France’s Coven Perform Heavy & Searing Screamo On Hard-Hitting New Release

La chaleur nous accable — the hard-hitting new album from the French hardcore/ screamo group Coven — feels like an energizing musical splash of cold water to the face.

The band sounds starkly heavy, but there’s an ummistakable undertow of emotional desperation in the group’s songs, and this undertow feels quite formidable. It’s not a sidenote or only felt in passing. Instead, the heaviness consistently feels wavering and unsteady, as Coven musically highlight unease wafting like smoke into the emotional experiences reflected in the music.

In a way, the band sounds like they’ve somehow materialized an otherwise internal struggle between abrasive tension and emotional freedom, and fittingly, within the record’s world, there’s not really a conclusive resolution to this journey beyond the continuance of the struggle. The music remains formidably intense as the release draws to a close.

The band consistently sound energized, and this energy feels invigorating. Ethereal heaviness permeates the music, with blasts of catharsis in segments like the build-up across opening track “La violence.” Even when the music gets markedly heavy, there’s not really a sense of chaos. Instead, Coven perform with a sort of emotionally illuminating control, focusing on a particularly broad breadth of the emotional fire that fuels their songs. Even after a build-up, Coven keep going — on “La violence” in particular, both the midpoint and end of the track feature powerfully intense performances, and the band uses a rather relentless energy to help construct the impressively broad scope of their music.

Track two, called “Cortège de faim,” feels particularly heavy — the instruments themselves sound like they’re roaring, and with a real ragged edge in the sound, the music carries a remarkably personal-feeling grounding. Cascading rhythms across the band’s creations feel remarkably compelling, as the songs have an intricacy that expands the emotional experience, reflecting a broad scope of emotional chaos with refreshing abandon.

The record feels like a musical reflection of some of the power of letting loose and shouting at the sky out of deep frustration, and the journey of the album’s runtime feels quite lively. The band’s heavy riffing and deep low-end feel remarkably striking, and it’s invigorating to run straight into the metaphorical wind like Coven do on this record.

5/5 Stars

Listen to La chaleur nous accable below!