France’s one man blackened death metal project In Shadows and Dust, have maybe only seen four years as a band but push out some high quality, head bang worthy tunes as if they had been in the scene a lot longer. Started in 2014 by Stephane Thirion, “A Fleur de Peau” is the third full length in his discography and probably the most evolved and creative of the list. 2016’s “Messe Noire” was a great release as well but “A Fleur de Peau” seems to be where Thirion really pushed himself to create something timeless and show his growth as a well rounded musician.
The album has a well rounded mix of Swedish style death metal in vein of old In Flames and At The Gates that mixes with the melodies and stylings of Naglfar and Dissection. Each track pushes out the aggression found behind the death metal essence while containing the bursts and speed of black metal. The guitar work is very precise and perfectly executed as heard in tracks such as All Is Black and Take My Soul while keeping the drums interesting and non-repetitive. The vocals on this album cross between those found in early Gothenburg melo-death and that of early black metal. This is what I found to be the strong point throughout this release as the vocals are consistent along with the masterfully executed instrumentation.
This album is an amazing example of good melodic blackened death metal has not died. It is well alive in this release and honestly, there really is no flaws to be found in this album. It has pure aggression, heaviness, memorable riffs and unique melodies that truly are hard to have harmoniously in today’s metal releases. If you are a fan of Dissection, At The Gates, early In Flames, Naglfar and just truly killer metal, buy this album!
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen