Pensees Nocturnes – Vacuum

pensees nocturnusThe tragedy that life can instill upon a tortured soul can indeed be debilitating, and as the throngs of suicidal black metal continue to grow and share their misery both in style and quite often, 2 dimensional close mindedness when it comes to its craft, the impact is quite often lost, coming off as a whiney sonic proclamations of “I swear I’m gonna kill myself!” Sigh…unfulfilled promises. I guess I have grown callus towards this genre as the years have progressed as everyone borrows from their neighbors. Bethlehem were the kings as their “Suizid” masterpiece so perfectly displayed… all the rest fall in line beneath the dried blood adorned banner, shaking their rusty blades in protest, “what about me???????” Having said that, France’s Pensees Nocturnes have emerged victorious from out of nowhere with “Vacuum”, which is a very well recorded and stylistically developed/diverse bleeding of musical ideas. The beauty of “Vacuum” lies in the maturity and bold musical experimentation. Classical pieces with real horns, eerie synth, harpsichord, violin, acoustic guitar, and even a traditional lounge blues song (a VERY interesting twist this track inspires), sit alongside the predominant black metal misanthropy quite well, decorating the overall concept of this album with highly skilled layering and depth. The metal side of Pensees Nocturnes lumbers along in a dreary cloud of depression both in mid-paced to slow tempo, and content, featuring atypical riff ideas that act as the foundation, only to flower into soaring harmonies that’ll give you a chill once they seep in. It has taken many listens to absorb this album, and every trip through PN’s dark visions only unveil even more interesting twists and abysmal content for the listener to become hypnotized by. Vocally, this was the biggest hurdle for me to get over. Initially, sole member, Vaerohn (this guy plays ALL the instruments) focused on the tired and true Burzum crying Orc screams, but stuck them way out in front of the mix making the performance feel like the most typical element to this otherwise gifted release. But the more I fell under Vacuum’s spell, the more his performance seemed to fit, even feeling more like a Marco Kehren (Deinonychus, Bethlehem) and Landfermann (Bethlehem) caliber of creativity and vocal agony. The emotion really pours out of this performance and you can truly feel the despondency, whether it’s authentic or not, and it gives Pensees Nocturnes a vibrant sense of legitimacy when it comes to giving the genre of suicidal black metal a greatly needed injection of conviction. It is long overdue. -Marty

Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions

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~ by martyworm on July 5, 2009.

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