Record of the Week: Kristallnacht – Blooddrenched Memorial 1994-2002 (History and News Reports)


Kristallnacht on CD | Kristallnacht on tape | Kristallnacht patches | Kristallnacht t-shirts | Funeral t-shirts

The cult from Toulon were best known to the citizens of southern France for their activity on one Saturday night in June, 1996. The names of FUNERAL and BLESSED IN SIN soon became linked to “satanic terrorists” and led to years of legal issues even for those not directly involved.
To the French underground both bands were already well known. FUNERAL had released a split tape with OSCULUM INFAME earlier in 1996 on Malkira Eskhanth’s A.M.S.G. label and Drakkar, spreading over 1200 copies.

By the end of 1996 FUNERAL, without Black Christ and Xaphan, became KRISTALLNACHT. Hades (now L.F.) released six new records between 1997 and 2002 (plus two compilations). He was able to continue recording with assistance from members of GODKILLER, OSCULUM INFAME and at various times both Xaphan and Black Christ returned to the lineup. It is a chaotic and infamous legacy!

The CD version of Blooddrenched Memorial gives a detailed year-by-year history of the bands.

FUNERAL and KRISTALLNACHT created grandiose music initially influenced by Norwegian and Polish black metal.
Early material is drenched in keyboards playing lead melody. This remains the most characteristic sound giving it an intentionally anthemic feel. The keys become less important in later releases, guitars took over texture and melody; as with SEIGNEUR VOLAND, the band formed later by Xaphan with L.F. on guitar.

This is some of the best from France – unique and memorable songs that improved through the years. As the music adapted so didthe lyrics, as did L.F.’s vision. By 2002 he was ready to put the band to rest:

After 8 years of existence, I decided to put an end to KRISTALLNACHT.
I will say that I don’t regret nor deny at all what I have done with KRISTALLNACHT: I totally stand proud!
The warspirit is still alive but on a even more individual ideological basis for me now, therefore.

Read the full 2002 statement here.

The music stands alone. The non-music stories of ’96 are interesting only for black metal history, and so if you are interested….

The following are some news stories from Toulon in 1996. As Black Christ says in our interview from 2005 these are all old stories and everyone involved has long (20 years now!) since moved on.
L.F. continued with KRISTALLNACHT, joined Seigneur Voland and formed Desolation Triumphalis. His last officially released music ended around 2006. Black Christ continues with the great BLESSED IN SIN. Xaphan conceived Seigneur Voland in prison and formed it at the turn of the millennium, he plays in Finis Gloria Dei with Black Christ and is vocalist with Enfeus Lodge.

News reports:

9 June 1996
The first news report of grave desecration (which happened on the night of Saturday 8th-Sunday 9th June) by the France 3 channel. This segment shows the cemetery and aftermath.

17 July 1996
After the investigation and arrest. France 3 channel. This shows the Jesus “Wanted for crimes against humanity” leaflet and a fanzine interview with FUNERAL.

Article by L’express, 20 June 1996: Les Satan de Provence


Record of the Week: Regiment – On Les Aura (Review)

Record of the Week

Regiment artist store


Black/Death Metal summoning the French military experience of the Grande Guerre.

Taking inspiration directly from contemporary artifacts and ephemera, the intention with this record is to produce something more personal and critical than a straightforward glorification of war. The cover and title – of and spoken by Philippe Pétain. Commander during the Battle of Verdun who is also remembered for his treatment of mutinous soldiers hints at some of the paradoxes. These nuances are confined to the lyrics and artwork. The music is never so introspective. To it’s benefit. A barrage of thickly produced black and death metal (in equal measure) and bestial vocals. Powerful and driving. Here are reflections of blood and destruction to be exalted or questioned in the lyrics. There is some influence from heavy metal riffing. La mort du Nègre (inspired at least in part by Conrad’s The Nigger of the Narcissus) displays the influence most potently, similar to ARGHOSLENT‘s blending of death and NWOBHM.

Formed in 2011 by guitarist Hyvermor of HANTERNOZ (Celtic history) and E (Sumerian history) the lineup includes BORGIA vocalist Géraud de Verenhe, AORLHAC bassist Marc, and Thomas Jacquelin who drums with several black and doom bands. Not as barbaric as war metal or so riff heavy and melodic to be instantly memorable, this is black metal with all the above elements performed by an experienced group; a very good 25 minute album.

Record of the Week: NUIT NOIRE – Inner Light (Review)

Record of the Week

Nuit Noire artist store


The story of Inner Light in short: Following a series of incredible demos Tenebras and Akhron began to record their debut album in 2003. During the recording Tenebras decided to shift vocal style from his forest howls to the now-familiar singing (which Aquarius once described as a mix between Roz Williams and Mark E. Smith).

The fallout from the vocal change is an important distraction – it became the last recording between the brothers. But considering the following 12 years of music, we can regard the vocals on this album as transitional. The music is vintage late demo era NUIT NOIRE – magical and atmospheric black metal. Furious blasting drums from Akhron, an impressive final performance! A tone and playing style unlike anything else from Tenebras. You can easily trace the evolution of their playing from the first demo to the last. The NUIT NOIRE “sound” was found early, the skill and abilities improved vastly over the first five years. This album is the peak of their execution. Quand la nuit tombe for example (first recorded for the Once Upon a Night demo) demonstrates how they’ve improved in every way.

Whatever turmoil this album caused, with over ten years hindsight it can be viewed, hopefully, with some objectivity as one of their greatest accomplishments. It’s also one of the best unreleased albums, now at last unearthed! You may have heard some of the new songs, Tenebras re-recorded them alone for later splits with CALL ME LORETTA, CIRCLE OF OUROBORUS and HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE, but not like this… two brothers calling on night spirits somewhere in Southern France, producing some of the best music we’ve heard.

Inner Light has existed in tape trading circles for years but I don’t think any of us expected it to ever be more than that. To finally have an official release in best quality is the most welcome news this year! Vinyl edition available now on Seedstock Records. More formats will follow later on Todestrieb Records.

Record of the Week: AUTARCIE – Époque Révolue (Review)

Record of the Week

Autarcie artist store


Seek out the Black Ivory Tower article “Liberté, Fraternité, AOC”. Highly recommended for putting Époque révolue into a regional and cultural context. Similarities can be drawn, musically at least, to MUTIILATION and PESTE NOIRE (including a sense of nationale identität). Riffs are ugly and twisted, emphasised by the raw production. From the acoustic ouverture into guitar collages of ascending leads, this album opens extremely strongly! But the stand-out, most surprising, has to be the title track. Malformed ‘pretty’ riffs, not out of place in the world of 80’/90’s alt rock. But made their own, with a sense of melancholy, never shallow melody. The Comtois stream may not remove all dirt. AUTARCIE are a recent part of the long history of great French black metal. Which, in recent years, has been equal to the greats of the past. The comparisons before are obvious and partial, but use them as motivation to explore further. Ugly/Beautiful music crawling out of bone littered 17th Century soil.

Daily Noise: Cristalys – Gallus Malleus

Taken from their début album Suréminence – released in 2009. Epic heathen metal, honouring the lost, forgotten ancestry and history. Black & Pagan/Heavy Metal with fairly prominent keys, and always strong atmosphere. Brilliant and unexpected shifts in this song… Herstal ! Ta francisque marque nos lendemains Frappant tel un marteau surhumain Pulvérisant la razzia d’une lune malsaine Battons nous pour ce grand Domaine! […]