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The new album by the French masters of erotic military pop, more gloomy than ever before.


Derniere Volonte is an artist that has been evolving over the years, starting from 1998 with the thematic limited cassette release, Obeir et mourir which was an historical snapshot of a particular place in time. A mood well captured of strife-filled war torn Europe.

Now onto the seven inches, "En Avant" with its stripped down execution of military percussion and dark undercurrents of synths and limited usage of samples mark this particular release as having some of the signature features of Geoffrey's works to come. While the Commandements seven-inch from 2000 ushers in a slightly more raw sound with stomping percussion and sparse instrumentation to convey an ever-present historic air giving us a glimpse into what was coming.

However, in the millennium the level of standards were raised with Le Feu Sacre, which brought us a stylishly dramatic mix of rhythmic drumming and keyboards, and of course those very French vocals. The environment that formed without relying on the tricks of the trade is what really piqued my interest. The beauty of this particular release lay in its simplicity and originality.

While on the subject of mood and atmosphere, Où Tu Iras the seven-inch release from 2001 picks up exactly where Le Feu Sacre left off and could just as easily been part of a two disc set of Le Feu Sacre had that been in the works, but the tracks themselves stand alone on their own merit. Derniere Volonte alongside Jürgen Weber (think Novy Svet) gave us another seven-inch El Continent/ Mon mercenaire a perfect blending of aesthetics and personal styles of approach in the creation of a much coveted piece of work.

Devant le Miroir is by far the most polished of Derniere Volonte's works to date. The disc starts with "Au Travers Des Lauriers", which is an adaptation of the popular song "Malbrough s'en va-t-en guerre" which has been attributed to many situations over the years. Perhaps this time for an unknown soldier, but this is the Derniere Volonte version, a driving percussive piece with dulcimer and tambourine.

Douce Hirondelle is by far the most accessible track on this release, a melodic piece that makes you move, reminiscent at times of early Young Marble Giants in it's eighties appeal and song structure, but nevertheless brilliant, it has the effect of making one smile.

Cran D'arret is a suspenseful yet dramatic interpretation of the text by the poet and writer Guillaume Apollinaire entitled "Fête" with a dedication to Andre Rouveyre, and what an adaptation it is, a lot of drumming and strings give this track a very serious tone.

Un poète dans la forêt
Regarde avec indifférence
Son revolver au cran d'arrêt
Des roses mourir d'espérance
* A poet in the forest
Looks indifferently
With his revolver on safety
At roses dying of hope

Overall, I see this release as a culmination of everything that has come before it, it can be called martial pop at times as well as hinting at neo classical, nothing short of brilliance here. Derniere Volonte has carved out their own particular niche in this particular field of music and for that I for one am very grateful..

Marco Deplano aka Wertham assists Derniere Volonte on the very poignant final track "Maitre De Ma Peau..." taken from the writer amongst other accomplishments Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, an engulfing ambient work with emotive voices is the perfect ending for this release and I leave you with his words.

The life did not go rather quickly in me, I accelerate it.
The curve weakened, I rectify it.I am a man.
I am a Master of my skin, I prove it.


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