In 2012, alternative / ambient rock outfit Belle Noire released their debut EP and nearly immediately turned around working on a full-length record, wanting to continue their craft with new ideas in hand. The band released the first taste in 2014 with their single “Sleep”, but it wouldn’t be until late 2015 that the album was finally recorded and the band was finally ready to formally introduce themselves to the scene. After such a long period of time creating their debut album, What It Means To Be, there’s a level of anticipation and expectation for them that ultimately begs the question, was it worth the wait?
The band wastes no time diving straight into their sound with the opener “Regret”, starting off fast paced as the belted vocals and intense instruments give way to their more atmospheric side. The 9 songs that make up What It Means To Be follow this same pattern of interchanging between slower ambient rock songs like “Fade” and “Green” and fast-paced, post-hardcore songs like “Steadfast” or Infinite Youth”. Belle Noire excels at quickly switching between both sides, immediately knowing when to pull back and when to just let go. This stylistic change is best represented by the album’s title track as it seamlessly transitions from slower, ambient moments to full-on catharsis propelled by Joey Lancaster’s powerful voice. While the band has managed to nail a dynamic sound, the album suffers from a lack of overall variety as tracks blend together too much sounding all too similar. This isn’t to say Belle Noire doesn’t try to introduce new elements to dissipate that notion, but what they do utilize falls short of truly separating tracks and is an area of the band that needs work.
Off our Upcoming Record “What It Means To Be” out July 15th!!!
With their debut album finally releasing, Belle Noire show that they have the talent and pieces necessary for a great release, but What It Means To Be doesn’t quite have all of them. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a bad album in any form, but it certainly feels like more of a stepping stone towards something better. With some more time in the kitchen for their future music, however far that may be, it could end up being enough to propel their future.