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Rating:
8.5
Pensées Nocturnes - Grotesque
27 March 2010


01. Vulgum Pecus
02. Paria
03. Râhu
04. Eros
05. Monosis
06. Hel
07. Thokk
08. Suivant


Vacuum, the debut album of the French Pensées Nocturnes took the Black metal scene by surprise. Nobody had heard of the one-man-project before and nobody understood where record label "Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions" dug him up (Vaerohn) up from. A second album going by the title Grotesque now has to determine if Vacuum was a lucky shot or not.

If anything, Vaerohn knows how to get the crowd excited. Opener "Vulgum Pecus" might be a bit cheesy, especially with the applause near the end, but the first two and a half minutes will surely get your blood pumping for some crazily hateful Black metal. Second track "Paria", which was/is available as an album preview on the MySpace, thrives on a (late) Shining-esque bassline and eerie synthesizers, accompanied by a chaotic Black metal section and a crystal-clear piano/violin interlude. Vaerohn still mixes and mashes a lot of different influences and instruments in his music and it works. Well, apart from the horribly bad humming which, although they're probably supposed to sound insane and demented, sound absolutely retarded. Well, I guess that's a form of insanity too, and they only make a brief appearance, so who cares?

Grotesque differs in a few respects from Vacuum, although they're both basically on the same level of quality. Grotesque contains a few 'carnival-esque' passages, the best ones sounding like a demonic merry-go-round. It's Black metal passages also are more chaotic than on the debut and on top of that is the overall mood sinister as opposed to melancholic/depressed. Vaerohn absolutely shrieks his lungs out. Vacuum's vibe was portrayed quite well in the cover art and the same goes for Grotesque.

In conclusion, Grotesque is another great album by the French Pensées Nocturnes. A bit random and loosely constructed at times, maybe, but an enjoyable ride nonetheless. An appetite for Avantgard(ish) Black metal is mandatory, but if that's no problem for you, you'll certainly enjoy this one. And jeez... Vaerohn is one hell of a multi-instrumentalist!

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


Band profile: Pensées Nocturnes
Album: Grotesque


 



Written on 27.03.2010 by
Lucas
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.
More reviews by Lucas ››



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Mikyz - 27.03.2010 at 19:57  
Well said Pensees Nocturnes is definitely a revelation in the Black Metal scene, and this album confirms Vaerohn's musical genius.Though this album evokes completely new feelings (for me) compared to Vacuum, and I find this variety in his music to be both innovative and attracting. So two thumbs up
TheBigRossowski - 27.03.2010 at 22:17  
This album is outstanding. I was hoping to write a review myself, somewhere along the lines of Vaerohn in Wonderland, but you beat me to it! I'd have to wait three months, god damn it!

I've listened to it four times already (driving Patrol). It has something more to it, something that puts it a bit beyond Vacuum. I'm uncertain what that element is, but...well, you know...it's an awesome album.

I thought of Shining too for that one instance...but it's more reminscient of A Forest of Star's Male!

#6 Cuck-coo! WTF?! haha!
krakenao - 28.03.2010 at 16:43  
Hi, I saw that you like Pensées Nocturnes. I invite you to visit this link. I think it should interest you. http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=456489468&blogId=531019151 Greetings Gerald PS: ULTRA LIMITED PACKS AVAILABLE
Visioneerie - 28.03.2010 at 21:13  
Written by krakenao on 28.03.2010 at 16:43

Hi, I saw that you like Pensées Nocturnes. I invite you to visit this link. I think it should interest you. http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=456489468&blogId=531019151 Greetings Gerald PS: ULTRA LIMITED PACKS AVAILABLE

You guys have to up the distribution for this band.
Daggon - 09.04.2010 at 10:41  
The more I listen to this album, the more I like it.
I loved "Vacuum", it really evoked lots of feelings and images while listening to it (just like the cover art as you stated cleverly in your review), and now, with "Grotesque", Vaerohn made me feel again "something" with this beautiful music, but not the same as the debut. This album, even if it was made by the same artist (and here I will quote you Lucas: "Vaerohn is one hell of a multi-instrumentalist!" ), made me feel something new, some kind of strange feeling, something so bizarre, so strange, so grotesque that almost scares me.

As always, great review Lucas

This is currently one of my favorite bands for sure!
Ag Fox - 16.05.2010 at 20:40  
Am I the only one that prefers the debut? I certainly like a change in direction, but the carnival-esque sound is not particularly up my league. One of the reasons "Vacuum" sounded so impressive to me was because of the incorporation of Jazz and Blues.

It's not a bad album at all, but I just don't dig psycho carnival sounds in general I think

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