Vertrieb: Sleeping Church Records
Versionen: Digital, CD
Stil: French Black Doom with a dissonant focus and a strong tendency towards the theatralic
Brittany in the Northwest of France is not only famous for its magnificent and wild landscape, a millennia-long tradition of stubborn and proud inhabitants who defended their culture against all foreign influences (and would never say no to merry victory celebrations with roasted wild boar), but also has a very lively black metal scene, and that is from where ǤỨŔŪ are hailing. Founded in 2020 during the strange and dull times of the pandemic, the five-piece has expanded the usual black metal roots to dig into something slower, but even more deep and atmospheric by including melodic heavy and doomy elements to their dissonant, feverish riffing and blasting without denying their classic Black Metal background.
‘Nova Lvx’ is their debut album and surprises listeners not only with the most intricate and not to be outdone use of diacritical signs in their band name, but also four rather complex longtracks, an almost philosophical approach to their topic and vocals which totally stand out of your usual screaming and growling. In contrast, bandleader Jerry is not only throat singing and growling, but mainly using theatralic opera-style vocals which gives the sound of Guru something outerworldly, crazy and very eccentric, by at the same time staying true to their genre-defining blastbeats and tremolos.
If URFAUST pops up in your mind now, you’re not wrong at all, at least as far as the singing and the majestic, always a bit over-the-top mood are concerned, but also PRIMORDIAL come to mind, marrying black and doom metal under the common theme of anguish and despair, but ǤỨŔŪ won’t stay passive, as they still have something to achieve, a goal to reach, and therefore cannot simply remain suffering and lamenting – they have to move on, and this is where their black metallish fervor and velocity come into play. What makes their sound so unique is not only the constant changes in dynamics and varied tempi, but how all this is perfectly embedded into their multifaceted storytelling songs, which pick just this perfect style out of the various subgenres of extreme metal which is necessary and fitting for that required mood. And the mood here changes faster than the rumours about Marie-Antoinette’s amorous escapades during the French revolution, which makes ‘Nova Lvx’ a gripping and intriguing experience, which always manages to astonish the listener.
But what makes the five-piece stand out from competitors is their will to be different, to be odd, to croak, whine and sound off-key – it’s not beauty what they seek, or better: GURU show us that beauty can be also found in the weird, chaotic, improvised and unpolished, in the imperfectness of life, and that is what makes them so appealing, and very black metal, too. Fans of the crazy Austrians in KRINGA should check them out in any case! Their pilgrimage out of the crimson darkness and towards the new light is guided by various predecessors, who come from Cascadia, Belgium and their own French brethren, not only from extreme metal but also classic heavy metal, prog, even Krautrock and punk, dating back many decades ago in the last century. All these various influences produce something entirely new, incomparable, which thrives in its very own ecosystem – if it feeds more on the living or the dead, future recordings may tell. The only minor criticisms may be the abrupt ending of ‘Nova Lvx’, and the general brevity of the record, but for a debut, this is totally irrelevant. Like them, all you freaks, let’s just look forward and join the pilgrimage into the light! And don’t forget your darkest sunglasses… hellfire also shines very, very brightly.
ǤỨŔŪ is Jerry (music & lyrics / vocals), Rudy (guitar), Simon (guitar), Anne-Laure (bass) and Quentin (drums).
After a demo called ‘XX’ in 2020, of which two songs are now included in the LP, ‘Nova Lvx’ is their first release.