Forteresse/Chasse-Galerie/Monarque/Csejthe Légendes

Four of Québec's black metal heavyweights have joined forces to release this compilation in celebration of Québécois folklore. Much like their black metal forefathers in Norway and Sweden, these bands are heavily concerned with issues of nationalism, and proudly preserve their culture through their music.

The first track, "Wendigo," could be read as a problematic attempt at appropriating Aboriginal culture into Québécois folklore, but its placement suggests a linkage, and that the story precedes the others; it's a refreshing acknowledgement that, to these bands, a Québec identity includes Aboriginal influence. Elsewhere, Monarque's "La Griffe du Diable" is exceptional, especially when, at the song's halfway point, his caustic howl is left alone to scar the song in a truly arresting moment.

Légendes is an excellent introduction to French Canadian folklore as well as a great primer for those new to Québécois black metal; the term "Légendes" applies to these bands themselves as much as it does to the stories these bands are trying to preserve. (Sepulchral)