French Metal Friday:Voie De Fait
Welcome to the debut of French Metal Friday. In this new weekly feature I hope to offer a sampling of what made French heavy metal some of the best in the world. Together we'll explore history as we tackle the bands and the moments that helped shape metal in this unique part of the world. With that what better place to start than with arguably the first heavy metal band to emerge in France. Even though their Ange Ou Demon album would not be released until 1982 Voie De Fait (which translates to Assault in French) trace their roots back to 1979. While the band Trust would beat them to the market theirs was a sound more rooted in hard rock. While Voie De Fait were inspired by bands like Pat Travers and Ted Nugent (per the site France Metal Museum) the sound was nothing short of pure heavy metal thunder owing as much to the NWOBHM movement as it did 70's hard rock. After numerous line-up changes and a name change (originally the band was called Kass before switching to Voie De Fait) the band hit the ground running. Packing concert halls the band's native name was fitting as "Assault" turned up the amps and played true heavy metal. Similar in nature to the sound coming from America at the time the band played a potent brand of traditional heavy metal that would appeal to fan's of 80's metal. While they have drawn comparisons to English bands like Saxon to these ears Voie De Fait were more blue collar and metallic in nature. After releasing a four track demo the band signed with Arabella and released their one and only album Ange Ou Demon (Angel or Demon). With the cover art featuring a blade, babe and blood it most certainly caused a stir in their homeland. Voie De Fait would become one of the few bands to sing in French and still become known outside their borders. Sadly the band dissolved after this one album which is a shame. They had the talent to become a driving force in France but instead became a starting point influencing a generation of kids that would follow. Despite being reissued on Devil's Records in 1985 the album is still tough to track down. It does not appear as if it has ever seen an official CD release which is a real crime. For a piece of French heavy metal like this to not get it's proper due seems odd. This is the type of album that deserves a re-mastered edition with bonus cuts, booklet,etc. It isn't just that it is one of the first true metal albums to emerge in France. It's also a landmark album that still sounds great even in this day and age of over produced metal. For those looking to see where it all began this is the place to start.