With the exception of Norway, no country has as honored a tradition of black metal as France. A cornerstone of this tradition is the infamous Les Légions Noires, an esoteric circle of ultra-raw acts who released extremely limited and sought after recordings in the early 90’s. Bahrrecht is a true descendant of LLN and its debut full length, "Nuit de Neige," shows that when it comes to the raw stuff, France is still without peer.
Bahrrecht blend the militant, attacking sound of Torgeist with the wild, free spirit of Vlad Tepes. Add in a few schizophrenic moments similar to those found in Peste Noire (who drummer Winterhalter used to play with) and you have a sense of what Bahrrecht are all about. "Nuit de Neige" sounds like a horde of heathen warriors raiding a village, burning it to the ground and then celebrating their victory over a couple barrels of mead. However, no pan flutes, accordions or goofy chants are needed to recreate the Bacchic revelry—just pure black metal.
The drums are sharp, like a hammer slamming against a thin piece of wood. Most of the riffs are direct and biting, strangling the listener with sheer pace and intensity. A decent scattering of slower, groovy riffs create a nice change of pace. While the production is raw, it’s not muddy. Every slicing riff and battering hit of the drums is fully audible. Even the bass is nice and clear, giving the album a touch of vibrancy.
On the downside, "Nuit de Neige" is fairly one-dimensional recording (save the obligatory ambient interludes). While the song structures are all over the place, the actual sounds are not that diverse. Like being attacked by one battalion of savage soldiers after another, "Nuit de Neige" is relentless. However, the closer, “I was Born” shows off Bahrrecht’s experimental side. The song opens with a slow, infectious riff doubled up on electric and acoustic guitar that bursts into a lightning fast middle section. The song closes with gentle, watery acoustic guitar contrasted with violent, abrasive growls. “I was Born” provides strange yet successful counterpoint to an otherwise uniform album.
"Nuit de Neige" is one for the purists. While Bahrrecht will win the genre no new fans, those who already love tympanum shattering black metal will bask in the swarms of stinging riffs and snarling screams. For such sadistic souls, "Nuit de Neige" is highly recommended.