Back in 1998 the French comical black metal outfit ‘Notre Dame’ released their first 5 track E.P. through the Head Not Found record label entitled ‘Coming Soon To A Theatre Near You!’ Fronted by Snowy Shaw (of Merciful Fate fame), they deliver an amusing blend of festive humor and fast-paced black metal with a proficient musical ability. Their tracks blast out a concoction of inspired black metal with ‘50s-style horror music with a hefty sprinkling of a bizarre musical. Next came the 1999 12-track album ‘Le Theatre Du Vampire’ through Osmose Productions. Their second follow-up album was later released in the same year as the 8-track festive masterpiece ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’.
‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ is a very comical, tongue-in-cheek, black metal masterpiece of an album crammed with epic theatrical tracks. The four-piece band have managed to create an album of a whole host of varying styles with complex and involved tracks displaying the imaginative and inspirational ability of this extremely creative band.
Track five, ‘Black Birthday,’ also includes a special guest appearance from Pete Blakk.
on 8 February 2001
Notre Dame is one of those bands that somehow pulls off just the right blend of humor, kitch, and musical ability to keep you entertained, amused, and yet still rocking out. A French "Vampire" band fronted by Snowy Shaw (of Merciful Fate fame), they are mildly satirizing the Black Metal genre, while still proving that they are quite tallented musicians and performers. Thier work sounds a bit like Sweedish Black Metal mixed with old 50's Horror Movie music - it's very "Haloween" oriented. "Nightmare Before Christmas" is thier 'concept album', which though quite good, admittedly proves a bit tiresome after a while. However, I would *HIGHLY* recommend their full-length "Le Theatre Du Vampire," as well as thier other two EPs.