“Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.”
Like all good masked anonymous bands – your Ghost’s, your Sleep Token’s, your Omahara’s, your Below The Sun’s – Briqueville are a band shrouded in mystery.
On stage, their sets are a ritual and their music is the very mantra of said proceedings; their sonic basis as they duck and weave through layers of droning, sludge-inspired instrumental passages of heavily distorted guitars, slow-burning drums, stoner rock tempos, modified field recordings, and eerie sampled chants.
According to the secretive group, they self-described their influences as coming from “The heartbeat of a dying man, trapped in a storm” [sic]. Which I feel is basically code for “We really like bands such as Sleep, ISIS, Sunn O))), and Godspeed You! Black Emperor.” And those are the very musical influences you’ll see hear their latest epic composition, ‘Aktve V‘, which you can (and should) stream below.
The black, Nazgûl-like robes and golden masks that each Briqueville member has worn for over a decade now on-stage are also often donned in rehearsals (apparently), with the aim there being to create equality through their respective anonymity, and according to the band, this “prevents a cult of personality” from happening. Of course, such a setup also makes it much easier to swap out this probably French or German band members without a single person even noticing.
“In order to do this anonymously and have the audience concentrate on the music, we decided to play with masks”, a band member explains.
Briqueville were active members in various other bands ranging from local jazz, electro and metal acts when they fatefully met over ten years ago in a school building, with the ambition to improvise around one single note. Whichever note that was isn’t clear or at least isn’t mentioned, but upon exiting that building after their jam session, they ran into an old man who told them a story of a son murdering his father right at the very entrance of this school, many years ago. He pulled out a newspaper article to legitimize his story before disappearing off.
“That story stuck with us”, the band says. “We kept asking ourselves why someone would keep an article recounting a patricide in their wallets for seventy years. We couldn’t help but conclude this man we’d met must have been the son. Maybe our imagination was just doing overtime, but the grandparents of one of our band members confirmed the murder had happened… however, we were unable to trace the old man.” This odd story has ever since served as inspiration for the band’s dark, pounding, mostly instrumental sound.
Back in 2014, Briqueville released their self-titled debut album, a four-track record where each piece concludes around the ten-minute mark. (That’s the Omahara school of thought, I find). Upon that release, the group buried 20 copies of the album at various locations across the country (because yeah, why the hell not?) and gradually released the coordinates onto their Facebook page, encouraging fans to dig these records up from the Earth’s very soil. The idea was met with great enthusiasm among their small but quickly growing fan base.
Always the enigmatic act, this is something that will be revisited for the release of Briqueville’s upcoming 2nd album – fittingly titled ‘II‘ – which will be released on September 29th through Pelagic Records. Of course, you might just find it out in the woods somewhere than on any physical store shelf. ‘Akte V‘ is but one of the three pieces found on this record, and just wait until you hear the remaining pair!
Pre-order ‘II’ here.