Napoleonic Level Aggression on the dual anniversary of Bonaparte legacy and entire mosh pit hell of francometal.
Yesterday, in 1815 Napoleon Bonaparte swore fidelity to the Constitution of France at the end of his reign. Fast forward to 1879 – Napoleon Eugene, the last dynastic Bonaparte, is killed in the Anglo-Zulu War.
The Imperial and Royal Majesty Napoleon I, By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine and the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt, Mediator of the Helvetic Confederation was the first ruler of France’s constitutional monarchy his achievements in education, military strategy, law and measurements (yes, under Napoleonic edict the Metric System was adopted, learn more about it’s superiority to all other forms of measurement here www.metric.org) are still felt today as is his legacy as a deft politician and international leader, albeit it, of course, not without controversy.
Beyond Napoleon, however, the legacy of the French culture is astounding. While Italy, Austria and Germany typically dominate musical conversations from the mid last Millenia and the British and Americans did a good job at the end of it, French music never quite gained the prominence of it’s literature, culinary achievements or visual art but that doesn’t mean the French are devoid of contribution. Particularly over the last few years, French metal, punk and hardcore has become quite a powerhouse of both maturation of existing styles and innovation of new ones.
In the past I’ve explored other countries and region’s influences but never had the opportunity to dedicate an entire show to the impact of the froggies. The closest I came was a dedicated set during a Canadian Metal episode – but we fix that all this week.
What strikes me as interesting about French metal is unlike the Canadians where you pretty much assume it’s going to be a technical masterpiece, or the Swedish who you expect carry a common melodic sensibility, or New Yorkers and the anticipation urban cacophony, the French aren’t bound necessarily by a unifying sonic endearment and yet, seemingly, the bands all still fit together.
The francometal subgenre therefore may not have invented anything new so far but through the continued progress of Gorod, Carcariass as well as Gojira and Eths along with the early influence of bands like Trust completely challenges what the extreme metal scene can accomplish, pushing non-French and French bands alike. To that end, this weeks KAOS Radio Austin edition of MPH also includes some post-black in new achievements by Alcest, some outright technical tenacity in the new the Algorithm, some gritty metallic veining through new Frontal and some interesting twists on death in new songs by Phaze I and Plebian Grandstand.
Here are my show notes and some additional insights (including hometowns):
the Algorithm “Access Granted” Polymorphic Code – Toulouse (OPEN or CLOSE — open)
Plebian Grandstand “Endless Craving” Lowgazers – Toulouse (2014)
Deficiency “Stronger than You” Prodigal Child – Forbach-Lorraine (2013)
Carcariass “Fanatic” Hell & Torment – Besancon
Inborn Suffering “Another World” Regression to Nothing – Paris
Fractal Gates “the Sign” Beyond the Self – Paris (2013)
Phaze I “Troops Uprising” Uprising – Angers (2014)
Gorod “Carved in the Wind” a Perfect Absolution – Bordeaux #ByRequest
Gojira “L’enfante Sauvage” L’eS – Bayonne #ByRequest
Uneven Structure “Hail” Februus – Metz #ByRequest
Deep in Hate “Legions of the Weak” Origins of Inequality – Paris
Frontal “Death Eaters” DE – Lyon (2014)
Eths “Gravis Venter” III – Marsieelles
Lalu “Follow the Line” Atomic Arc – Paris (2013)
Warpstone “Translucent Snailbeat” Daemonic Warpfire – Nice (new album came out earlier this year)
Awake in Sleep “a Place to Die” AiS – Paris
Alcest “L’eviel des Muses” Shelter – Bagnols-sur-Ceze (2014)
Trust “Antisocial” Repression – Paris (close, remember, Anthrax covered the English lyrics version of it)
And, btw, just as a note, Napoleon wasn’t short. When translating the French measurements of the time to modern American units he would stand just over 5’6″. Slightly above the accepted 5’5″ average for the French at the time but shorter than the typically Imperial Guards who’s average height was over 5’8″ with full regalia. The short man’s syndrome often associated with Napoleon’s aggressiveness was shown to be a generalized myth in several sociological studies.