Fange hail from Rennes, France, but their vision of metal relies on touchstones from elsewhere. Their lurching rhythm section recalls thoroughly American sludge bands like Eyehategod, but you could just as easily trace their lineage to Stockholm, Sweden. Guitarist Benjamin Moreau’s got a penchant for staccato riffing and the famed HM-2 distortion pedal, which produces the unique mid-rangey “chainsaw” effect popularized by Stockholm death metal acts (Grave, Entombed) and borrowed lately by US metalcore and grind bands (Trap Them, Nails, half of the bands Kurt Ballou has recorded in the past decade). This heaving landscape offers lots of uniquely ugly vistas; a miasma of eerie electronic noise and unearthly screeches swirls around its jagged peaks. Fange conveniently summarize all of these features themselves on their Facebook: “Entombed jamming with Merzbow & Noothgrush.”
The final effect is that of European death metal as experienced in a child’s nightmare: slowed-down and surreal, but inexorable in its movements and blown up to mind-bogglingly huge proportions. I’m reminded a bit of the interrelated (and feuding) Chicago metal bands Lord Mantis and Indian, who also mix sludge with more extreme forms of metal and electronics to create something uncanny. Where those bands reach for black metal, Fange goes to the death metal well, yielding results that hit even harder with no loss in resonance.
We’re streaming Fange’s debut LP Purge in all its gnarly glory today. Listen below, or download the album for free from the band.