December 31, 2023

No Terror in the Bang is a progressive and cinematic metal six-piece from Rouen, France, whose sound illustrates a chiaroscuro universe oscillating between fragility and fury. In plain English, this means contrasts of light and shade, which hits the proverbial nail bang on its head!!

The band’s name refers to a phrase by Alfred Hitchcock, evoking the calm before the storm and the tension of his films: “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it” – Now that, my friends, is a cracking description of an “arty” Metal band, dontcha think? It’s certainly another worthy addition to the esoteric stable of musicians now found on the Klonosphere label.

The “No Terror” line-Up :
Clément Bernard : Guitar
Sofia Bortoluzzi : Vocals
Brice Bouchard : Bass
Etienne Cochin : Guitar
Alexis Damien : Drums/Keys/Orchestrations
Romain Greffe : Piano/Keys/Orchestrations

FFO Jinjer, Devin Townsend, Spiritbox, In This Moment etc.

The band’s first release was a single in 2019, Sublimation, followed by their debut full-length production Eclosion in 2021. Heal is their second offering, due out in early 2024. Crammed with unusual musical twists and turns, Heal shows a different level of balance and composure than Eclosion, although that had already surprised music lovers with its dichotomy between heavy rhythms and triumphant, cinematic, orchestrations. Its successor drives the themes home more brutally, with ten very self-assured compositions. This has allowed vocalist Sofia Bortoluzzi to really go to town on using her full vocal range, shifting between passionate, melodic cleans and some quite brutal growls. The tracks themselves are in turn touching, delicate, pounding, powerful and generally unsettling in a musical sense!

The song-set opens with Hostile, straight away signalling the band’s love of contrasting tinkling piano work and chunky metal riffery. In between these extremes however, there’s some dexterous compositional work. It’s weird but it works! At one level you could call this cutting-edge contemporary Prog, but really it defies any attempt to label it – just listen! Retch follows, and at times reminds me of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke in his more growly mood. Again full of unusual musical twists and turns, it dawns on one that these guys are truly inventive within the ‘Prog-Metal-Art-Whatever’ world.

Insolent rumbles in with a relatively “normal” (very nice) sound, reminding me of those wonderful Italians Walk In Darkness, complete with that dichotomy between clear and growl vocals, heavy riffs but big tune. Monster could be Lily Allen having a nightmare! Slower, sparse, echoey, keys-led, this track is the definition of the “cinematic” tag, very strong. And the next one, Lulled by the Waves, follows in the same vein, almost mischievously skipping around styles.

By now, the listener is expecting the unexpected, and Palindrome doesn’t disappoint, another dainty, tinkly intro becoming slightly – only slightly – subverted by synths and atmosphere in a very “French” arty style without ever unleashing the riff-barrage that you’re expecting! So it keeps you permanently on tiptoe….OD by contrast is straight in there, perhaps the heaviest track on the album, made more so by its predecessor.

Heal is the title track, perfectly embodying the band’s unique style of narrative atmosphere, somewhere between modern metal and dark film soundtracks, full to the brim with suspense and climax. King With No Crown is semi-spoken before Growl vocals from the whole band kick in, very operatic in nature which again reminds me of Walk in Darkness. Warrior brings us to a suitably epic close, heavy stuff tightly knit together and morphing into surreal fantasy-telling?

​The whole album is blessed with a clean crisp production, with drums, vocals and a wonderful contrast between the heavy stuff and really suspenseful, arty sections. I understand the compositional credits lie mostly with the band’s two founding members Alexis and Sofia, augmented with the skills of keys wizard Romain. You don’t have to be a Metalhead to appreciate this album, it’s such a smorgasbord of tastes that “Cinematic” is the only word that captures the full reality of this lot!