"La Fille de la Mort" begins this album so perfectly that it becomes immediately clear how much more striking the already powerful band had become; beginning with a simple boulevardier melody and lyric (even though, as the title indicates, it's about the daughter of Death!), it slowly but relentlessly builds over the course of eight minutes, suddenly bursting into a beautiful orchestral sample loop that is then staggered and distorted, punctuated by sharp drums and finally concluding with guitar pulses on top of that. It's a stunning, unique way to start, and the album easily lives up to that opening promise. Tracks like the fast-paced roar "Longue Route" and the title song -- a celebration of 'red water, ' the female period -- maintain a fierce, sharp tension between rock rhythms (new drummer Use Hiestand shows much more flexibility than his predecessor), huge riffs and classical stabs, all with Treichler's powerful, gravelly voice invoking any number of striking natural and elemental images, putting the lie to the claim that rock can't happen in French. There's even time for more traditional French cabaret tunes like "Charlotte," while "Les Enfants" takes the classical bombast to an even higher level. Originally available only as a single, "L'Amourir" remains the album's and the band's high point, a brilliantly arranged and performed combination of guitar riff samples and powerful drumming, accentuated by a snaky bass pulse/snort throughout and Treichler's climactic roar over a wailing guitar loop.
L' Eau Rouge [Red Water] Review
by Ned Raggett