Une voile déchirée
One of the most profound experiences a metal fan can have is to find the melody in the maelstrom. What sounds like chaos at first is revealed to have a beautiful, grand design. Jordan Guerette has been responsible for plenty of moments like these. As the guitarist for Portland black-metal institution Falls of Rauros, Guerette’s ear for melody and has lent sonic weight to themes of nature’s power and humanity’s struggle. But it’s with his French-language side project, Forêt Endormie, that he can really spread his wings. On Sept. 4, the orchestral-drone sextet will drop its second LP, Une voile déchirée (A Torn Sail). It’s their prettiest release yet, and that’s saying something. Guerette and keyboardist/vocalist Lauren Vieria harmonize with haunting clarity through a naturalistic song cycle that takes us from the open sea to a burning forest. “Nuages orageux” is an especially striking suite, led by Sarah Mueller’s mournful violin, which sounds like a sailor praying for guidance through the oncoming storm. Emmett Harrity’s harmonium chords give “La mer nous attend” the feel of a poignant goodbye. And David Yearwood’s double bass solo on “Cendres” sounds like something Paul Chambers would play at a funeral. As our days get chillier and more colorful, I can think of no better soundtrack for it all.