I feel that putting Ambient and Atmospheric on top of an album as a description can be akin to pushing it in certain direction that may not be appropriate. Le Sang sur l’Acier is not ambient in the same way as lets say Darkspace but it is not atmospheric in the same way as the thousands of other bands that share that style. There is a small knoll of earth reserved for bands that not only love atmosphere but also rotting vocals, organs, and perhaps some woodsy chants. For all of that, this space of earth is perfect for Sanctuaire.
It should be noted that the “ambient” tag for Sanctuaire is certainly more related to the dark ambient / dungeon synth EP Les Esprits sont Étoiles aux cimes de la Victoire which was also released this year. Still even with the stylistic split, the more black metal side of this band also possess a great amount of theatric in terms of sonic costuming. The interludes on Le Sang sur l’Acier are just as important as the songs which provide its structure. Songs like “Lune” act as musical bridges but can be just as entertaining given the attention to detail. This combined with Sanctuaire’s penchant for adding enough low end to a style which loves to languish in the tinny stratosphere, hearing a dynamic range is wonderful.
Sanctuaire can be a nice diversion to an already consistent palette of black, death, and black/death. Even if one constantly searches for more atmospheric black metal, I feel Le Sang sur l’Acier‘s use of French tongue gives the album enough of an identity that things are grounded in recognition. There is no use in trying to forget Le Sang sur l’Acier as it creeps and creaks through wooded foothills like a forest witch with nefarious desires. To be courted by the occult or speared by sharpened branches is anyone’s guess with Sanctuaire. At least we know it will be interesting.