Bart M. : France's Melt just released their self-titled debut album and lets us hear a remarkable brand of metal; remarkable because I had not heard it before in this specific form. (If I offend anyone with that, please accept my apology.) 'Opikanoba', the opening track, does not sound very impressive at first, but I will get back to that, because the second song, 'Stigmata', immediately manages to grab the listener by the throat with some really sharp edged, guitarwork that is rolling along with the vocals that, like huge meat-hooks, shoot through your chest, attach themselves to your heart and then mercilessly rip the poor thing out. Goosebumps! And once this song got through to me I understood the rest - including 'Opikanoba' - as well. And the tone was set. 'ShiroKuroMelt' seems to be the exception, which is not surprising, since Shirokuro means something along the lines of setting a contrast, and a quieter intermezzo in which we mostly hear bird sounds and what appears to be a geisha singing is quite a contrast to the heaviness of the other songs. The highlight for me is the instrumental 'Kitane', it reminded me of all the times I was walking home at five in the morning, through the cold and the drizzle, surrounded by neonlights and shop window mannequins when all of a sudden I spotted someone walking ahead of me and got that urge to start chasing that person. As everyone does occasionally, or maybe that's just me. Anyway, imagine you are the one being chased and you will know exactly what this song feels like.
So, what do these examples tell us? Well, what I am trying to show is that Melt, with a heavy rhythm section, carefully placed guitarsound and the hauntingly beautiful vocals of singer Cha manages, in a very refined way, to create a dark and brooding atmosphere. It is music that is easily listened to with eyes closed and it would be a pity if people whose musical tastes lean towards post metal wouldn't give this record a listen!