BARABBAS – La Mort Appelle Tous Les Vivants

BARABBAS had left us waiting for eight years until we finally got a new album after the release of their debut album Messe pour un chien in 2014. Some changes regarding the band members took place and the number of members climbed from 4 to 5.

La Mort Appelle Tous Les Vivants has been released on December 9, 2022 via “Sleeping Church Records“. Its 9 tracks have an overall playing time of almost one hour. Thankfully BARABBAS’ distinctive approach to the genre of Doom Metal

did not change, though. It is still heavy, melodic old school Doom Metal, bursting with energy, pulsating, driving rhythms, (almost speedy in terms of Doom) and powerful vocals.( And for the increase of band members by one, in this case, means an increase of guitars by one, and this again means even more energy.)

And, thankfully, the lyrics are still in French. All right, my command of French is … ahem… , negligible, but what I understand is that La Mort Appelle Tous Les Vivants is about death. The everyday death in life, your very own death, the literal physical one, the death of your buried dreams and missed chances, or the notion of a dead heart, mind or senses. All the different faces and kinds of death everyone can relate to.

And so the short intro to the album are warning sirens and someone’s repetitive shouting of the album (and track) title.

And then the following 7 songs describe the different kinds of deaths you might possibly encounter and all of them are equipped with a mostly dark and depressive atmosphere, but also have their very own moods.

Be it the the raging despair in “Je Suis Mort Depuis Bien Longtemps”, the bleak darkness and nihilistic attitude of “De La Viande”, the very melancholic vibe with mourning guitars, gloomy vocals and melodies in “Le Cimetière Des Rêves Brisés”, the daunting rather speedy and monolithic sound of “Sous Le Signe Du Néant” or the brooding, sinister mood of “Mon Crâne Est Un Crypte (et j’y suis emmuré)” with a hypnotizing rhythm, desperate vocals and the most doomy vibe on here. …. What a long sentence, sorry, but I hope you get my drift. The songs share the same topic, but each covers a different facet of it, lyrically and musically.

And if you kept score, you know there are 2 songs I didn’t mention yet (the intro and outro discounted). “Le Saint Riff Rédempteur” and “La Valse Funèbre”. These two stand out, sort of, with some extra features.

“Le Saint Riff Rédempteur” is the one-finger salute to death, the laugh in its face. This song is the anthem and prayer to the holy riff that brings hope and redemption. This is the sole glimpse of light on the album.

“La valse funèbre” brings, if not light, at least a sense of black humor and conciliation. You can’t beat death, so why not get along with it, dance with it. You are fatally chained anyhow. The waltz immediately evokes pictures of the living dancing with the dead. The use of the keyboard here supports this ghoulish and surreal feel very well. Especially these short flashes evoke images of line dancing cartoon skeletons (but that’s probably only me). The slightly dissonant and unhinged melody towards the end creepily conveys the knowledge of the fragility of life.

The outro track is similar to the intro. It’s also mainly the repetition of the words of the album title, still very different. While the intro begins with radar blip sounds before the sirens and the warning shouts set in, the outro starts with the toll of a death knell before the words here are spoken in a mourning manner, accompanied by a melancholic dirgeful melody. In the beginning death searches for the living, in the end it has found them.

La Mort Appelle Tous Les Vivants was definitely worth the wait. BARABBAS created an album that is unmistakably BARABBAS.Their old school style with this almost retro-ish feel is quite unique. Their energy is addictive and despite all right in your face riffs there are so many nuanced ideas and textures all put together into tightly structured songs.The keyboard enhances the retro feel unobtrusively, but to great effect. The vocals are powerful yet also gifted with an impressive theatrical talent that the words almost directly translate to your heart.