Review 2015 : Abduction – Toutes Blessent, la Dernière Tue – English

Abduction hits the road again.

Founded in 2006 in the Île-de-France region, the band waited ten years before releasing their first album. In 2023, three years after their third studio album, Guillaume Fleury (guitar, live for Angellore), Mathieu Taverne (bass), Morgan Velly (drums) and François Blanc (vocals, Angellore, Impending Triumph) announce the release of Toutes Blessent, la Dernière Tue, their fourth album.

The eponymous title track, Toutes Blessent, la Dernière Tue, takes us right back into this Old School mix of Black and Death Metal with heady melodies complemented by furious ranting. It doesn’t take long for the band to captivate us again, letting clean vocals take over on the choruses, as well as on the break that confirms the Progressive influences, strengthening the contrast with the saturation also found on the icy Disparus de Leur Vivant and its scathing leads. The various vocal parts perfectly serve the musicians’ poetry, which doesn’t hesitate to offer us a moment’s respite before flaring up to become more virulent and heart-rending before Dans La Galerie des Glaces unveils its heady introduction. It is followed by the usual waves of sharp vivid tones interspersed with more soaring moments, leading into Les Heures Impatientes and its pack of dissonant melodies over which the voice slowly bewitches us, before leaving us to wander through the melancholic painting. The violent parts remain anchored in a tenebrous sadness, eventually reaching Par les Sentiers Oubliés, a relatively short mysterious composition letting its elements come one by one. Saturation will naturally unify them before they fade away on their own, leaving Carnets sur Récifs to reveal itself, letting the Black Metal roots lead the macabre dance until it breaks, only to take off again, dragging the vocalist with it. The hurricane calms down with the first saddened notes of Cent Ans Comptés, which take on their full force with the arrival of the lyrics, whether clean or screamed, contributing to the track’s hellish acceleration. It comes to a gentle close, which is once again erased by Contre les Fers du Ciel and its virulent charge, contrasted by the vocals, which bring the song to life, sometimes giving it epic, even visceral tones before coming to an end. As the final track, the band made the surprising choice of covering Allan, a song by Mylène Farmer, who is celebrating its fortieth birthday this year. After listening to both the original and the cover, we can’t only notice how natural, almost obvious and yet so intense is the transition to the band’s style.

Abduction continues its journey with Toutes Blessent, la Dernière Tue, an as raw and gripping as soaring and polished album. It will make pure Black Metal fans cringe, but will delight open-minded music lovers.


Version Française ?

A few questions for François Blanc, vocalist with French Progressive Black/Death Metal band Abduction, on the occasion of their new album Toutes blessent, la dernière tue.

Hello, and thank you for your time! How could you introduce the band Abduction without using the usual musical style labels?
François Blanc (vocals): Hello, and thank you for your interest in our music! Abduction is a French quartet formed in 2006 by guitarist Guillaume Fleury. Since I took over as singer in 2011 (I replaced Guillaume Roquette from the band Hilde, whom I recommend to you by the way), our line-up has not changed. It’s not easy to talk about music without assigning labels, but personally, I’d say our compositions are melancholic, intense, changeable, a little theatrical, and draw on a wide range of influences. Our lyrics frequently question our relationship with death and our apprehension of the passage of time, exalt the History of France, or evoke our concerns about our times. That’s it, I’ve tried to keep it simple while respecting the brief!

Toutes blessent, la dernière tue, your fourth album, is about to be released. How do you feel about it? Have you had any feedback on it yet?
François: We’re enthusiastic, and quite serene insofar as we feel we’ve done the best we can. We worked hard on this record – the best produced in our discography, in our opinion – and from now on, it no longer belongs to us. It’s up to listeners to make up their own minds! Our friends and family who have listened to it have generally liked it a lot, which is always reassuring. Toutes Blessent… is quite different from Jehanne (2020), whose concept and medieval imagery had touched quite a few people, and we’re curious to see how it will be received. 

How would you sum up Toutes blessent, la dernière tue in three words?
François: Melancholy, contrasting, sincere. But in all honesty, I think I could use those same adjectives to describe any Abduction album…

Toutes blessent, la dernière tue comes out three years after the previous album, Jehanne. How did you go about composing it? Did you notice any changes or evolutions in the creative process?
François: Guillaume usually has a lot of ideas up his sleeve, and never starts recording an album without riffs and melodies ready for the next one. This was not the case at all! We gave it our all on Jehanne and started from scratch, as if this album was closing a chapter and Toutes Blessent… was marking a new beginning. Guillaume wanted to simplify the arrangements a little, to make them more efficient. Our music remains complex and relatively polished, but this album contains fewer layers of guitars than its two predecessors, that’s for sure. Guillaume also saw fit to entrust the writing of most of the vocal melodies to our bassist Mathieu Taverne, which allowed us to explore different directions. For my part, I also got involved in writing some of the vocal harmonies and cutting the extreme vocal lines. And insofar as Morgan Velly provides his own drum lines and our producer Déhà often makes valuable suggestions, I’d say this album is our most collaborative to date. 

How do you relate the name Abduction to your music?
François: Ufology is a fascinating subject, but it’s not at the heart of our concerns. For us, the word « Abduction » refers to the rapture of the soul, the moment when the spirit detaches itself from matter.

The band’s lyrics have been written in French since the first album. Why did you choose to use our language?
François: Why not? French is a wonderful, rich language. What’s more, since we like to talk about our heritage and our history, it’s a perfectly natural choice. In fact, many Extreme Metal listeners appreciate hearing the musicians sing in their native tongue. It gives the music a more authentic character. Even though I enjoy expressing myself in English in other projects, French takes away any possibility of distancing myself. The emotions I express are stronger, more vivid, more « felt » when I sing in my own language.

There’s a kind of duality in your compositions, between virulent Old School Black/Death tones and more elaborate, melodious passages bordering on extreme Progressive Metal. How do you find the perfect balance between your different influences?
François: Thank you, that’s very flattering! In all sincerity, we don’t really ask ourselves these kinds of questions. We make the music we like and want to make, without worrying about labels. We like contrasting tracks that evoke different feelings. Acoustic passages, for example, beyond their own beauty, bring a dynamic that makes the electric sections even more intense. Regardless of the lyrics, we like the idea that the music invites listeners on a kind of sonic journey.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Whether for the lyrics or the riffs?
François: From French history, which we’re passionate about, to our reading and observation of the world around us. Anything that can feed our inspiration, even an atmosphere, a season, a painting, a film, a sightseeing trip, a walk in the woods, is good to take.

I know it’s a tough question, but do you have a favorite track on this album? Or the one that seemed the most natural to compose?
François: Personally, I’m partial to Disparus De Leur Vivant, whose second half literally grabs me by the gut, and Carnets Sur Récifs, whose desolate maritime ambience I adore. Those two tracks are definitely my favorites. As for composition, that’s a question for Guillaume to answer, but I seem to remember that Carnets Sur Récifs and Contre Les Fers Du Ciel came quite easily, in moments of fever, frenzy and inner storm.  

At the end of the album, there’s a cover of Mylène Farmer‘s Allan. Why did you choose this title, and how did you adapt it to your style?
François: Guillaume is a huge fan of Mylène Farmer and Allan is his favorite song, which means a lot to him. So it was natural for him to think of this track when considering a tribute to this singer who has inspired him so much. The adaptation was extremely quick and easy – it seems to me that everything fell into place in less than a week!

Toutes blessent, la dernière tue is your first album to be released on Frozen Records. How did the transition go, and how is the collaboration with this new label going?
François: It’s strange to think that this is our last collaboration with Laurent from FDE, who has been with us since our first album (and co-produced Toutes Blessent, La Dernière Tue), but the transition is « logical » since Frozen shares our values and was very enthusiastic about the idea of releasing this album, which he really liked. The Eddy/Paul duo are full of ideas to help us develop, and we consider them friends, which is important to us.

How did you discover Extreme Metal, and more specifically the Black and Death Metal scenes? In your opinion, which are the scene’s must-have bands?
François: I personally grew up listening to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. The first really extreme album I listened to was Edge Of Sanity‘s The Spectral Sorrows (1993), which my older sister bought because it contained a cover of Manowar, her favorite band! I must have been thirteen or fourteen, and didn’t really understand what was going on. In high school, a few metalhead friends gently introduced me to Extreme Metal, but it wasn’t until 2005, when I really discovered Samael, Cradle Of Filth, Opeth and Summoning, that I started to build up my own culture. And I’ve never looked back, even though I still listen to other styles of Metal (and music in general). It wouldn’t be of much interest to me to answer the question of unmissable bands, as I’d be quoting the same ones as everyone else. Well, I’m going to name Emperor, Burzum and Darkthrone as my top Black Metal references, and Obituary, Morbid Angel and Death for Death Metal – although when it comes to Death, a style I don’t listen to much, my tastes run more to bands like Benediction or Bolt Thrower.

The band is basically a duo, but also relies on session musicians for its live shows. How did you go about recruiting them? (ed: do not write interviews at midnight again, sorry!)
François: At the risk of disappointing you, I think you’re confusing us with someone else (perhaps the English Abduction, who are a one-man-band?). We’re a quartet and, when we go live, we’ll be recruiting an extra guitarist for the acoustic sets and, ideally, two for the electric ones. We’re currently preparing a small acoustic showcase and have already rehearsed with Florent « Celin » Castellani, Angellore‘s bassist, who is a very talented guitarist and one of my closest friends. He’s been following Abduction closely since the first album, and when he offered us his help, we didn’t hesitate for a second.

Do you have any future plans for Abduction?
François: Going live! We’ve been talking about it for years, but there have always been external factors that have complicated things. And then, personal expression, through composition and studio recording, has always been a priority for us. But now we’re determined to get going. Concerts are likely to come before the fifth album is released!

Looking at the website, I see two concert dates: the Samhain and Mass Deathtruction festivals. How did these dates go? Do you plan to play more live dates in the future?
François: Unfortunately, it’s once again our namesake, the English Abduction. We’ve never played live before. We’ll never become a constantly touring band, but we do aspire to play shows from time to time.

Are there any musicians or artists you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
François: I’m very fond of musical collaborations, and it would be very interesting to see what an outside musician could bring to Abduction, as we did with cellist Raphaël Verguin (Psygnosis) on the new album, but for the moment, I don’t have anyone specific in mind.

Do you think you’ve improved as musicians with this album?
François: I think so. I was already satisfied with my saturated vocals on the previous album, but my clear vocals have, I think, become more precise since then. Jehanne helped me get over a little hurdle, and the projects I’m involved in outside Abduction are helping me gain more self-confidence and giving me the opportunity to experiment with new things. I think this album was the least difficult of the four for me to record.  

Which bands would you like to play with? I’ll leave it to you to imagine a show for the release of Toutes blessent, la dernière tue with Abduction opening, and three other bands.
François: Knowing my bandmates’ passion for Hypno5e, that seems an obvious choice… I’d also mention Véhémence and Primordial (who are among our main influences). It would make a nice set.

That was my last question, so I’d like to thank you for your availability, and final words are yours!
François: Thank you for this interview. I hope it will inspire your readers to make up their own minds about our music!

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