Ottawa Showbox is very excited to premiere the first song, “Incantation,” by new local doom band Grand Malheur.

Grand Malheur, which translates as “misfortune” in French, is the instrumental doom metal project of local musician Cory Levesque who is best know for playing guitar in punk bands (Fresh Hell and Jon Creeden and the Flying Hellfish) and country/folk groups (Jon Becker and the North Fields and his solo acoustic music). Self-described as “Blasphème Instrumental” (instrumental blasphemy), Grand Malheur is heavy, dark, gloomy and the perfect soundtrack to spring showers or late night summoning circles.

The first song released, “Incantation,” is more of the latter. The dark and sombre song clocks in at just over seven minutes long and features Cory playing all the instruments and chanting…the incantations. Beginning with slow repetitive guitar picking, the song then progresses to much more layered guitar play, crash cymbal heavy drumming and Cory’s mesmerizing chanting. When I close my eyes and listen to “Incantation,” I’m transported to an earie overgrown forest in medieval times or some old dimly-lit monastery.

This song, and subsequent album, is a step in a very different direction sonically for Cory, but it shouldn’t be a big surprise for people who know him well.

“I’ve been into metal longer than any other music really,” said Cory. “When I was an early teen, it was one of the first sounds I heard that was not country music and it has been a part of my existence since. The first band I ever jammed with in high school was a “metal” band. Sonically I love low tuned, heavy music, its honestly calming to me.”

“Incantation” is but a taste of things to come.

The full album Acédie, mastered by Topon (Fuck the Facts) at Apartment 2 Recording, will be released in early May. While generally all the instruments are played by Cory himself, Kaylie Seaver of Grandmother and exceptional local tattoo artist, contributed vocals to a song and Laura Payne, (Jon Becker and the North Fields), contributed piano on a few tracks.

So close the door, turn off the lights, light up some candles, and sink into “Incantation.” Hopefully this tease can tide you over until May when the rest of Grand Malheur’s doom will be unleashed.