In one four-track stroke, Montreal's Penombre have resurrected the spirit of the definitive second wave of black metal, taking us back to a place of bitter cold and primitive simplicity. In a debut that is sure to please diehards of the style, true or not, Mephistopheles (ou le Diable sur Terre) is a beautifully brief and effective taste of black metal at its most elegant and raw. None of its four songs are wasted here, with each one founded on solid riffs and catchy beats reminiscent of the earliest Mayhem or Darkthrone.
With a proficiency that stands in contrast to how young the band is, Penombre manage to provide equal amounts of atmosphere and punch, with memorable sections sure to make you bang your head. It's not an easy task to have songs feel more than one note, and yet every song on Mephistopheles (ou le Diable sur Terre) is varied while still retaining its elegance and not becoming jumbled.
In what some might use as a detractor when regarding Mephistopheles (ou le Diable sur Terre), Penombre don't do anything new. In fact, it's quite the opposite, which will come as a delight to that horde of shadow-dwelling black metal conservatives. Penombre revel in the waters of the second wave at its most stripped-down and primal and make no apologies. (Tour de Garde)