Review 1867 : Tempt Fate – Holy Deformity – English

Tempt Fate has completed its second album.

Formed in 2014 in the south of France, the band currently comprises Simon Guennoc (vocals), Pierre-Louis Riff (guitar, Nervengeist), Quentin Geniez (drums, Nervengeist, ex-Stormhaven), Anthony (bass) and Jean-Phi (guitar) and has signed to Almost Famous Records, announcing Holy Deformity for 2023.

Deadlights, the first track, quickly becomes very aggressive with a jerky rhythm infused with Death and Thrash Metal, over which the vocalist runs wild. The band add a few dissonant melodies, then let samples lead the way to an ominous final, followed by God Ends Here, which immediately returns to raw rage. A few darker tones give relief to these lively Old School riffs, which the heavy mix makes suffocating, then the band lets G.I.D. take over after an effective moshpart, keeping its wild energy. We have an explosive solo in the middle of the surge, before the band lets its rhythmic drive take over, leading into Holy Deformity, the eponymous track, which reveals piercing lead parts before the groovy basis resurfaces, accompanied by the usual howls. Between hypnotic sounds and aggression, the finale lets Filth of Life crush us too by offering a massive but relatively catchy sound with some explosive passages, but also slower parts before Purge dips into its Grindcore roots before adding a few airy melodies to its virulent charge. Grindfate offers a more impressive approach, with a double kick or blast roll which is occasionally cut by more Old School breaks, leaving Erlebnis to close the album with a dose of dissonance that perfectly complements the band’s omnipresent violence.

Although a bit short, this second album proves that Tempt Fate know how to make effective riffs by mixing their different influences. Holy Deformity has nothing to be ashamed of compared to recent releases, and is sure to take the band on the road!


Version Française ?

A few questions to Pierre-Louis « Pilou » Riff, guitarist with French band Tempt Fate, about the release of their new album, Holy Deformity.

Hello, and thank you for your time! How do you feel?
Pierre-Louis « Pilou » Riff (guitar): Just like you, I’m very tired, but I’m okay! (laughs)

Can you introduce a bit yourself and the band?
Pilou: I’m Pilou, Pierre-Louis, guitarist in the band Tempt Fate, which plays Death Metal… I can even say Brutal Death. We’ve been around for ten years, there are five of us and we’ve been stable for a while now, so we’ve got two guitars, a bass, vocals and drums.

How would you describe Tempt Fate without using the usual « Metal » label?
Pilou: Wow… it’s complicated! There’s blast… but that’s a label too. Let’s just say that there are very very fast rhythms, which means very high tempos, lots of melodies, more dissonant things too, very heavy parts… It screams very high and very low, it makes owl noises and sink noises!

Now that’s original!
Pilou: You asked me to be generalistic, I’m introducing it to you with people’s everyday lives (laughs)! From the bathroom to the living room, we’ve got different noises!

*the bassist arrives*
Anthony (bass): Hi, I’m Anthony, Tempt Fate‘s bass player.

Your second album, Holy Deformity, comes out in September. How is the band dealing with the wait?
Pilou: We can’t wait! But we’re glad it’s summer so we can take a break and get on with things! We’ve been working on it for a long time, and it’s good to have a little break from the studio and all that.
Anthony: Same thing. It’s good to be able to put things on hold until the album’s released. We still want to get feedback, to know how it’s going to work.

Did you have any feedback on Holy Deformity yet?
Pilou: No, because we’ve only just started promoting it, and we’ve also just finished recording it, so with Hellfest, where we worked with Roger (Roger Wessier, from Where The Promo Is, ed.) who shared quite a bit about it, in reality, apart from the people we know, no. Not that it’s not interesting, but people you know personally don’t get neutral feedback. So we’ll see in September what happens, or if in the meantime any reviews come in, which I’m sure they will.
Anthony: Some feedback on things we’ve been able to test out live, and I have the impression that it’s worked well.

How was the creative process? Did it change, or did you stick to the same formula?
Pilou: What changed radically was that the creative process also involved composition. I used to compose mostly on my own, but this time the other guitarist wrote a lot for the album. Anthony was also involved in writing the lyrics, but with Jean-Philippe, the other guitarist, we wrote a lot. We then continued with a concept that we’re all familiar with, even if we haven’t had many albums either, but we start from a concept in psychology, around anguish and bodily tearing, and we treat it in the form of fiction, but not just that, there’s a thread that leads us through the tracks.

The album itself is a very solid mix of brutal Death Metal, but also a few melodies, a bit of Thrash, some Old School patterns… How do you manage to combine all your influences?
Pilou: In a very simple way! When you make the drums go « touka touka touka », you get Thrash, and when they’re more thick, you get Death (laughs). I’m exaggerating! We’ve been immersed in it for a while, and I’m always going to quote the same bands: The Black Dahlia Murder, Aborted… There are recipes that work and that we borrow a little: verse, chorus, how to bring certain passages rhythmically speaking, and that gives body. Then you have to find melodies, and above all your own recipes.

So find your own style. Do you think you’ve found it?
Pilou: On this album, yes. We’ve been looking for it a lot, even though there have been EPs in the meantime, where we’d already defined something, and where we’d already started composing a few tracks for the album, but since Human Trap everything has been refined, and we’ve got something we’re very happy with, there’s a globality and coherence for us, we’re happy.

How do you go about choosing album covers? I was really intrigued by the Kalt cover.
Anthony: That’s great to hear! It’s just a pencil sketch that ended up having this effect. We thought we’d use it, so I exploited it by taking up this pencil sketch, and as a result we already had an idea for an album cover that we’d been talking about, so we had to create a series of visuals that would answer to each other, while keeping a coherence.

Don’t you use a graphic designer?
Anthony: Not since Kalt.

I know this is a difficult question, but do you have a favorite track on the album? Or the one you can’t wait to play live?
Pilou: We’re cheating a bit, because we’ve played a few of them on the last few concerts we’ve done, just to tease things out. As far as I’m concerned, there are two of them, the one that was released as a single just before Hellfest, God Ends Here, and Filth of Life, because it’s different, it’s got everything and technically you can find a lot of things, so I think it’s something that can work live.
Anthony: Same thing, although I don’t think it’s my favorite, I can’t wait to see how it’s received, and it could be a great live moment. I have a soft spot for several tracks, but it’s hard to choose. I’m curious to see what Purge will sound like, but it’s not certain that we’ll play it live, we don’t really know, but I can’t wait to put it together.

Holy Deformity is released on Almost Famous Records. How did you get in touch with the label?
Pilou: Very naturally, we’ve known Sam and Guillaume for a while, because they’ve got bands that have toured quite a bit, Point Mort, Kontrust… They’re friends of ours, and as we also organize concerts, we got them to play, they got us to play, we became close and it was natural, in terms of the first label to sign us, that it should be in a family structure and easy, quite simply.

Easier to manage?
Pilou: Exactly.

Which bands stood out for you at this year’s Hellfest?
Pilou: We’re both volunteers, so we work a lot! We didn’t see much this year, even though we do a lot of festivals. As far as I’m concerned, it’s mainly Hardcore bands, like our friends Kamizol-K who opened the Warzone on Thursday. They’re Hardcore, and by 5pm it was packed and they played an incredible set! It was square from A to Z, they kicked ass and it was a big surprise for me! In the lessons, Aborted as usual, one of the Top 5 in Death Metal, and Lorna Shore whom I was very happy to finally see live. Very demonstrative, but I was there to take a lesson, and I took it!
Anthony: I’m not going to mention the same people, but I was very happy to see Gorod again, which was a pleasure, and LLNN, a big slap in the face.

Is there an artist you’d like to collaborate with? Whether for a track, an album, artwork…
Pilou: We’ve already collaborated with Pauline, I don’t know whether to call her c3po.lette, since that’s her pseudonym, for the artwork we released for an EP called Hold, and we’re very happy with what she’s done. We had guidelines, she followed them, and it worked out really well. Maybe we’ll work with her again, I don’t know… In fact, a while ago I would have liked us to work with an Englishman (actually Irish, ed.) I think who did the Benighted cover for Necrobreed. I really liked his style, and he’s worked with a lot of other bands, but it didn’t work out for us. After that, I don’t know, maybe one day we’ll do some featurings with singers, why not Julien (Julien Truchan, lead singer of Benighted, ed.) if he’s up for it one day!
Anthony: Personally, I can’t think of anything!

If I asked you which French dish you’d compare Tempt Fate‘s music to, which would you choose? And why?
Pilou: Spontaneously I’m going to say aligot because I’m from Aveyron, but that’s not true, it doesn’t make me think of that (laughs)! Ask Anthony, I’m just thinking about it!
Anthony: We went to Vietnam with Pilaf a few years ago, and there was a chili sauce that was on every restaurant table, a bit orange (Sauce Nuoc Châm, ed.). They put a bit of sugar, a bit of garlic in it, there’s this thing that breaks your face, but you can’t help but have some more! And even if you shed a tear, you keep coming back for more.
Pilou: I’d say the same thing, but with an egg in it. A fertilized, cooked egg (laughs)! I ate that in Vietnam too!

Last question: which bands would you like to tour with? I’ll let you create a tour with three bands, plus Tempt Fate as an opener.
Pilou: We’ll be playing with Gorod in September for our release party. It’s the Metal On The Beach Festival we’re organizing in Aveyron, where there’s aligot! We’re releasing the album on September 7, and the release party is on Saturday the 9th. It’s a very strong point, one is very happy, but touring with The Black Dahlia Murder, I’d really like to open for them!
Anthony: That’s what makes the most sense to me, on behalf of all the musicians in the band!

So you’re pretty much in sync!
Pilou: On that question, yes! On the question of styles, we’re more varied, but on that yes.

That was my last question, so I’ll leave the last words to you!
Pilou: You just have to come to Metal On The Beach, that’s all (laughs)! It plays, it’s family-friendly, you can go swimming! It’s in Aveyron, in Pont-de-Salars (12290)! It’s all on Facebook, there’s a maximum of 300 people, and we work with Noiser, an association from Toulouse, who are great! We can’t recommend you enough: it’s not very expensive!
Anthony: Same thing, you’ve got to come, there’ll be aligot.

It comes up a lot, are you hungry?
Anthony: Yes (laughs).

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