France has long been a fertile breeding ground for black metal, and one of its best kept secrets is Déluge, who have been kicking up a blend of that genre and post-hardcore since 2014. Dropping their debut full-length Æther in 2015, in 2020 they return with sophomore effort Ægo Templo, a more accessible record that pushes their sound in ever more imaginative directions. "I wanted to go further into something more 'easy to listen to' but I really did not want to lose what we had, that melancholia and the essence of our music." states founding guitarist François-Thibaut Hordé. "It was a very interesting - and exhausting - challenge, and to me we have succeeded. We are really proud of this new record."
Formed in north-east France, Déluge is the number one priority for all of the members. Creating bright, powerful and honest music inspired by black metal, the band lay no claims to truly belonging to that scene, proudly labelling themselves in the beginning as 'untrve French black metal'. "It was almost a joke but actually I thought that it could define us well and act as a mark of honesty. I discovered the black metal scene very late and I really did not want to play the 'trve' card. I wanted to admit that I am not from the scene, though I hope we can add something to it." Their inclusion of post-hardcore and post-metal influences plus "clean and vociferous" vocals helps to separate them from their contemporaries and makes for a perhaps deeper listening experience. Ægo Templo is even more layered than their previous output, featuring clean vocals on almost every track plus keyboards and additional instruments on several songs, soprano saxophone included on "Opprobre", all the while maintaining their identity. Lyrically, vocalist Maxime Febvet dug deep too, and while Æther is "an observation of special parts of our lives", Ægo Templo is more about the work needed to be done to be better - or more accomplished - persons. "The eponymous track "Ægo Templo" really defines the essence of the album's meaning while "Opprobre" is about treason and the terrible consequences it has in people's lives and minds. "Béryl" might be the darkest song we have ever written. It is about mourning, not necessarily death, but mourning of health and the way it reflects in others' lives, while the last track "Vers" links all the tracks together and constitutes the perfect conclusion to the album, and opens a window to the next one."
Produced by François-Thibaut with assistance from engineers Thibault Chaumont/Deviant Lab studio (Igorrr, Carpenter Brut, Birds in Row) - who also mixed and mastered the album - and Amaury Sauvé / The Apiary studio who recorded the drums, Ægo Templo marks a bold step forward from their earlier recorded output. "The recording and mixing of the instruments was a lot more natural and 'organic' than the first record. We took time for every detail and had the pleasure of spending entire weeks balancing those details with Thibault. I can't tell you how grateful I am regarding the amount of time he spent, and his involvement in the whole process of the record. The resulting sound is really more personal than the sound of Æther, even if we are still very proud of that album." With Matthieu Metzger providing the saxophone, the record also features guest appearances from Tetsuya Fukagawa of Japanese Screamo legends Envy on "Gloire au silence", and Hélène Muesser contributes vocals on "Abysses", "Ægo Templo" & "Digue", all helping to add further depths to the music. Even in these uncertain times what comes next for Deluge is clear, their goals are undeniable: "We want to be touring as much as we can, spreading our bright music as much as we can, and going much further than the metal scene can offer us."