Dans la joie is the debut album from Au Champ des Morts, following on from 2016’s EP Le jour se lève and although it may not be the most groundbreaking album out there, it’s a good starting point for the band.
Playing black metal in a more contemporary and atmospheric style, Au Champ des Morts brings in elements of blackgaze, post-black and even a smattering of doom on the odd occasion (just take a listen to the crushing third track Le sang, la mort, la chute!) and it’s a nice blend of sound. The atmosphere lends itself well to the music, with the softer facets of the sound sitting well alongside the heavier elements, and it’s a very coherent and ‘together’ sound as a result.
Musically, there’s not really much to fault, as it’s clear there’s a lot of talent within the seven tracks, but on the other hand there’s nothing that really enables Au Champ des Morts to truly stand out – there’s nothing that gives the band their own identity as stylistically it’s fairly similar to other bands in the genre. There’s no questioning it’s a good album, as the aforementioned Le sang, la mort, la chute is a definite highlight along with later track L’Étoile du matin (which is one of the more atmospheric numbers with some great energetic moments within) but it doesn’t quite leave the mark that the band is quite capable of.
As a whole, Au Champ des Morts have a good starting point for their career, and the foundations have certainly been laid for them to take things to the next level with album number two.