Archive for Haut et Court

Review: Black Code

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by Magadh

black code

Black Code Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered Tanker Records

There’s been a lot of interesting music coming out of France recently. Most of what I’ve heard has been bands like Direwolves, Birds in Row, and Haut et Court that, if one may be allowed to generalize, mix elements of power violence with stylistic fragments that recall black metal. Admittedly, this statement doesn’t do justice to the wide variation between the bands just mentioned, but I think it fair to say that they all share a commitment to push the envelope in a direction that involves time and tempo changes and significant admixture of atonality.

Black Code, hailing from Besançon, about 50 miles from the Swiss border in eastern France, are operating on a much different theory. Rather than relying on weird time signatures and atypical chords, Black Code go straight for the throat with a crushing band of metal tinged crust. They have two releases, so far as I am aware. They put out a split EP with Lust for Death earlier this year, and now they come out with a full LP entitled Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered. Both releases are very strong. The guitar sound is crunchy and angular, downtuned with strong metallic overtones. Indeed, if one were to pick out points of comparison with other bands, those might be more along the lines of Dismember or Nominon that of more hardcore influenced crust. Their songs are mostly in middling tempos, with guitar chug and lots of thudding double bass. The songs on Hanged, Drawn, and Quartered are consistently excellent, well arranged and powerful, with enough variation in terms of structure to hold the interest.

Currently it’s a little difficult to get copies of this record in North America. I heard it on Bandcamp where it can be listened to but not downloaded. Paco from Instinto put me in touch their record label who told me that they are going to try to get some copies distributed over here through Profane Existence, but that’s yet to happen. Readers are strongly encouraged to check this out on Bandcamp and then email the band insisting that that they get over to North America and give us a firsthand look at their music.

Magadh

Review: Haut et Court

Posted in Reviews with tags , on December 17, 2012 by Magadh

Haut et Court La Vie Self Released

Haut1 I was just bitching to someone the other day about how I felt like all of the music I was listening to had gotten stale. Then, via that serendipity that sometimes make the interweb seem slightly more bearable, I stumbled in a whole bunch of interesting stuff. The story behind this particular review starts last summer when I stumbled on Throatruiner Records’s online catalog. As I mentioned in the Direwolves review a few days ago, this label is not widely known in North America. In my own little way I hope to do something to rectify this, since everything that I’ve heard from them so far has been stunning.

Hautcourt.-Band1

The blurb about Direwolves is (I suspect) what resulted in Arnaud from the Strasbourg band Haut et Court contacting the bunker and bringing their recently released offering La Vie to our attention. After listening to it the first time, my one word review of in my response to him was: Damn. Just…damn. The six songs here are mostly fast, always aggressive, and played with impressive tightness and precision. There are elements of a whole lot of styles here: some parts are crusty, others more math oriented, and they even have an element that sounds a little bit like black metal in terms of the mix of tonality and atonality. The really extraordinary thing about La Vie is the quality of the arrangements. It is easy for a band trying to do a lot of different things to get lost on in the variety and to end up sounding muddled and diffuse. Haut et Court’s compositions are characterized by power and directness, and the various parts fit together into a thunderingly powerful totality.

Hautcourt.-Band3I think their name translates as Loud and Short, and I further surmise (if my French still serves me) that this is a sort of pun on the French phrase “haut et fort” which translates as loud and clear. However that may be, Loud and Short is an apt name for these guys. Their music has a lot of the qualities of a bomb blast, and when it’s over you’re not quite sure what to do. This is an excellent first offering from a band with a lot of promise.