As France is not exactly known as a hotbed of doom metal, I have to admit I wasn’t expecting much from Surtr’s Pulvis Et Umbra. I don’t know why, but for some reason I just never thought that a French band could pull off doom successfully.

Fallen Joy is a French melodic death metal band formed by Victor Gallot-Lavallée and Leandro Daloi. Order To Die is the band’s first EP and was self-released in 2010. As their debut was so strong, Fallen Joy quickly signed with Spread the Metal Records and now a new album is soon to come. If Order To Die is any indication, Fallen Joy will have a long and fulfilling career at the forefront of melodic death metal; the band certainly know how to write a song.

France’s rock/metal outfit LizZard will release its debut full-length album Out Of Reach on October 12 via Klonosphere Records/Season of Mist. The CD was produced and mixed by renowned producer Rhys Fulber (Paradise Lost, Fear Factory, Front Line Assembly) at Surplus Sound in Los Angeles, California and follows up their 2008 EP entitled Venus.

This album by France’s Ysengrin is not something that will appeal to everyone. In fact, I would even dare to guess it won’t go very far in the underground. Frankly this is one of those rare bands that are so far off the beaten path that people will either love it, or hate it.

Recently guitarist Christophe Godin took a moment out of his schedule to speak with me about the gear he uses to obtain his signature sound. As the main guitarist for the French experimental, jazz metal band Mörglbl for the past fifteen years, Godin has had time to develop and hone his sound; which can be heard on the group’s upcoming release, Brutal Romance. Here’s how the conversation went.

This one is pretty damn interesting. Step In Fluid are an instrumental band that melds jazz, progressive and metal into a pretty cool fusion. According to their press release they are described as “Mutant jazz-core”, but personally I find that to be a bit of a misleading label as this is some pretty solid stuff that even casual listeners could get into. In my mind the best way to describe it would be “jazzy-prog”, but even that doesn’t do it a hell of a lot of justice.