Plebeian Grandstand – False Highs, True Lows

Artist: Plebeian Grandstand

Title:  False Highs, True Lows

Release: CD / LP / Tape / Digital

Year: 2016

Label: Throatruiner / BLWBCK

I remember back in 2014 while catching up with Plebeian Grandstand’s discography before reviewing Lowgazers I was sure there’s no way they can beat this album in terms of complexity, atmosphere, performance and above all aggression. ‘This album is hell’ I said back then, but I should have spared these words, because if Lowgazers was hell then False Highs, True Lows goes even further and I honestly have no smarter words to describe it with. Maybe it’s good if we say the end is here, hidden beneath the obscure and plain red artwork of the vinyl.

The new Plebeian Grandstand record starts exactly when its predecessor left us. The Toulousain band grabs you by the neck and bites hard, not enough to kill you, but enough to have you in its tight grip until you experience the violent audio assault that False Highs, True Lows is from start to end, over and over again. From the wall of blast beats, reach hands dissonant, heavily deformed waves of guitar work. They climax in hypnotic, very beautiful melodies and severe black metal riffs. Seriously, that’s not just a massive album, it’s monumentally heavy. Ivo Kaltchev is a beast of a drummer, but so are all musicians in Plebeian Grandstand. It’s unbelievable just four people can sound so huge, but I guess being aware this music has to actually enslave and destroy was a sufficient stimulus to drain their capabilities and creativity to their very last drops of blood. Not a second of doubt or rest is to be found on the record. The vocals have also gone a step ahead. Adrien Broué is experimenting a lot more with his voice and bassist Olivier Lolmede is also contributing to this diversity. His backing singing is adding a psychotic, bipolar feel to music already pretty emotionally destructive.

Seriously, nobody needs a long review of Fales Highs, True Lows. You are not supposed to be dissecting this album in an analysis of any type. It’s the other way around, you are his object so just lay on the operating table and stare at the ceiling. This mesmerizing black metal abomination will do the rest.

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.