French atmospheric death metal band Barús makes a musical offering to see the year out.
Formed in 2015, Barús traverses the unsteady borders of death metal and everything else. The first music the band released was their self-titled EP in 2015 followed by the Drowned long-player in 2018. There is not an enormous amount of information about the musicians themselves readily available in the atmosphere, but the Metal Archives declares the band was formed after Project Jim split up, and the press release declares that on the new album “the band adopted a fluid and open collaborative process involving both musician Anthony Barruel and writer Sarah Onave.” Ah well, as I often say, it is the music that matters the most and, to find out about it, all we have to do is listen.
There are two tracks on the new EP, “Fanges,” which runs nineteen minutes, and “Châssis de Chair,” clocking in at a mere fifteen. The title track was put together mostly from a distance because of the global pandemic. As you might expect, any musical piece that runs so long will have several movements that collect into the whole. The opening is quiet and tentative, and, while death metal lives a rich life herein, there are long passages that are sludgy, and even ambient. There is a lot to experience.
The band describes “Châssis de Chair” as a composition that “works as a mirror-track to ‘Fanges’ by re-expressing the same core elements, albeit through an entirely opposite approach” that was “recorded live inside the band’s rehearsal space, focusing on a raw visceral performance with no overdubs or additional layers.” This description is apt – the song begins loud and fierce, revealing its deeper layers only as the music progresses. The “live” nature of the recording shines through as well in its temper and feel.
The order of the tracks could have been a coin toss, but hearing them this way is definitely best – the studio track first and the unperturbed flow second. If you are a listener who appreciates the long form and who is looking for a lavish journey, you will find it here. Recommended.
Fanges is out on the last day of 2021 through Aesthetic Death for the CD and Breathe Plastic for the tape. You can pick it up at Bandcamp in either format, and digital as well.
Aesthetic Death, https://www.aestheticdeath.com/
Breath Plastic, https://breatheplastic.bandcamp.com/