Deep beneath the bands that have fallen, split-up, given up or even melted away in the river of existing metal, few diamonds are still left for people to actually enjoy. France is a country that is disliked because of the language they speak and how they seem to be “cowardly” in certain situations. To me, France is a country that is very strong willed with heavy hearts and even has heavier bands then most countries. Cebren-Khal, a black/doom band from Rennes/Brittany, France, a band that gives off more gloom, depression and hatred than any other band I’ve heard recently. Only releasing a demo back in 2005, “Charon’s Path”, it seemed to hit a few places around the world pretty heavy but it never knocked on my doorstep. With that said, I’m glad “A Mass of Despair” was thrown at my door, blasted all the windows out of my house and left me weeping for more from Celbren-Khal.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve listened to hundreds of records from hundreds of different black/doom outfits, most are horrible, some are decent and very few are worth being called a diamond. “A Mass of Despair” is worthy of being called a diamond on levels that most will never even see. This record makes you feel the pain, it paints landscapes of frozen mountains, roads covered in ash while the wind whispers demonic spells upon the dying souls of a feasting town. The album opens with rainfall and thunder, the two things that make me melt and get me excited more than anything else. The atmosphere the riffs and bass set are very calming at times but they can make you bleed agony if you let them. “Mortshaped” is the first track, it has the more doomy-atmospheric feed to it but does give you that black metal twist with some melodic counterparts to it.
The deeper you get inside this monster of a record, the more you’ll feel the black metal influence surround you. We’re not talking about it surrounding you to the point in engulfs you but you’ll always feel that black metal spirit stalking you in the shadows. “The Lunar Tragedy – Act 3: Experience of Downfall”, the one track on this record that embodies everything this band is about. You get that depressing, apathy black metal with a huge feel of doom in the vocals. The screams, the slams in the later parts of the track, it all contributes to how gloomy yet hate filled this record is. In a way, you can get philosophical thoughts out of this records also. Thoughts of losing the light that you’ve been chasing for years, only to learn that the darkness that stole it from your grasps was the future version of yourself. “A Mass of Despair”, the one record that will teach you things while you listen to it. Learn more about yourself and learn more about the cold world we live in with wicked souls that spoil the good things.
Cebren-Khal – Underground kings that are doing exactly what they want to do with people following them. Cebren-Khal are leaders in this black/doom genre, even though bands have done it before them and bands will do it after them, they have taken the role of king, at least that’s the way I see it.