ALBUM REVIEW: Hanibal Death Machine – A Bout De Souffle

Taking inspiration from artists such as MARILYN MANSON and ROB ZOMBIE, and singing in French,  HANIBAL DEATH MACHINE have a very defined sound. Their latest release A Bout De Souffle (English: Breathless) provides yet another distinct flavour in the field of industrial music with mass appeal. Formed in 2014 by Jean-Luc Loret (Vocals), Corentin Altar di alter (Guitar), Yann Gerbaud (Bass) and Dorian Loret (Drums). In 2015 they released Birth which received a favourable review or two. I’m going to say it now, if you like GOJIRA you should pick this up and thank me later.

The album opens with L’enfer (English: Hell) which features very strong doom metal tendencies. It’s groovy but it never builds up the pace to anything faster than a quick march. As an opener, it’s certainly impressive and leaves a good impression. I think a lot of it is how much it feels like a prolonged drum roll to announce the other tracks. That’s not to say that it can’t exist on its own but rather that it manages to maintain a degree of tension throughout without going stale. It’s probably most similar to the fourth track I Have A Dream which like L’enfer goes hard on the bass elements.

It follows up with En Guerre (English: In War) which features galloping guitars, an overall oppressive sound and something that sounds like a horse whinnying in the background. It breaks into this synth pad and drum groove with spoken dialogue towards the end which serves up yet another flavour. When I first listened to this release it really caught me off guard and it became readily apparent that this wasn’t something that could fit into a strict genre.

I Have A Dream is an odd instance where I’m really not sure what to make of a song. It’s named after and features samples from Martin Luther King’s famous speech but as an English speaker I feel it is lacking a lot of context. Loret’s vocals are impressive – managing to deliver each note well. I just wish I knew what he was saying.

Le Cliquetis (English: The Clicking) is why I recommend this album for GOJIRA fans. Featuring elements similar to The Cell and the rest of the tracks coming across as a love letter to Terra Incognita, it’s really easy to sit back, get comfy and enjoy. Usually I’d feel hesitant about comparing one artist’s release to another’s so strongly but I think in this case it’s not a bad thing. This is HANIBAL DEATH MACHINE’s second release, if they stick with this sound for a while I don’t think it would do them any harm. They’ve definitely got a fan base out there already made. 

I really like this album and will be picking it up. If RAMMSTEIN can make people appreciate the benefit of singing in German, perhaps these guys can do the same for the French language. Where this album fails for me is the fault of the listener, the way they are singing has weight but I would like to know WHAT they’re singing.

Rating: 7/10

Words: Jacob McCrone

A Bout De Souffle is out now.

Find HANIBAL DEATH MACHINE on Facebook.

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