan have to reconsider his view that the French Extreme Music scene is one of the most diverse and exciting out there? Let us spin this disc upon the Platter of Splatter ™ and see what results from it…
In a staggering display of what passes for competence in my life, I am writing this missive before mid-afternoon. Hence there might be withering sarcasm or a complete lack of clarity because I am still half asleep after returning from wrangling young people.
The album opens with ‘A La Racine’ (‘At The Root’) and it is a harsh and abrasive experience – extreme vocals that tear at the hearing of the poor listener grind against guitars that flay and eviscerate and the drum machine is a massively percussive engine that hammers itself straight into the solar plexus and just keeps on pounding. ‘Sang-Vinagre’ (‘Vinegar Blood’ literally – this however could be my French failing me and it is actually ‘Acid Blood’ or some equivalent) is an equally savage proposition but melds light and dark beautifully, with elements of Post-Punk in the guitar work, and dare I even say that there are echoes of a deliciously Industrial Paradise Lost in parts. Think a heavier “One Second” and you’ll get the idea.
I know there are purists out there who deride the use of a drum machine on Extreme recordings. Well, I bid them all defiance, thumb my nose at them and say “Fie!” to their opinions because they are fucking WRONG. There are times (especially in Industrial music) where a drum machine adds a level of precision and percussive assault that a human drummer can’t. I give you Godflesh as the example that proves the rule. And Necrophagist, come to think of it. They released a classic album of Technical Death Metal with a drum machine. Fange are no different. They use a drum machine to considerable advantage. Think of it more as a massy and devastating warhammer than percussion and revel in the slaughter and the splatter of internal organs as they are torn out by hammer induced blunt force trauma.
‘Né Pour Trahir’ (‘Born To Betray’) displays a particularly blackened Gothic Industrial exterior, with waspish and ethereal guest vocals from Cindy Sanchez (Lisieux, Candélabre) forming a beautiful yet dangerous counterpoint to some fine Post-Punk guitar work simmering gently beneath the pummelling Industrial music and oily Sludge that is the backbone of this utterly maniacal Breton band.
The production on this album is a masterclass in Industrial Metal sound – it is almost biomechanical in complexity with a mix of such artistry that Dark Juan has decided it should have a street party in its honour. This has not gone down well with the denizens of Sowerby Bridge because I have a) blocked the road outside Crow Cottage, thereby removing access to the theatrical curtain manufacturers up the road and b) I am the only one at the party because Mrs Dark Juan has to do FIFTEEN illustrations for the Centre for Folklore, Myth and Magic up the road in Todmorden by mid-March and she is having a major panic about timescales. It is a cloying, rich mix that is all-encompassing in its extremity. It surrounds, seduces and then bludgeons the listener to half to death before getting out the big rocks for a bit of peine forte a dure. Never let it be said that Fange don’t know how to show you a fucking good time, especially if you are into a bit of pain to get your rocks off…
To summarise, then: Fange effortlessly weld the arctic coldness yet ultra-humanistic Industrial alienation of Godflesh with the rich, pitch-thick, full sound of Sludge Metal and the dark and ghostly elegance of Gothic rock and Post-Punk and the icy mechanics of Coldwave and this resonates so fully with Dark Juan that he has fallen into a musical event horizon and is silently seated in the lounge, unmoving and uncommunicative and gently dribbling because he cannot comprehend such utter fucking perfection in music. Fange hit every musical spot Dark Juan has and a few he didn’t know about. This really is Industrial at its best, and the French appear to have cornered the modern Industrial scene and battered it into cowering submission. With Fange and P.H.O.B.O.S there’s no one to touch them.
Le système breveté de notation des éclaboussures de sang de Dark Juan a rappelé que la France est un pays merveilleux et que la Bretagne est encore meilleure par Fange et ne peut rien faire d’autre que de leur attribuer le dix sur dix pour la musique industrielle la plus parfaite qu’il ait entendue depuis des années. 10/10 for the Anglophones out there. Merci, messieurs! Merci BEAUCOUP…
01. À La Racine
03. Les Crocs Limes
04. Né Pour Trahir
05. Enfers Inoculés
06. Portes D’Ivoire
Antoine Perron – Bass, Vocals
Benjamin Moreau – Guitars, Vocals, Machines
Matthias Jungbluth – Vocals, Lyrics
Vague – Guitars, Vocals
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.