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hante fierce
Artist: Hante
Title: Fierce
Genre: Darkwave
Release Date: 18th January 2019
Label: Metropolis Records


Album Review

HANTE is the Dark Synth solo project of Paris based Helene de Thoury, ex of bands PHOSPHOR and MINUIT MACHINE, and now four albums into a single-minded exploration of all corners dark and melancholic. New release ‘Fierce’ seems especially well suited to a mid-winter release, the coldness at its heart representing both a harshness and rare beauty.

And there’s an icy grip from the offset as ‘Tomorrow Is A New Day’ extends its frosty hands and slow pulses into NICOLE SABOUNE territory, all distant crashing drums and dramatically mournful vocals. ‘Wild Animal’ is a more dancey offering, building up like something AUSTRA would have been proud of a few years back, twisting and changing pace while maintaining a deep melancholy throughout. ‘Unknown’ travels even further into bleakness, and ‘Serre-moi Encore’ slows everything down to a funereal pace and decides it will ruin your mood however optimistic you started the day. It’s been that kind of album so far.

‘Nobody’s Watching’ is the not altogether successful duet with fellow Parisian solo artist MARBLE SLAVE - it’s ok, but plods about slightly more satisfied with itself than it deserves to be and it fades away at the end, much as it began. Much more fulfilling is the spirited ‘Waiting For A hurricane’, while ‘Respect’ is almost pretty when set against the bleakness of earlier songs. Guest singer Aetervader adds a bit of additional gravitas to ‘No Tenderness’, sounding at times like a grumpy DAVE GAHAN, which is no bad thing, and there’s a wonderful frozen-in-time atmosphere pervading ‘Silence The Voices’, something last done this well way back in the early eighties when THE CURE were at their most despairing and bleak. Yet at times it’s almost uplifting, the way good, dark music can and should be - easy to wallow in misery, far more skilled to make it nuanced and human.

There’s almost a playfulness to the skeletal ‘The Moon Song’, and some admirable vocals on ‘Never Over’, a repetitive core smothered in layers, gracefully closing the album with a velvety charm. There’s even a couple of bonus tracks chucked in for good measure. This is an assured album, consistent, and with a strong and clear vision running throughout it. There’s just enough variation at work here to prevent it becoming predictable, and a sense that, despite the gloom and heart of darkness, there’s enough of a hint of spring to lift it boldly from the self-indulgent, and shove it tentatively towards the sunlight.


Tracklist

01. Tomorrow Is A New Day
02. Wild Animal
03. Unknown
04. Serre-Moi Encore
05. Nobody’s Watching
06. Waiting For A Hurricane
07. Respect
08. No Tenderness
09. Silence the Voices
10. The Moon Song
11. Never Over
12. I Don’t Need A Hero (bonus track)
13. Wild Animal - drumless version (bonus track)


Line-up

Helene de Thoury


Website

https://hante.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/hanteband


Cover Picture

hante fierce


Rating

Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10


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