Review: Peste Noire – L’Ordure à l’état Pur

“The verb troll originates from Old French troller, a hunting term.” I kind of want to end right there. But I’ve read reviews of 2009’s Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor, one of my favorite albums ever, that basically accused Famine of making something intentionally horrible. To just say no, Ballade was a work of genius, L’Odure is their intentionally horrible album, without any justification, would be a bit naive.

I don’t think I can really say what I want to say about L’Ordure without taking a good look at Ballade though, so let me start with the opening song of their 2009 album.

La Mesniee Mordrissoire (on Ballade cuntre lo Anemi francor)

Following a short introduction track, La Mesniee Mordrissoire kicks off perhaps the most dark and disturbing album I’ve ever heard. Famine’s infamously twisted vocals, the peculiar, unnatural way in which the album is distorted, the unity of all of its seemingly random features, the cackles, the ultra-nationalistic chants, the contrast of all this to riffs and beats that are sometimes happy, sometimes longing in an entirely human sort of way, everything about this album is warped beyond belief. And it just gets “better”. I wish I was a psychopath just so I could have the fulfillment of jabbing my victims with a red-hot poker while dancing to track 3. … Ok well, anyway…

I refuse to believe that this album was a fluke. I refuse to believe that Famine’s real intention was to create something really awful and he just by accident shit out a masterpiece. Sure, it might have vastly exceeded his expectations–works of this caliber often surpass their creators–but it was not a complete accident.

At the same time, a lot of what you hear on Ballade couldn’t have been recorded with a straight face by a normal person, and I have no reason to believe Famine isn’t one. I for one don’t think I could chant “sieg heil! sieg heil!” or sing a chorus of “la la la la lala” without busting out laughing regardless of how well it fit my artistic vision. I typically see Famine being accused of immaturity, not of being a radical, but I fail to see why he couldn’t have taken the album seriously and still gotten a kick out of the elements of it which, when taken out of context, are completely ridiculous.

When I say L’Ordure à l’état Pur, translated to something like Garbage in its Pure Form, is horrible, I’m saying that I think Famine intended it to be horrible. I think it has next to nothing conceptually in common with its predecessor. It’s like he’s saying “No, this is immature. Do you see the difference?”

L’Ordure à l’état Pur came packaged with an image change for the band that might clarify the difference.

Cochon Carotte Et Les sœurs Crotte

This is the only song I’m going to sample from L’Ordure à l’état Pur, because I think it’s all you really need to hear to decide whether you want to pick up the whole thing or not. If you can appreciate sound samples from scat pornography, belching noises substituted for drum beats, Famine doing his best impression of an irritated chicken, and really bad techno, maybe this album is for you. Hell, maybe you can kid yourself into thinking the band is making some statement about society. But for me, Famine is just trolling here. Maybe he wanted people to derive some sort of meaning from it all, or maybe he just wanted to sit back and laugh at all the people who try to. I think I’ll not risk falling victim to the latter.

L’Ordure à l’état Pur has a few really great features, but by and large it’s awful. Take the album title literally. You might think there is meaning buried beneath the joke, but that is the joke.

2 responses to “Review: Peste Noire – L’Ordure à l’état Pur

  1. Pingback: Peste Noire MMXIII | Bevroren Ivoren Toren

  2. I’m very interested to see some new interpretations of L’Ordure à l’état Pur emerge alongside reviews of the new self-titled. In the time since I reviewed this album in 2011, Famine has gone from being an elusive mute in the music industry to an outspoken critic of the state of black metal and society today. My initial interpretation of L’Ordure was definitely off the mark. I would say I captured the album’s cynical exterior but failed to notice its more subtle points, thereby misinterpreting Famine’s intentions.


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