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Velvet Cacoon - Genevieve review


18 users:
Band: Velvet Cacoon
Album: Genevieve
Release date: March 2004

01. 1
02. P.S. Nautical
03. Avalon Polo
04. Laudanum
05. Fauna & Flora
06. Genevieve
07. Bete Noir

Black Metal is a genre that, despite popular belief, is not completely impervious to trends. One of the bands that painfully proved that is the American Velvet Cacoon. Within very little time, they became one of the most controversial and notorious Black Metal bands in the scene. An endless amount of rumours about drug-abuse, the "diesel harp" guitar, the stolen music and their political ideas turned almost every forum in a playground for giddy little kids, expressing their love or disgust for the band. And about a year later, it all turned out to be one big hoax. But what a brilliantly played, painfully reflective hoax it was.

And now, when Velvet Cacoon has been forgotten by pretty much everyone, I suddenly realized I still had no idea what I thought of the music. Of course, I bought the album and I've listened to it, but shamefully realized I never really paid a lot of attention to the music. I thought it was time to set things straight and do a review of this album, thus forcing myself to listen to it properly.

After the preparation rituals a warm, brooding buzz surrounds you. No single trace of a raw and harsh assault that Abyssic Hate or Make A Chance... Kill Yourself rely on, but a fuzzy, shoegaze-influenced flow of unconsciousness. A perfect guitar sound to slit your wrists to and slowly sink in your hot bathtub. Although various non-Black Metal fans that occasionally visit my house have repeatedly asked what hell the thing was that sounded so much like a washing machine.

Vocalist SGL (Josh) usually employs soft, demonic whispers. He sounds like a dying, breathless Gollem. A nice try but if he was going for a haunting effect he should have put them more in front of the guitar's buzz and give them a little more power, as a dying Gollem is quite harmless, since he is... well... dying. After a couple of songs they get a bit more heinous but still not to their full potential. A shame.

Then there is the ambient part of the equation. I'm far from an expert on Dark Ambient but I've heard a good amount of bands in the genre, and Velvet Cacoon fail miserably in comparison. Perhaps it has something to due with already having to deal with around fifty minutes of repetitive Black Metal before coming to the Dark Ambient, but whatever the reason is, it is boring.

In the end Velvet Cacoon's music is neither brilliant visionary music of the future, nor a completely crappy bedroom Black Metal band. In my experience the first songs of the album are overwhelming in their sound and tragic gestures, but the rest of the album drags on a till the fifty-five minutes are done. A classic example of "great, we found our own sound, now what are we gonna do with it?". This could have been much more, but then again, VC probably does not care about my opinion anyway.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 7


Written on 29.03.2008 by If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 57 users
13.06.2010 - 10:25
Account deleted
This did kind of turn out to be rather visionary =P
13.06.2010 - 13:16
Mr. Noise
Written by Guest on 13.06.2010 at 10:25

This did kind of turn out to be rather visionary =P

Nah, I still don't think so. It's got it's enjoyable moments, but their P aa Opal somethingsomething is still much, much better.
SLUDGE. DOOM. DEATH. Wait, what?

"The reason I'm running for president is because I can't be Bruce Springsteen." - Barack Obama
19.09.2013 - 23:59
I also agree that ambient parts (on final track) are not effective. The rest of album is very enjoyable, though .
Giving my ears a rest from music.

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