Such an incredible buzz of anticipation surrounds the release of ‘Ariettes Oubliées…’ despite the fact Les Discrets have just one full-length record to their name. But when you turn up with a début like ‘Septembre et Ses Dernières Pensées’, you see exactly why such a fuss was made in the first place. Fortunately, this long-awaited second attempt shows that Les Discrets are no mere flash in the pan, but rather a seasoned force with a lot more to give.
Compared to their previous attempt, the French act are more willing to embrace slower tempos, ambient tones and approach their heavier edges with that extra bit of care. It doesn’t mean that ‘…oubliées…’ is restricted – it’s Les Discrets flowing, but in a different tranquil stream that has its own respective meanders.
The quality of echoing post-rock vibes radiate gently in solitary moments while metallic riffs give much needed thrusts of propulsion to lift the album into elevation. All of this delicate work is wrapped in shoegaze melodies and glorious harmonies that simply put your head in the clouds. Les Discrets’ ability to mould a great contrast of melody and ferocity is ever-evident – ‘La Traversée’ providing definitive proof. ‘Ariettes oubliées I : Je devine à travers un murmure…’ reveals that the three-piece can still keep interest with a calmed pace, whilst ‘Au Creux de l’hiver’ is an exploding beauty – nailing a fine cocktail of melancholy and transcendent post-metal. Following an atmospheric first-minute, instrumental track ‘Les Regrets’ bursts into life with reflective, hypnotic guitar picking to bring the album to a lovely close.
The less patient fan might still regard their début as the superior record to ‘…oubliées…’. But essentially, Les Discrets are extending their scope, expanding their horizons and showing us how a band matures gracefully with an untainted and beautifully unique sound.
Reviewed by Calum Robson.
Ariettes oubliées is out 13th Feb on Prophecy Productions
You’ll like this if… The world’s beauty is more intriguing than its vulgarity and you’d rather define yourself on something you love, rather than something you hate.