'Animal Bouffe Animal': Mourir's debut album is an honest, powerful record that forces you to introspect
Filled with emotionally-charged tracks, the album takes you through the rage, confusion and existential dread before finally giving you the space to release the pent up emotions
French black metal band Mourir is here with a full-length debut album ‘Animal Bouffe Animal’ and if you’re a fan of metal at all, we highly recommend you check this one out. But make sure you give it a full listen before you judge it.
Mourir comprises of members from Plebeian Grandstand (whose bassist Olivier Lolmède is credited with conceptualizing Mourir and even did the artwork for the debut album), Toucan, Selenites, and Drawers, and all six tracks from the album have accompanying music videos directed by Grégoire Orio.
The album was recorded live. Sound engineer Amaury Sauvé, who has worked with Plebeian Grandstand, Birds In Row and Necrodancer and Thibault Chaumont, who has worked with Birds In Row, Klone, and Igorrr also worked on producing the album.
Described as black metal, doom and sludge rock, ‘Animal Bouffe Animal’ is a dark and aggressive record that conveys a sense of nihilism both through its music and its lyrics. But do not let that lull you into a false sense of security - if you think this is going to be a series of songs you can simply rage out to and be done with, you’re in for a rude awakening.
This album doesn't make for easy listening. It takes a song or two for you to really get into it, but that isn’t because it’s a bad record. On the contrary, this album is designed to make you uncomfortable. It’s one that is meant to make you feel a sense of unease - like something is seriously wrong.
If you think you’ll have the chance to think that through though - guess again. Mourir (which means ‘die’) poses a question and only when the music rises to the heights of cacophony and dies with no warning, leaving you with total, complete silence do you find the space to answer the question. And that’s as unsettling as self-reflection can get.
The second track on the album, ‘Ton Univers Mental M'Épuise’ (‘Your Mental Universe Exhausts Me’), with its aggressive drum intro and slow, brief refrains throws you off balance right off the bat and then ends so abruptly that you’ll wonder if your record is broken. Mourir takes you all the way up with a song that is exhaustion personified and you feel like you’re in for the most cathartic release of your life and then drops you straight into the depths of existential dread with ‘Foutu Pour Foutu’, which, loosely translated describes the feeling of being willing to try everything since you no longer have anything to lose.
As the fourth track on ‘Animal Bouffe Animal’ that follows ‘Foutu Pour Foutu’, ‘La Gueule Ouverte’ is a stunning instrumental piece that truly captures what the title means: literally meaning ‘mouth agape’, it is used as an expression to mean dying in vain while suffering deeply, all while crying out for help. ‘La Gueule Ouverte’ or ‘The Mouth Agape’ was also the title of a 1974 French film that saw a woman going through the trauma of living with a terminal illness while her family remains aloof or unable to express their own sorrow and grief.
A track that truly encompasses the feeling of having one’s emotions stifled till they are ready to explode, ‘La Gueule Ouverte’ is followed by ‘Parole De Hyène’ (‘Hyena’s Word’) which finally gives us that cathartic release we were convinced would never come.
The album closes with its title track which starts out by giving us a quiet, contemplative space that brings the emotions of all the album together. In ‘Animal Bouffe Animal’, we find closure - but not before we get one last barrage guitars, drums and some truly haunting vocals to go with it.
Mourir’s debut album acts like a mirror that forces you to really look at your own reflection. It is an honest release that draws you out of your own shell and gives you the space to go through your own emotions without allowing you the time to dodge them.