Biche are a French duo that play filthy, bleak sludge doom. This sentence alone excites me because I find that France is the place where you can find some REALLY excellent and unique metal bands (Deathspell Omega and Gojira being the most high profile of these). What it is I don’t know, maybe it’s in the water. Maybe it’s not the water, it’s the wine. Anyway, I looked forward to this as soon as I read that description.
‘Agrafe-moi les couilles sur une table à repasser’ opens the record with a raw, harsh riff and some twisting guitar before descending into a hellish howling torture. There is something malevolently uncompromising about it, atonal rumblings from the bowels drag you along. This is a violent cocktail of hardcore and sludge, without any let up. When the artwork is a picture of Bambi with his eyes popping (exploding) out, you knew something was up…
‘SUSU!’ is a shot blast, veering from a slower riff to a faster one, keeping that off balance feeling. It’s short, sharp and to the point. ‘Terre’ is a more measured piece, the intro laying a mournful foundation on which Biche pile mangled riff after mangled riff. This is not a band for the faint at heart, nor is it a band for someone looking for a simple sludge riff-a-thon. Biche are, well, I want to say technical but I think I mean complex. There’s a lot going on in ‘Terre’, jarring guitar tones meeting suddenly with a picked melody, then back to an almost bluesy section.
Biche are an interesting proposition due to their oxymoronic style. They are complex, yet not sophisticated. They play primal, harsh music but with thought, precision, difficulty. ‘6 millions’ combines melancholy guitar picking with big riffs and they do riffs very well, very well. The sound is reminiscent of Godhunter, but slightly more fucked up. Must be a French thing. For only two band members, Biche make a hell of a racket, especially on ‘Viol de tes propres ailes’, the most straightforward slab of violent hardcore sludge noise in this 29 minute release. It is unsettlingly relentless, and leads into the equally awesome ‘Un bon dimanche’.
Biche are a band that are totally worth your time if you enjoy a mangling of hardcore and sludge, coated in just a slight dressing of otherworldly weirdness. A band that will hopefully continue to give birth to such ugly, dark music is to be appreciated and supported. Biche do just that.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson