Les Légions Noires

Last updated
Les Légions Noires
Origin France
Genres
Years active 1993–1997, 2015–present
Labels Drakkar
End All Life
Full Moon
Past members Lord Aäkon Këëtrëh
Lord Beleth'Rim
Vordb Bathor Ecsed
Vorlok Drakksteim
Wlad Drakksteim
Dark Wizzard of Silence
Krissagrazabeth
Lord Meyhna'ch
Lord Ogvdreb
Lord Urvdrem
Mørdrëd / Belinda

Les Légions Noires (also known as The Black Legions in English, or simply abbreviated to LLN) was an avant-garde group of French underground black metal musicians and their bands, centered mostly around the city of Brest, in Britanny. The bands involved limited their releases to very small numbers (often just enough to get to the other circle members), and distributed them among friends and close workers.

Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms.

Brest, France Subprefecture and commune in Brittany, France

Brest is a city in the Finistère département in Brittany. Located in a sheltered bay not far from the western tip of the peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon. The city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, and the 19th most populous city in France; moreover, Brest provides services to the one million inhabitants of Western Brittany. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper.

Contents

History

Possibly the circle was formed in the late 1980s, early 1990s, in response to the supposed Norwegian "Black Metal Inner Circle". According to a 2005 series in Terrorizer magazine on the history of black metal, "A bunch of corpsepainted characters, rumoured to be drawn from such acts as Mütiilation, Torgeist and Vlad Tepes named themselves the 'Black Legions' as a tribute to the so-called 'Black Mafia' Norwegian BM heroes Darkthrone and Burzum, who were supposedly ready to terrorize Christians a couple of years before." [1] The first recordings of LLN members came about in the early 1990s, and their influence was acknowledged in the same issue of Terrorizer: "One should never count out France, primarily as the home of the inscrutably influential Black Legions of ridiculous rawness during the mid-90s." [2]

<i>Terrorizer</i> (magazine)

Terrorizer is an extreme music magazine published by Dark Arts Ltd. in the United Kingdom. It is released every four weeks with thirteen issues a year and features a "Fear Candy" covermount CD, a twice yearly "Fear Candy Unsigned" CD, and a double-sided poster.

Mütiilation is a French ambient black metal solo project, consisting of William "Meyhna'ch" Roussel. The project started in 1991 and has released six full-length albums and appeared on several EPs and compilations.

Vlad Tepes was a French black metal band which was formed in Brest in 1993. The name originated from the 15th-century Wallachian ruler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's fictional vampire Dracula. The group belongs to the Black Legions. Vorlok Drakksteim also has a side project named Black Murder, for which he is the composer, while Wlad Drakksteim is the composer for Vlad Tepes. Vlad Tepes were one of the Black Legions bands featured in the magazine The Black Plague - First Chapter in 1995.

Regarding their influences, Wlad Drakksteim of Vlad Tepes referred, in an interview with Petrified magazine, to Hellhammer and especially Bathory: "Every True Black Metal Horde should play in old Bathory style." [3] When asked about the "Norwegian Black Metal Mafia", he said, "Norwegian mafia did lots of 'bad' things to this world. With Euronymous death MAYHEM is definitely dead and it's better like that as it will help Black Metal to return to darkness. [Euronymous] must be in peace now so I don't complain [lament?] him. And about Varg Vikernes (BURZUM) I don't have any opinion. WE have OUR opinions and he certainly knows them so..." [4]

Hellhammer was a Swiss extreme metal band from Nurensdorf, active during 1981–1984. They are regarded as a key influence on black metal, and one of the founders of death metal. In June 1984, Hellhammer disbanded and founded another highly influential band, Celtic Frost.

Bathory (band) Swedish metal band

Bathory were an extreme metal group formed in Vällingby, Sweden, in 1983 named after Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory. The band's frontman and main songwriter was Quorthon. Considered to be one of the most influential acts in heavy metal, Bathory's first four albums are considered to be "the blueprint for Scandinavian black metal". The band departed from this style on their fifth album, Hammerheart (1990), which is often cited as the first Viking metal album. Bathory continued in the Viking metal style throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, although the band experimented with thrash metal on the albums Requiem (1994) and Octagon (1995). Bathory ended when Quorthon died from heart failure in 2004.

The best-known bands of the LLN are Mütiilation (the one-man band formed by William Roussel, also known as Meyhna'ch), Belketre, Torgeist, and Vlad Tepes.

Vlad Tepes have been outspoken in the goals of their black metal: "We are Black Legions of Satan, we are the immortal warriors of Black imperial blood. We are here to pervert christian worms and they shall face the Black holocaust. It's near!" [4]

While none of the bands involved in Les Légions Noires released any new material from 1998 to 2014, Belketre released a new EP entitled Ryan Èvn-A in 2015. It is unclear if the bands were inactive during that time or simply preferred not to release their material to the public.

Discography

<i>Hail Satanas We Are the Black Legions</i> 1994 EP by Mütiilation

Hail Satanas We Are The Black Legions was the first studio recording by Mütiilation, a one-man French heavy metal music project. The recording pays a direct homage to The Black Legions, which Mütiilation had just joined. It was issued as a 7" vinyl EP.

<i>Vampires of Black Imperial Blood</i> 1995 studio album by Mütiilation

Vampires of Black Imperial Blood was Mütiilation's and The Black Legions first full-length album. It was also the first full-length CD publication from Drakkar Productions, a French record label freshly established in 1994 by fellow musician Noktu.

Bands and projects

Personnel:
AäK = Lord Aäkon Këëtrëh
BLT = Lord Beleth'Rim
VRD = Vordb Bathor Ecsed (a.k.a. Vordb Dreagvor Uezeerb)
WOR = Worlok Drakksteim (a.k.a. Vorlok Drakkstein)
WLD = Wlad Drakksteim (a.k.a. Vlad Drakkstein)
NFL = Nifleim
NAI = Naimlambre
KRS = Krissagrazabeth
MYH = Meyhna'ch
ADS = A Dark Soul

            

Function:
= member
(┿) = former/past member
all = all instruments
dr = drums
vo = vocals
gt = guitar
ba = bass guitar

Project nameAäKBLTVRDWORWLDNFLNAID.K.MYHKRSADSReleases
Aäkon Këëtrëh3 demos
Amaka Hahina3 demos, 1 CD
Belathuzur2 demos
Belkètre4 demos, 1 CD
Black Murder2 demos
Brenoritvrezorkre(vo,gt,dr)dr4 demos
Dvnaèbkre1 demo
Dzlvarv1 demo
Moëvöt7 demos
Mütiilation (dr)6 CDs, 3 EPs, 6 demos
Satanicum Tenebraeall3 demos
Seviss2 demos
Susvourtredrvo,ba1 demo
Torgeistgtgt,vobadr3 demos, 1 CD
Uatrb Vélèpr1 demo
Vagézaryavtregt,vo,bavo1 demo
Vérmyapre Kommandobagt,vo,dr(dr)1 demo
Vlad Tepes ba,vovo,gt,dr(dr)(dr)10 demos, 2 CDs
Vzaeurvbtre3 demos

Notes

  1. Strachan, Guy (2005). "Overview of the French scene". Terrorizer . 128: 38.
  2. Birk, Nathan T. (2005). "Overview of the French scene". Terrorizer . 128: 44.
  3. "Vlad Tepes: Interview with Wlad [Drakksteim]". Petrified. 3. 1994. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
  4. 1 2 "Vlad Tepes: Awaiting the Forthcoming Black Holocaust..." Kill Yourself. 2: 15–16. 1995. Retrieved 2009-03-03.

Related Research Articles

Burzum Norwegian black metal / ambient band

Burzum was a Norwegian music project founded by Varg Vikernes in 1991. Although Burzum never played live performances, it became a part of the early Norwegian black metal scene and is considered one of the most influential acts in the history of black metal. The word "burzum" means "darkness" in the black speech, a fictional language crafted by Lord of the Rings writer J. R. R. Tolkien.

Emperor (band) Norwegian black metal band

Emperor is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1991, regarded as highly influential by critics and emerging black metal bands. The group split up in 2001, but reunited from 2005 to 2007 for a few festival dates and brief US tours, and again reunited in 2013 to 2014. The group was founded by Ihsahn (guitar/vocal) and Samoth.

Varg Vikernes Norwegian musician, writer and convicted murderer

Louis Cachet, more popularly known as Varg Vikernes, is a Norwegian musician, writer, and blogger. In 1991, he founded the one-man music project Burzum, which became one of the most influential black metal acts. In 1993, while Vikernes was a member of black metal band Mayhem, Vikernes murdered his bandmate. He was convicted of murder and arson, and subsequently served 15 years in prison.

Dead (musician) 20th-century Swedish black/death metal vocalist

Per Yngve Ohlin, better known by his stage name Dead, was a Swedish black metal musician, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem from 1988 until his death in 1991. He also performed as vocalist of the Swedish death metal band Morbid on their demo December Moon. Dead was a popular figure of the Norwegian black metal scene. Roadrunner Records ranked him No. 48 out of 50 of The Greatest Metal Front-Men of All Time.

Euronymous Norwegian heavy metal musician

Øystein Aarseth, better known by his stage name Euronymous, was a Norwegian guitarist. Euronymous was a founder of and central figure in the early Norwegian black metal scene. He was a co-founder of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and was the only constant member from the band's formation in 1984 until his death in 1993. He was also founder and owner of the extreme metal record label Deathlike Silence Productions and record shop Helvete.

Mayhem (band) Norwegian black metal band

Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, Norway. They were one of the founders of the Norwegian black metal scene and their music has strongly influenced the black metal genre. Mayhem's early career was highly controversial, primarily due to their notorious live performances, the 1991 suicide of vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin ("Dead") and the 1993 murder of guitarist Øystein Aarseth ("Euronymous") by former member Varg Vikernes of Burzum.

The early 1990s Norwegian black metal scene is credited with creating the modern black metal genre and produced some of the most acclaimed and influential artists in extreme metal. It attracted massive media attention when it was revealed that its members had been responsible for two murders, one suicide, and a wave of church burnings in Norway.

<i>Lords of Chaos</i> (book)

Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground is a book by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind. It is an account of the early Norwegian black metal scene, with a focus on the string of church burnings and murders that occurred in the country around 1993. A film adaptation of the book was directed by Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund in 2018. The book has been the subject of controversy over the alleged political leanings of author Michael Moynihan, though Moynihan denies these allegations.

French rock is a form of rock music produced in France, primarily with lyrics in the French language.

<i>De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas</i> 1994 studio album by Mayhem

De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is the debut studio album by the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem. Songwriting began in 1987, but due to the suicide of vocalist Per "Dead" Ohlin and the murder of guitarist Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth, the album's release was delayed until May 1994. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is widely considered one of the most influential black metal albums of all time. It is the band's only studio album to feature Aarseth and Varg "Count Grishnackh" Vikernes.

<i>Hvis lyset tar oss</i> 1994 studio album by Burzum

Hvis lyset tar oss is the third studio album by Norwegian black metal solo project Burzum. It was recorded in September 1992, but was not released until April 1994, whereupon it was released through Misanthropy Records and Vikernes' own record label, Cymophane Productions. The album is considered a classic in the black metal scene.

<i>Filosofem</i> 1996 studio album by Burzum

Filosofem is the fourth studio album by Norwegian black metal solo project Burzum. It was recorded in March 1993 and was the last recording before Varg Vikernes' imprisonment ; the album was not released until January 1996, however. A music video was made for the song "Dunkelheit" and received airtime on both MTV and VH1.

<i>Worship Him</i> 1991 studio album by Samael

Worship Him is the first full album from the Swiss heavy metal band Samael. Released in 1991, it was the first-ever release from Osmose Productions, an independent French metal label. Worship Him is considered a milestone in the development of second wave black metal.

Full Moon Productions was a record company started in 1991 by Jon "Thorns" Jamshid from Lakeland, Florida. After releasing the first issue of Petrified 'Zine in August 1993, Thorns decided to sign several black metal bands which included Burzum, Hades, Algaion, Nåstrond and Vlad Tepes. During this time he worked closely with Count Grishnackh of Burzum and Euronymous of Mayhem. Soon FMP signed Mysticum, Black Funeral, Abruptum, Swordmaster and others.

Drakkar Productions record label

Drakkar Productions is a French record label that has released many recordings of black metal bands throughout the world, on CD, cassette and vinyl. They have usually limited the prints to 1000 copies or less, but some have been known to vary. The label is now notorious for its Les Légions Noires releases, as well as other black metal bands that are known throughout the world.

<i>Grim Scary Tales</i> 2011 studio album by Macabre

Grim Scary Tales is an album by Macabre released in 2011. The album cover depicts the notorious Romanian prince Vlad the Impaler holding a goblet filled with blood. The album focuses on historical figures famous for killing people, such as Vlad Tepes, Countess Bathory, Gilles de Rais, and Nero. It has been described as "primitive death metal, occasionally erupting into nursery rhyme or cartoon-theme melodies, and the vocals go back and forth between guttural growls and high-pitched, hoarse shrieking". It is also Macabre's first release since Murder Metal in 2003.

References