French Metal Friday: Treponem Pal
Who you may be asking are Treponem Pal? Well, chances are if you were born anytime after 1985 you probably would have no idea. If you are (ahem) "older" like I am then you might recall that this French band (named for the bacteria that causes syphilis believe it or not!) were at the forefront of the industrial metal movement. Formed in 1986, the band would release their self-titled debut album three years later. While I can't remember when (or how) I first heard the group (I suspect it was off of a comp.) I still remember the impact it had on me. If it was not for their debut album I'm not so sure I would have ever moved past Ministry or Godflesh as far as industrial metal went. Treponem Pal were different then those two acts though. For one thing it did seem as if Voivod were more of an influence early on as much as bands like The Young Gods, Swans, Die Krupps, Skinny Puppy, etc. Without getting too far into the band's history (or numerous line-up changes!) the first few albums are more of interest I'd suspect to industrial metal fans then their later material. Mixing in the traditional "sounds" of industrial music along with razor blade guitars and hoarse hardcore vocals made Treponem Pal are a bit of a "buzz" band back in the day. All those wonderful moments soon gave way to more sampling then slashing guitar and with more and more electronics finding it's way into the mix the band took on more of a techno rock vibe. "Higher" (1997) is more techno then industrial so, again, those looking for crushing metal sound give the first few albums a spin. The band did reform at one point and, although I have yet to hear it for myself , reports suggest that 2008's "Weird Machine" (which features both Ted Parsons of Prong fame and the late Paul Raven of Killing Joke fame) is a return to their older form. I keep telling myself that I really should be giving their "new" album a chance. Especially if it is more in tone with the older material.