Sometimes, it may seem that within the most violent and aggressive music there is only room for noise; from such an avalanche of sounds there can’t be art, can there? Luckily, we have bands like PLEBEIAN GRANDSTAND to remind us that nothing could be further from the truth. This French avant-garde black metal quartet returns in 2021 with a musical torrent under the name of Rien ne suffit and with it, they show us that it is possible to create pieces of art from within the most absolute chaos.
On a first listen, the album may seem like a disjointed, dissonant mess where elements are simply thrown in for the sake of confussing the listener further. However, this is not the case at all. The band is very aware of this and requires a careful listen from us. If we do so, we will discover a musical diamond of great quality. Rien ne suffit will not be devoured by casual listeners but demands dedication in order to show us all its qualities and display an avant-garde black metal mixed with powerviolence and mathcore that will delight those that are patient enough.
In this way, the incongruous powder keg that was presented to us at the beginning becomes a continuous journey in which each song plays a determining role, that the band had already mentioned in their presentation. On the other hand, the dissonances are still present, but now they make sense and evoke names like IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT or ALTARAGE.
In any case, this work is also a demonstration of the evolution of PLEBEIAN GRANDSTAND’s trajectory, increasingly closer to avant-garde. Their previous album, False highs, true lows, was a first contact with the line that Rien ne suffit continues. In essence, we see an increased use of industrial elements, which allows us to establish similarities with Eschaton or Domine non es dignus by ANAAL NATHRAKH. This aspect allows the band to open up to experimenting even more like they do with «Tropisme«, where the industrial elements play a prominent role, but converge in a tremendously interesting way with the drums or the guitars.
Since we are mentioning the instruments, we can only vindicate their role in the construction of the emotions that this work evokes in us. We are permanently in a threatening situation; a sensation that all the sonic elements help to elaborate. The bass sounds strong and creates the base with which the impending and dissonant guitars leave us in a state of tension, while the drums jump on us to add aggressiveness to the formula. In any case, it would not be appropriate to ignore the contribution of the synthesizer to the album, a major use of this instrument that, without saturating, entirely fits the sound. An especial mention to its role in the closing of «Jouis, Camarade» However, by this, I don’t mean that each instrument has a fixed activity throughout Rien ne suffit. For example, take the drums, from pieces such as the aforementioned «Jouis, Camarade» or «Rien N’y Fait«, among others, their rhythm becomes slower, more atmospheric, and, in short, more disturbing.
As we have said, the less aggressive moments of the album also stand out. These moments, though, are not spaces that allow us to breathe, but rather a small release from the asphyxia to which Rien ne suffit subjects us. At no time does the storm in which we are moving subside, but rather this alternation of intensities corresponds to the moments when the deluge rages or simply remain threatening. If we are looking for examples of this, we can go to numerous passages of the work, highlighting the way in which «Aube» closes the album, with a slow but implacable rhythm.
In short, Rien ne suffit is not only the next album in a great discography such as PLEBEIAN GRANDSTAND‘s, but it is also a wonderful example of how chaos can give us artistic results of enormous quality; from the increase of the industrial elements and the slower moments to the reinforcement of innovation and thematic cohesion, this work shows a skill that turns the French quartet into a reference of avant-garde black metal.