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Pensées Nocturnes - Nom D'une Pipe!
30 March 2013

01. Il A Mangé Le Soleil
02. Le Marionnettiste
03. Les Hommes A La Moustache
04. Le Berger
05. La Chimère
06. L'Androgyne
07. La Sirène
08. Le Choeur Des Valseurs
09. Bonne Bière Et Bonne Chère

So Pensées Nocturnes marks the third act in my Big Top Three Ring Cirque du Metal Francais, brought to you by LADLO. If I butchered that, it's for my amigo Collin.

(Pours some 1664 or whatever else the French pass for beer on the ground.)

When I reviewed Way To End, one of LADLO's other recent releases, I referred to it as "carefully controlled chaos". It threatened to spin out of control at times, but never quite did.

Yeah, all pretense of that is tossed out the window here.

Nom D'une Pipe! is like the journey of an absinthe-fueled Monsieur Bungle wandering between current French black metal, the vices of Paris in the roaring 20's, and a Cirque de Freaque. (Shit. It is right there on the cover laying it out for even the simplest of us.)

The album opens with some slight pomp and circumstance as a female necromancer attempts to conjure Xarkozi, The Sun Eater. A few shades of Oranssi Pazuzu chilling, floating through space ensue, then it doesn't just go off the rails on le TGV Fou, instead it's a flat out train wreck.

Some black metal bands like to shift between fast and slow. Maybe roars here, rasps there, and some ambient moments to really throw the listener for a loop.

Nothing so simplistic here.

A dissonant guitar runs over vaguely operatic vocal warbling and gets tossed against a squeeze box (for French feel), then countered with bestial howls and dissonant instruments then against horn sections.

One moment it's black metal. The next it is le cirque circa 1890. The following passage conjures the atmosphere of Parisian jazz clubs in the 20's… only to be followed up with something that sounds like Orb dubbing reggae or a child's music box lullaby.

The end result is a listening experience every bit as coherent as watching TV and mashing a random new channel every 90 seconds or so. Some blips will be intriguing, others at least interesting, and some as annoying as an informercial pimping mango flavored edible socks.

My biggest problems with this are the disjointed shifts or evolutions that prevent coherence, and yet even with the inclusion of a wide variety of non-traditional BM instruments (squeeze box?) it's still not done with such a reckless ferocity like, say, the "chaotic. fucking. mess." of Ebonylake.

Undoubtedly Pensées Nocturnes has some bizarre vision they are chasing, merging then and now, and it ain't easy being avante garde… but their vision and I are hallucinating drunks stumbling home in the night. Sometimes we cross paths and maybe enjoy each other's company for a block… and at other times wander in opposite directions, thankful to be free of each other's (annoying) company.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Band profile: Pensées Nocturnes
Album: Nom D'une Pipe!


Written on 16.05.2013 by
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
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Boxcar Willy - 17.05.2013 at 03:47  
Hmm, I really enjoyed this, the shifts back and forth just seemed to be timed perfectly for me. I'll have to listen again.
Daniell - 17.05.2013 at 11:13  
It's too weird for its own good if you ask me. But I do admit it's unconventional, quirky and quite fun at times. As always, your review is a good read Craig
M C Vice - 17.05.2013 at 11:21  
So it's a French Sigh?
Marcus - 17.05.2013 at 11:24  
Seems like he's continuing to let his albums go out of control, and maintaining cohesion between shifts has always been a major drawback of his.
Mr. Doctor - 17.05.2013 at 11:50  
Written by M C Vice on 17.05.2013 at 11:21
So it's a French Sigh?

I wouldn't say that, completely different sound if you ask me and i think Sigh is way better at connecting the different sounds. I'm yet to listen to this one though, my favorite will probably always be their debut.
euronymous - 17.05.2013 at 12:35  
This album is really sick with the good meaning and i really like it, with this i wanna start the killing. Listen it more times and maybe you like it more and more or try some more listens JUST LISTEN IT MORE TIMES !!!!!. Is no easy music professor
Apothecary - 17.05.2013 at 15:27  
Great review of a fantastic album. I agree that the songwriting can be very random and spontaneous, but that's kinda to be expected, because not only is Pensees Nocturnes a French BM project, but it's a one man project as well (look at Murmuure for comparison lol). At times this album reminded me a lot of Diapsiquir: not so much in the sound, but in the formulaic approach; very all over the place, but somehow managing to maintain a sense of direction as well. Personally I prefer Grotesque over this just because the writing's a bit more compact, but Vaerohn still managed to craft an excellent album with this one, and it definitely seems like one of the types that grows on you over time, so after a few more play-throughs it'll probably hit harder on me.
Mr. Doctor - 17.05.2013 at 19:55  
Written by Apothecary on 17.05.2013 at 15:27
I agree that the songwriting can be very random and spontaneous, but that's kinda to be expected, because not only is Pensees Nocturnes a French BM project, but it's a one man project as well (look at Murmuure for comparison lol).

I've heard that from other people but I personally find no problems at all with Murmuüre when it comes to songwriting and I feel it flows nicely.
Marcel Hubregtse - 17.05.2013 at 20:08  
Murmuüre is totally not random it has an extremely organic flow to it. Unlike the nocturnal pansies. Not a single album is rally above average.
Susan - 18.05.2013 at 03:28  
Sounds like it might be a bit TOO random for me but nonetheless, I am intrigued and will give it a shot. Plus, I adore the cover art, which is always a good reason to try an album
Susan - 19.05.2013 at 21:41  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 17.05.2013 at 20:08

nocturnal pansies

SmokyPeat - 02.02.2014 at 04:20  
Listening to this right now. Loving the sound and erratic nature of the music.

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