Again, the lack of any post about this band is a huge oversight on my part. Mostly because Forteresse is fucking amazing and I think a prime example of one of the goals I have with this post: Overlooked. Now maybe not so much in the black metal community, or more so the atmospheric black metal fan base, where they’re sort of regarded as legends, but in the wider range of metal, I think this is a black metal band that should be considered classic.
They put out a new album this year, which is fucking phenomenal and will more than likely be cropping up all over “best of 2016″ lists and it occurred to me that I was missing two albums from the bands catalog. Dark Descent Records was having a sale and they had all the Forteresse albums on there so I bit and got the two I was missing, the other being Crépuscule d’Octobre.
Forteresse is among the front runners, if not the front runner of the French Canadian, Quebec-centric atmospheric black metal scene, and yes, there is a scene that specific. Often referred to as “Québécois Metal” taken from the title of Forteresse’s first album Métal noir québécois. The scene (genre?) is heavily atmospheric based black metal with a strong regard for French Canadian history, folklore and nature. Some dips in to that DSBM sound, some sounds like Wolves in the Throne Room or Weakling, but there’s generally a unique vibe and sound to the regional stylings of these bands. Forteresse played a big part in establishing that.
This being their second album it is heavy on the atmospherics. The album is mostly a mid-paced romp through the sounds and experiences of nature with the band adding much, much more ambient elements than their debut. There’s some slightly melodic parts pitted against furious tremolo picking but with Forteresse it’s all about atmosphere and of course, this album is dripping in it.
I fucking love this band and this album may be a good jumping on point for the Quebec black metal scene. I can’t imagine that if you like bands like WITTR, or Panopticon, or Falls of Rauros, or any of the highly atmospheric bands that you wouldn’t like Forteresse. They fit in there easily and are just as fucking awesome.