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...Et Pleure Le Bātard (1996)

Seviss was yet another short-lived alter-ego of the French black metal band Vlad Tepes. For this project, Vorlok was responsible for the guitars and vocals, while Wlad handled the drumming duties. The band's only release was the August 1996 demo, ...Et Pleure le Bātard. Right around the same time that so many other bands were straying from their roots and turning their backs on true black metal, these two were upholding the primitive and hideous traditions with their various projects.

The atmosphere of this release is quite different than what Vlad Tepes was doing. The music is more chaotic, in a sense, and seems to possess more of an old school vibe. Rather than the type of epic melodies that helped to characterize their primary band, Seviss takes a more primitive approach that allows the listener to get carried back into the dark past, revisiting the same demonic forces that were present on Bathory's The Return.... The songwriting consists of a lot more black/thrash, though with a handful of tremolo riffs thrown in. Vorlok's vocals give the feeling that he is being tormented in the bowels of Hell. This is a bit different from Quorthon's style, which made him sound more like the torturer than the victim. Though the musical style and production might give one reason to expect poor musicianship, the truth is that Wlad and Vorlok are very capable and their skill enables each track to come to life, fully. The songs are similar to one another, yet there is enough variety for them to stand out from one another, whether due to a nicely timed thrash break or a slower and moodier section. One gets the sense that a lot of time went into the arrangement of each song, resulting in the high quality material found on ...Et Pleure le Bātard. The overall vibe of the release is aggressive and filthy, but there are brief moments that touch upon the underlying darkness that never quite rears its evil head, until the infernal descent of the final song. Seviss makes sure that things never devolve to the point where it becomes mindless fun, and do well to maintain the spirit of old school black metal. They show a great understanding of what they are doing, something that was lost on later generations.   

The production is decent for an LLN demo, though horrible by any other standard. There is an overwhelming sense of chaos, regarding the songwriting and the sound quality, and this only helps add to the hellish feeling that is created by this demo. The guitar and vocals are the most dominant elements, though the bass can be heard every now and then. The drumming is kept at a healthy level, loud enough to be noticed but not too much.

If you have never heard of Seviss, it is highly recommended that you seek this out, immediately. This possesses everything that one could possibly want from this style of music, more or less. It takes many basic elements from old Bathory, without sounding like an exact copy (such as the Incarnator demo), and mixes them with aspects of Vlad Tepes to create something dark and hellish. This should appeal, equally, to fans of the LLN and of the first wave of black metal.
(18 Apr. 2012)

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