Formed in 2016, Thrash La Reine are back with a third album. In December of 2017, Renaud Baril formed this band after he left another local band by the name of Trainwreck Architect. Now he is the main man and the master behind the mic and the axe for this new and upcoming band.
They have opened for artists and bands like Blaze Bayley, West of Hell, Tim ‘’The Ripper’’ Owens amongst countless others. They haven’t been at it for very long, but they are making the rounds throughout the Quebec scene. They are opening for a lot of bands from various walks of life. They have opened for some really established local bands like Anonymus and are definitely making a name for themselves. They have a refreshing sound and a very mature approach to their music and give one hell of a show.. They have this unbridled Punk energy mixed in with some Thrash and Power Metal elements with some very traditional Quebec Folk Music as well. They fuse together those styles to make something of their own. They really established their proper sound, without compromising anything in the process.
I have a love-hate relationship with the French Language, yes, I am a French-Canadian living in the good old Province of Quebec but never felt the French language was lyrically proficient. French is a very specific language with a lot of rules and regulations that dictate it and as much as it’s a beautiful language, I never really felt compelled by French-speaking artists. I always felt the language fell flat and was a bit redundant and cheesy. Well, Thrash La Reine may have picked my interest because the lyrics are compelling. The structure is on point, and they are thought-provoking. They don’t sound overly repetitive.
What I want to say is it’s really well written, nothing is left to the imagination of the listener and the lyrics are intelligent as well as truthful. The last song of the last album is a retelling of the Plains of Abraham battle, the biggest battle in the history of the Province that changed the landmarks and lives of thousands and thousands of people which took place in September 1759 in Quebec City. The song is very reminiscent of the long and drawn-out songs of Iron Maiden (like ‘’To Tame a Land’’, ‘’The Clansman’’ or ‘’Rime of the Ancient Mariner’’). The beginning sounds like epic Iron Maiden songs and it’s the best song of the album, well, In my honest opinion. I am a sucker for long songs and have always been intrigued by the magnitude of these powerful and epic songs. The song has some great lyrics and gives some added depth to one of the more important events to ever happen here in the province of Quebec. This song is the base of the new album and were they going for musical direction.
This song really shaped their sound even further and they infused Quebec Folklore stories into songs. The new album, properly titled ‘’Notre-Dame-de-l’Enfer’’ is a reimagination and retelling of some of the most important Quebec folklore tales.
By all accounts, most of these tales were to terrorize the young children and young people and make them closer to religion, it was a way to gather the masses and invoke fear in their hearts of all the sins and even the Devil himself. These tales were to instill values but also make sure they don’t go around the wrong path in life.
An example of this would be that other aspects of Quebec folklore include superstitions surrounding objects, events, and dreams. In essence, these stem from the belief in both White Magic and Black Magic, where the former is seen to be beneficial and seeks to bring about positive outcomes, and the latter is essentially malicious, sinister, and all-around evil (sometimes also called witchcraft). Although Christianity had slowly chipped away at most forms of magic, the populace still held on to its various superstitions for generations. Where religion provides Quebec with a societal structure, these beliefs sought to predict the future, to help alleviate the fear of the unknown.
The Devil at the Dance is an example in which the Devil was used to reinforce Christian ideals. It is the story of a young couple in love. The girl’s parents, who are Heretics, refuse the young man as a suitor after discovering he is Christian. When the daughter protests, her mother announces that she would rather have the Devil himself courting her daughter than the young Christian. The following Sunday afternoon, a stranger comes to call: the Devil himself. The three of them-mother, father, and daughter are converted by a priest, and the young couple is then married.
This is part of the heritage of our ancestors and is often forgotten. They even talk about Wendigo, which is a mythological and malevolent creature for the Algonquin people, some people thought it was a kind of Werewolf but it had many connotations. They talk about him terrorizing everything around them and being the devil incarnate. It was something rather important to tell the young people that this happens when you don’t follow your values and beliefs, the Wendigo will get you no matter what.
By all accounts, creativity is thinking of something new. Innovation is the implementation of something new and this band is able to mesh everything together. They may talk about the olden times of lore, yet their sound remains relevant and modern. They tell the tales with such passion but help guide the listener through them, through the narration as well. I can’t really pinpoint their style of music, sometimes it can sound like Abigail-esque King Diamond or parts of the Children of the Grave Black Sabbath era. But at times, you got a fast-paced thrashing assault so categorizing them might be a difficult task.
No song is alike, yet they implement traditional music instruments into the mix in pretty much each song. They do leave the listener wanting more probably because of the pace of the songs and the narration parts of each story grab the audience by the throat. They keep you wanting more, wanting to know what happens to each protagonist at hand. They make something old, our heritage, anew again and that is no small task.
They dive deep into the Quebec Folklore and bring us to each corner of the province and the beliefs in a time well past. Innovative? Quite so my friends, I have never heard a band sound like this and that makes a lasting impression on me. ‘’Notre-Dame-de-l’Enfer’’ is a must-listen even though if you do not understand the French language, their music breaks down the barriers.