Poisse is not a record for the faint of heart or those with a quaint disposition. It is the tortured confines of purgatory personified; awash with abrasion, sliced with bouts of ear-splitting feedback and delivered in a drop-tuning that resides in the lower end of the human capacity for aural recognition. Poisse threatens the destruction of the sturdiest speaker stacks, overflowing with a seething rage; a caustic fury from which there is no salvation. Melody is not a word recognised by Fange, a band consisting of members who have already honed their demonic subversions within the French underground metal scene. It seems that for Fange, the main objective is nothing short of outright decimation, to pummel the listener into submission through crushing riff after crushing riff- occasionally breaking into a laboured gallop and flaunting a groove so mired in sludge and muddy distortion as to render it almost incomprehensible. Every aspect of the record is subsumed in such resolute discord that Poisse is solidified as a supreme work of uncompromising outrage. The vocals, surely unintelligible even to French speakers, amount to nothing less than a hellish gurgle, as if the vocalist is delivering his ragged growls whilst in the throes of being waterboarded.
Fange: a French word which translates as ‘mire’, and therefore becomes the most impeccably apt title for a band since ‘Coldplay’. To expose oneself to Poisse is to wallow in a mire of desolation and depravity of the most extreme order. As such, the record carries an appeal that is hugely limited; radiating a sound of such merciless malevolence as to place Fange into a tiny niche of sordid heaviness. It’s the blistering destructiveness of such powerviolence luminaries as Nails and Weekend Nachos being torn apart by cataclysm, the pace of their onslaught dragged back to a crawl.
The intensity is so extreme, however, that after even a few tracks listeners will be reaching for some Death Cab For Cutie to retain a semblance of balance. Poisse is no doubt a commendable feat of aural extremism, but that very extreme postulation is also the record’s downfall. Dynamism and variety remain defiantly absent and as such the crushing chug and incessant blasts of feedback soon become monotonous. As an experiment in extremity, Poisse is a veritable success. As a rewarding listening experience it is decidedly less so, unless of course, you’re seeking a soundtrack to a bout of good old fashioned violence.
3 out of 5 high fives!