Non Serviam is an anonymous French band from Paris. I must admit that this album is my first encounter with the band, although they exist since 2014 and had several releases. We Are Nothing But Your Krill is their latest and came out August 5th, 2022, via "Trepanation Recordings"
I hit the play button, because the cover design spoke to me and there were like 15 different genre tags at the bottom of the bandcamp page. I was curious. And yes, it is all in there, yet what I hear is much more than just the sum of all that. It's a 43 minutes long swirling unshackled emotional attack. It's extreme in the sense of extremely blending, layering and tangling a wide range of different styles and techniques in genre realms one would easily call extreme as such. Non Serviam stretch boundaries to create chaos and cacophony as well as plain poetic beauty.
With an uncanny, uneasy atmosphere the short intro and title track “We Are Nothing But Your Krill” immediately got my attention. Quite low, slow and repetitive with electronic, swirling, luring sounds it establishes a dark industrial vibe.
"O My Whale" then picks up the swirl turns it into a swarm of buzzing wild angry insects, intensified by black metal guitars, glitch and distortion, screaming vocals and grinding noise. Choirs join in an equally swirling way. Forget about the "slow and low" - welcome to the nauseating nightmare.
Those "swirling sounds" reoccur in different manners throughout the album, be they buzzing, oscillating, spiraling. They are one of the characteristics that weave the whole thing together.
"Ne Me Quitte Pas" slows down a bit and evolves a mournful darkness, but is equally disturbing. The female vocals here tie in with the choirs of the previous track. Intensity is built here with layer upon layer of different noisy distorted elements that modify the underlying dirgy mood bit by bit getting bleaker and harsher.
This Tying in of elements from the previous song is another characteristic bringing about a sense of cohesion.
In "La Lune Dont Mon Âme Est Pleine (Part I)" sung words gradually change into spoken words, "Soleil Dans Trou Blanc", after preliminary acoustic guitars, quasi begins with spoken word samples. The moods and structures of the two songs differ a lot, though. While in the first one the lyrics are embedded in a chugging rhythm, the latter has a scenic character like from a movie scene. Typewriter sounds slowly lead into an entrancing hypnotic rhythm and almost ornate oriental melodies, and suddenly there are fanfares and noises of chariot races?! All this is still layered with a variety of electronic sounds providing a murky dark ambience.
"Vengeance Sauvage" again begins with acoustic guitar and "almost" spoken words, drenched in a somber tone that expands into a drawn-out, dream-like dirge and again, layers of sound turn this into unhinged, insane chaos.
"花火 (Hana-Bi)" then takes the dreamy mood and unfolds it into a psychedelic dream, floating on a thick carpet of drone sounds. The spacey atmosphere gives a contemplative, lulling moment, which absolutely gets blasted by the closing song "Kick Them To The Guitar". Here Richard Johnson and Jay Randall from Agoraphobic Nosebleed are guesting and add a good portion of their unique flavor of pure grinding rage.
Now, if you'd ask me to put some kind of label to the album, I'd call it a kind of glitchy and distorted Avant-Garde Dark Ambient Industrial Cybergrind Black Metal Noise Core - just to give you some orientation (hahaha). You better just hit the play button yourself.
Coming with this abundance of paraphernalia there is a masterful songwriting. The structures and textures are not so chaotic and randomly put together as they appear. I already mentioned the tying in of elements from one song into the next. Each song is unique, recognizable and memorable. They evolve their own moods and vibes, and carry some of them into the next song. There are the almost persistent swirling buzz sounds, be they in a mesmerizing, oscillating fashion, an agitated and unsettling manner or abrasively aggressive, and the style of layering different sounds and noises - gradually but excessive. A very unique kind of intensity and density is happening here. And all this magically makes a cohesive entity that is enchantingly hypnotic, wildly chaotic and crushingly aggressive, all at the same time .... extreme music that expresses extreme emotions.
... and by the way: How can this be so catchy?