Album Review: Dronte – Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté

Album Review: Dronte - Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté

Dronte is a French experimental, avantgarde metal ensemble, who in February 2019 released an album entitled Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté. The group goes a step further by combining non-conventional instruments such contrabass, vibraphone, and saxophone for creating an interesting mix of acoustic and metal.

Dronte is a very musically interesting band. Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté makes me think of Miles Davis In a Silent Way because of its “quiet intensity.” Miles Davis’ album has a sort of divine subtlety to it that belies its incredible complexity. It’s a rhythmic masterpiece of delicate complexity. Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté is similar in this way, but not musically. It achieves this same wonderful feeling via completely different methods, and this leads me to believe it was unintentional. That said, the fact that they achieved it at all is wonderful, in my eyes.

The quiet intensity on Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté comes from the juxtaposition of Benoît Bedrossian’s contrabass, Ève-Rosemarie Boulada’s saxophone and Frédéric Braud’s growls over the driving beat of drummer Lucas de Geyter. To complete the sound, we have the incredibly spacey guitars courtesy of Grégory Tranchant and Nicolas Aubert. The best example of this that I can think of are songs “Sarcophage du succès” and “Escalade en chute libre,” the latter being featured on the Progotronics XX compilation. The music is composed so subtly that it manages to build to a thundering crescendo without the listener even realizing it. Once you finally get it, waves of sound are crashing over you and suddenly fall down again to begin the next track. I also love that there are parts of the album that deviate strongly from this, such as the experimental parts of “Un orage…” This helps to ensure that the album doesn’t get monotonous, which is a good thing.

Spiritually and aesthetically, Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté couldn’t be jazzier. It has jazz’s unpretentious “coolness” seeping throughout, just welcoming you in. It’s very spacey in a way though, somewhat like the various forms of progressive/avant rock.

Quelque part entre la guerre et la lâcheté is available from Bandcamp here.

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