If there’s one place I’ve wanted to visit the most since I was a little kid, it would be that of France. I’ve grown up admiring the French artists and all their films. I’ve come to love all the writers that were inspired by their trips to Paris. And I’ve come to love the country’s metal scene.
While we’re all aware of Gojira at this point in life, the country has a lot more to offer. Below I’ve gone ahead and highlighted eight bands you should be checking out. I’ve made sure to cover a variety of bands from all different blends of heavy music, with some being a little more well-known, with a few that are more low key. I've made sure to include each band's social media (if still active), a sample song, and available Bandcamp links. So without further ado, let’s check out some French metal!
Let’s start with one of the funkier bands on the list. Trepalium is when you take a little bit of death/groove metal, a little bit of jazz, and mix it all together with some Latin flare. While the band keeps things heavy, there’s a strong dance quality to the music. That’s barely unheard of in the world of metal, but Trepalium have found a way to master the balance of head banging and dancing. It has been awhile since we’ve gotten a record from these fellas, so fingers crossed to hear something new in 2018. (Check out their latest record, Damballa’s Voodoo Doll).
This is music that leans to the gentler side of things. Incorporating lots of djent, clean singing, and melody into the mix, the material makes for an elegant force of beauty and heaviness. There’s a sincere grace to the work as it flows with djent heavy notes, while still exuding this lovely and charming aura. Rather than go for a linear generic path in their song structure, it's these laid back and calming elements that allow the music to stretch out in its instrumentation, offering more emotion into the vocals. (Check out their latest record, Noir).
To put things bluntly, this is rap metal that’s all about anime. That’s one of the most niche categories one could come up with, and damn it’s catchy as hell. Rise of the Northstar may start playing speedy metalcore, to one minute switching into a hip hop flow, all while shouting and spitting lines about Dragon Ball. Each song comes with a terrific hype, promising to always keep the energy riding at an all-time high. The band is currently in the midst of recording their new record. (Check out their latest record, Welcame).
While these guys are no longer around, it’s still absolutely worth looking up their music. This is some pure metalcore adrenaline, bursting with slamming drums and crunchy guitar sections that lead into lighting smooth melodies. The music is angry and to the point, with each song making for a great addition to a workout playlist. (Check out their latest EP, Crépuscule).
If you are someone who needs more Gojira in your life, than Hacride is right for you. The prog band play around with funky time signature shifts and heavy grooves, all while exuding this extravagant earthy aura. The band includes a little more singing into their material, but with that being said, what comes forth out of the Hacride equation is this blend of ominous and bright sounds that shift from all-out shredding, to flowing delicately like the wind. (Check out their latest release, Chapter I – Inconsolabilis).
Here’s some prog metal with a darker twist. Psygnosis introduce cellos and electronic elements into their work to present this chilling and sinister air to the material. But before anyone can get too comfortable, the band erupts into glorious death metal fashion, laying down the assault of blast beats and vibrant guitar rhythms. The overall use of classical and electronic music, combined with the death metal, make for music that is able to provide an environment of serenity, while still delivering a savage beatdown. (Check out their latest release, Neptune).
There’s been a lot of melody taking over most of this list, so I figured it’d be a good idea to mention some hardcore sludge. The music of Aguirre flows like mud, with each note echoing with distortion, and the emotion of the work bleeding with misery and anger. The band exudes this murky and menacing presence, which all comes together as the music shakes with hostility and bleakness. (The band’s latest full-length was back in 2011 with Fatalitas).
It’s as of this year that Igorrr have begun to gain more attention in the metal scene (thanks to their Metal Blade Records debut, Savage Sinusoid). If you haven’t heard of Igorrr up until now, well you’ve been missing out big time. As of one of the most unique acts in music, the band combines everything from death metal, black metal, trip hop, IDM, Balkan, Classical music, and even more styles. Every Igorrr song is an outrageous trip of avant-garde extremes that are worth every second. (Check out their latest record, Savage Sinusoid).
Eight French bands ranging in unique forms and sounds to keep you amped and intrigued. Each one of these acts brings something different to the table, displaying the range of talent and art that France has to offer from its metal scene.
What other French metal bands are out there that you enjoy? Make sure to include them in the comments with links to their music!
We are looking for suggestions for the next Scene Report. Does your region have a great scene that people should know about? Email us at hatemail [at] metalinjection [dot] net with your pitch.
View previous Scene Reports here.