Yikes, black metal on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon? You bet your bleak balls I’m listening to and reviewing a “best of” tape from this obscure French dark ambient sorcerer, and by God (wait… wrong deity entirely) I like it. Honestly, I have no background or authority on stuff like this, but Moëvöt seems weird enough to the point that it shouldn’t really make a difference. This fellow Vórdb Báthor Ecsed was the leader of a French subculture called Les Légions Noires in the 90s, which was born of the working class and rose in response to a similar Norwegian legion of black metal heroes like Burzum. History aside, what I’m hearing is one of the creepiest spooks in recent memory. But to call this “metal” in the traditional sense is a stretch, since Moëvöt leans toward ambient, acoustic instrumentation and atmospherics while maintaining that sinister scare black metal is generally able to conjure, just without all the electric power. Minor chords plunked out of keyboards in cascading arpeggios, strung thin from mournful viola and cello voices, and haunted with hovering ghosts of falsetto harmony. Match that with the growl of a human whose blood has obviously been curdled at least once (likely twice) and you’re getting there. It all smelts down into a trippy and dizzying fright fest made for moonlit graveyard walks at midnight, yet maintains a strong, really striking sense of black rose’d beauty. Hard to deny the sheer awesomeness of the music, incredibly affecting and powerful in its own right, but the tape leaves something to be desired beyond the compositions or intriguing back-history of this project. A track-listing would have been helpful (or at least interesting) and the sounds are often a bit blown out, which could either be an issue with the original recordings or the levels cranked a bit hot whilst dubbing. Elsewise, if the dark ambient style be to your liking, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better collection of this type of music in 2013, on cassette tape or otherwise.