Review 1605 : Happy Days – En Enfer, J’ai Régné… – English

Happy Days is not dead yet.

Despite its recent silence, the band created in 2004 in the United States by A. Morbid (vocals/guitar/bass/keyboards) announces the release of its sixth album, En Enfer, J’ai Régné…, which will be released by Talheim Records.

The musician is again accompanied by Dan, his session drummer for some time, but also by Kenny C (Neurastenia) on guitar as well as by Ylva de Lune and Erszebeth (Stupor Mentis) for backing vocals.

Described as the most personal work by its author to date, the album opens with Ils Flottent Tous En Bas, an extremely scary introduction that obviously refers to a well-known horror movie. Once this heavy moment is over, J’y Étais comes to suffocate us in a haunting and very dark but rather short mix of DSBM and Funeral Doom, sometimes even accompanied by female choirs contrasting with the otherworldly screams or clean French vocals. Ice-cold leads carry us to Hollow, where the band welcomes Holly Fox from the Canadian project Vakvnt, adding a new fix of intensity to their deep and airy music, creating an unexpected but extremely expressive duet where airy clean vocals meet possessed screams. The final leads us to Je Sais Ce Que J’ai Vu and its dissonance, creating a much more raw and tortured landscape on which the musician also develops softer parts, especially when the keyboards express themselves. Fans of the band will probably recognize Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Go), the next track, which is an adaptation in French of one of the band’s most emblematic songs, retaining its dramatic intensity regardless of the language used. After this hymn to sadness, Non Ducor, Duco takes the reins of melancholic sounds while coupling them with raw and aggressive vocal parts, as well as to sharp leads that know how to accelerate to plant their fangs in a throbbing rhythmic before showing themselves dissonant to support a virulent drumming, then Mon Cadeau Au Monde will place a worrying touch in this heavy cloud. Surprising and occult choirs join the majestic break before integrating aggressive Black Metal, finally letting the track welcome some orchestrations before Mors Vincit Omnia comes to bring its mix between aggressive saturation and soaring voices in the background. The track slowly carries us between two accelerations until Forgive Me, which revives the melancholy and will somewhat abandon the more raw and straightforward tones to feed airy riffs before giving birth to En Enfer, J’ai Régné, the eponymous composition, which grabs us by the throat before pouring its seizing sounds in our face. Melancholic, tragic and suffocating all at once, the track is one of the band’s most beautiful, and it’s after a slow lament that the luminous final pulls us back into the shadows with Life Goes On, the final track, which lets the vocalist keep us on our toes with possessed screams that wonderfully pair with the hazy and impenetrable instrumental.

The return of Happy Days is perfect to celebrate the troubled times we’ve been through and are about to experience. If En Enfer, J’ai Régné.. is the most personal and intense album ever created by its master, it is also extremely infectious.


Version Française ?


Few questions to A.Morbid, creator of the band Happy Days.

Hello and first of all, thank you very much for your time! Could you please introduce yourself and the band Happy Days without using the usual Metal “labels”?
A.Morbid: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me. You’re speaking with A.Morbid the founder of Happy Days

En Enfer, J’ai Régné…, your new album, is about to come out. How do you feel about it? Do you already have some feedback?
A.Morbid: I feel very satisfied with the final result of the new album as I feel as though this is going to push the band to much greater heights than before. The feedback so far has been absolutely positive and I am very grateful for this.  I am hoping the French fans will enjoy it as well. 

How would you sum En Enfer, J’ai Régné… up in only three words?
A.Morbid: Rise and fall.

You are now using French language on most of the songs, why did you decide to use this language now?
A.Morbid: I have always had a deep love for the French language and languages in general. But the French language in particular I always found to be the most emotional and poetic.

What made you come back to creating music again after six years?
A.Morbid: I never stopped writing music in the first place. I just don’t like to write music for the sake of writing music. If the inspiration isn’t there I won’t force it. Otherwise it’s not real and then you’ll end up with a very generic sound. And I refuse for Happy Days to become just another DSBM band. Happy Days is much more than that. 

How did you deal with the composition process for this album? Were there any changes compared to the previous records?
A.Morbid: There were a lot of major changes to the composition process and a lot of painstaking moments but the end result was well worth it. Especially with all the positive feedback I received so far.

There are few guests on this album, Holly Fox from Vakvnt, ylva de lune and Erszebeth from Stupor Mentis. How did you reach them and ask them to participate in your new creation?
A.Morbid: I simply wrote a message to them and asked for their collaboration. And they did a fantastic job on the album. I hope to work with them again in the near future. 

As you stated, this album is definitely the darker and the most intense you created, but one song sounds more seizing to me, the title track En Enfer, J’ai Régné. What is the story of this song, if you mind talking about it?
A.Morbid: This is my most personal and emotional album I’ve written so far. The entire album is about what I have endured these past 5+ years in my personal life. Of course in the end people will interpret the album very differently than what I have envisioned but that’s the beauty of art isn’t it? If you read between the lines of each lyric on the album you’ll fully understand what each song is about. Especially the self titled song since it’s one of the lesser metaphoric ones and pretty straight forward. It’s one of the few lyrics that I have trouble reading even to this day because it touches on something very personal and painful in my personal life that I recently endured.

Maybe you have a favorite song on this album? Or the one which was the most natural to create?
A.Morbid: Each song is very special to me. It’s too difficult for me to chose. I’d probably say the self-titled song and Mors Vincit Omnia even though I really enjoyed all the songs and I am 100% satisfied with each of them which is rare since I am a perfectionist and oftentimes I’m unsatisfied even when a song is finished.

Do you already have some plans for the band’s future?
A.Morbid: Lots and lots of touring and writing more albums.

Are there any musicians or bands you would like to collaborate with? Whether it is for one song, an album…
A.Morbid: There are too many to say but I’d love to someday do a song with the mastermind behind Blut Aus Nord since they are one of my major influences musically to Happy Days. There are too many artists that I admire that I’d like to collaborate with. I am always open to having people contacting me.

Would you like to perform live with Happy Days? If yes, with which bands would you love to tour with? I let you create a tour (or just a single show) with Happy Days and three other bands!
A.Morbid: We are currently organizing shows for 2024. At the moment we will be playing live in Belgium, Switzerland, and Austria for 2023. Please see the Facebook and Instagram page for more info.

That was the last question for me, so thank you very much for your time and your music, last words are yours!
A.Morbid: I just want to say merci beaucoup for taking the time to speak with me and I look forward to our next interview. Merci.

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