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Admirers of their previous works will be pleased to find that there has been no seismic shift in the band’s approach to writing and performance. Still present are François Patry’s driving, hook-filled riffs, which are likely to remind one of those written and executed by Alan Jones of the great Pagan Altar. Also familiar is the mysterious, haunting intrigue in the French-language vocals, as performed by Annick Giroux. Indeed, it has been these melancholic but powerful female vocal performances that have given Cauchemar a distinctive flavor which has largely set the band apart from the vast majority of their contemporaries. Giroux’s vocals tend to flourish in middle registers, which are noticeably deeper than most female vocalists, and this quality gives them a discernible fullness that, when combined with just the precise amount of reverb in their production, lends each song an aura of somber allure.

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