Saturday, 12 October 2019

SAPIENS - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: October 25th 2019. Label: Season Of Mist / Klonosphère / Hell Prod. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Sapiens – S/T – Tracklisting

Surreal estates (feat Julien Pras From Mars Red Sky)
Palm prints (feat Mathieu Dottel From Bukowski)
Fromad ringers (feat Julien Cassarino From Psykup)
Pure love ashes (feat Steve Perreux From Robot Orchestra)
Red wine lullaby (feat Cédric Toufouti From Hangman’s Chair)
Still down (feat Poun From Black Bomb Ä)
C’est gênant (feat Mat Peq From Babylon Pression)
Wake up call (feat Daniel Scherding From Los DisiFromntes Del Sucio Motel)
Cognitive dissonance (feat Forest Pooky)
Le feu qui danse (feat Renaud Wangermez From Lofofora)


Nicolas Foucaud
Thibault Fassler


Sapiens is the new project from French Musicians LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL (LDDSM) leader Nicolas Foucaud and Thibault Fassler. Sapiens is a very different project to LDDSM. As Sapiens is an Acoustic Rock Project where no fewer than 35 musicians featured on the making of their new album.

The following bio will give you more info:

SAPIENS is an acoustic rock project founded by LOS DISIDENTES DEL SUCIO MOTEL leader Nicolas Foucaud, and Thibault Fassler. They composed a 10-song album for 10 French Rock and Metal singers. From a two-guitars demo track, the singers were given free rein as far as lyrics and melodies were concerned. Once the vocal tracks were recorded by the singer themselves and sent back to them, Nicolas and Thibault then enlisted the help of over 30 additional musicians to record the tracks, sometimes form scratch, over a period of more than a year.

The album as a whole is very diverse and authentic, the composers having risen up to the challenge of getting the singers out of their comfort whilst preserving their instantly recognizable vocal identities. A collective project around humanity and music, with the help of the lead singers of bands LOFOFORA, MARS RED SKY, HANGMAN’S CHAIR, BLACK BOMB Ä, BUKOWSKI, PSYKUP, BABYLON PRESSION, ROBOT ORCHESTRA, FOREST POOKY and LDDSM.“

This album could be called a passion project of sorts. As Nicolas and Thibault have put a lot of love and effort into their debut album. As this album is quite emotional throughout and they have called upon some of the best singers within the French Stoner Rock/Metal scene.

The album drifts from Acoustic Rock, Stoner Rock, Psych, Hard Rock and Classic Rock with each song having it’s own distinctive style. it’s quite different to LDDSM and the other bands that the guest vocalists are known from.

Opening song – Surreal Estates – features Julien Pras from Mars Red Sky and it’s quite a heart-warming and emotionally driven song with deft lyrics and a cool subtle vocal performance from Julien. The music is quite sweet natured in places and very different to the music that Julien, Nicolas and Thibault are known for. The sullen psychedelic sounds never feel out of place as this song sets the scene for the rest of the album.

Second song – Palm Prints – featuring Mathieu Dottel from Bukowski – carries on the acoustic grooves with a harder edge and it’s almost Americana sounding with the harsh lyrics and emotional vocals. The music has a 90s Alt Rock vibe to it and stays true firmly to it’s Acoustic Rock roots.

Third song – Dead Ringers – features Julien Cassarino from Psykup and is another slow-driven song with a more gloomier sound. The song is deliberately slow with the slow-paced guitars letting Julien offering a more modern sounding style of vocals compared to the opening two songs.

Fourth song – Pure love ashes – features Steve Perreux from Robot Orchestra and it’s a more heavier affair with strands of Hard Rock making a welcome appearance. it’s still firmly rooted in the world of Acoustic Rock but this song has a more rebellious feel compared to the songs I’ve heard so far. The almost grunge based guitars allow Steve to sing heavier vocals and this ranks as one of the standout songs on the album.

The rest of the album follows the Acoustic Rock/Alt Rock template that the opening 4 songs have shown with a few cool surprises along the way.

Other cool songs to check out are: Red Wine Lullaby, Still Down, Wake Up Call and Cognitive Dissonance.

This album has been a very hard album to review but also a very rewarding one as well. As the only common theme throughout the album for each of the songs is they’re all Acoustic and have different singers for each song. Though you have to give credit to Nicolas and Thibault for making this whole album work and creating a highly original album in it’s own right.

Sapiens also shows the best singers from the French Stoner Rock/Metal scene being out of their comfort zone and showing people a different side to them and that’s one of the best things about this album. It’s quite daring and magical in places to hear the guest vocalists singing a style of music that you wouldn’t associate with them.

Overall, Sapiens debut album is a masterclass of Acoustic Rock. If there is another album in the works, it will have a very hard job to beat this.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Sapiens for the promo. Sapiens debut album will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Season of MistKlonosphère and Hell Prod from October 25th 2019.