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New shelsmusic signing Erlen Meyer’s debut album will be out May 20th

Erlen Meyer 2013

We had a press releases from American DIY label shelsmusic yesterday. As infrequent as they are, they’re always something to take notice of, and with the news that they had signed French outfit Erlen Meyer, our expectations were high. We don’t think there’s a bad band on the roster, which includes the likes of label owner Mehdi Safa’s *shels, Ancients, year-end list-making British post-metallers Latitudes, and sublime post-rock band The Ascent Of Everest, as well as having been a springboard for Black Sheep Wall, so the Limoges quintet have a lot to live up to.

Not a problem there though, as judging from what we’ve heard, the self-titled debut is going to be a real force of nature. Mixed and mastered by Cult Of Luna‘s Magnus Lindberg in Stockholm, expect this to be a real heavy-hitter of an album.

The preview track, which is called “Nuit” – French simply for ‘night’ – is a pummeling monster of a song, replete with throat-shredding vocals and thunderous, driving riffs. Recalling the likes of early Will Haven and, more contemporarily GAZA, it has you wading in treacle-thick sludge.

Soberingly, as the band were about to lay down the record they tragically lost drummer Romain Djoudi in a motorcycle accident, and we’re assured that the tragedy permeates the emotion of the record, lending it genuine anguish. It’s definitely evident in “Nuit“, as vocalist Olivier Lacroix sounds in serious pain, with the sludge-laden musical backing a sorrowful canvas for his lyrics.

Erlen Meyer - Erlen Meyer

[20th May 2013]

01. Gamla Stan
02. Nuit
03. Agatha
04. Les Caprices de Remington
05. Temple du Cri
06. Sans Fleur ni Couronne
07. Ex-Voto
08. Bouche Cousue
09. Bec et Ongles


The band’s name is surely a nod to German chemist Emil Erlenmeyer, who was responsible for creating the Erlenmeyer volume flask, common in any laboratory. What this means for the music itself we’re not sure, but the album is reportedly something of a concept piece:

[quote-symbol symbol1]A cross between a dark thriller and a horror film, this first album of ERLEN MEYER is a true sludge metal manifesto: heavy, tacky, full of hatred and without compromise.

Each song relates the story of different protagonists. More of an anthology of short stories than an album, reminiscent of the darkness of a Hitchcock film or of a sudden cold leaden atmosphere in Agatha Christie novels as a London fog. Gloomy, disturbing, refined, intense

The band are currently in the process of booking UK/France tour dates with labelmates Latitudes and Manatees, so expect a live report once those come around. In the meantime, make sure to keep up with Erlen Meyer on Facebook, as well as their label shelsmusic.

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