Pensees Nocturnes - Vacuum
Les Acteurs de L'Ombre
Black Metal
6 songs (01:01:05)
Release year: 2009
Official Myspace, Les Acteurs de L'Ombre
Reviewed by Charles
Here is an intriguing black metal curiosity; the debut release of French multi-instrumentalist Vaerohn is evocative of a number of weird and wonderful visions, from Peste Noire through to Silencer, taking a major detour through Whatthefuckville.

Silencer? I hesitate to say, it’s in the vocals. (Why else does anyone reference that band in a review?) Before you jab that rusty nail into your ear, wait! Unlike Nattram’s efforts, this doesn’t sound like a little girl who’s dropped her ice cream. Nonetheless, the delivery here spins terrifyingly from frown-inducing screams to whimpers and wails that have you contemplated whether the guy should be sectioned. Peste Noire? It’s in the arcane and uncomfortable backwards-thinking of the melodies. Loping, wormy tunes are brought to the oily surface of this black Burzumic miasma throughout like a corpse filled with air, and are evocative of the same type of plague-ridden medieval hell as portrayed on La sanie de siecle. The melodies themselves are generally orchestrated authentically, making heavy use of a stripped-down chamber ensemble cranking out creaky, eerie classical tunes. This is a huge part of it. Orchestral string passages, as well as brass and clarinets are a staple, being given a lot of space to play in.

What was that third thing I mentioned in the opening paragraph? Oh yeah…. Whatthefuckville. Capital of Shagginghellwhatsthedealshire. Coups De Bleus is something I have quite honestly never experienced in black metal before; a sleazy, uneasy saloon-style blues number, led by a crystal clear improvised(?) guitar solo. As it progresses, darker tones are drawn in bit by bit. It’s like a thin but firm stream of bloody piss flowing into a beautiful, clear pond. More in keeping with the rest of the album but impressive nonetheless is the reworking of a Chopin piece in Des-Espoir. A haunting solo piano line is orchestrated by tremolo black metal in the depressive, Nyktalgia style that is the album’s bread and butter. It’s like Mystic Forest, but less flashy and more atmospheric. It’s a bizarre twist on S & M.

Unless you are a dragon slaying, flower pressing power metal fan, you will likely uncover something that intrigues you in this record. Whether its thin, depressive black metal sound will put you off entirely is another matter. It’s a carefully worked carving of something you don’t want on your mantelpiece. Black metal at its most esoteric.

Killing Songs :
Des-Espoir, Lune Malade
Charles quoted 84 / 100
Other albums by Pensees Nocturnes that we have reviewed:
Pensees Nocturnes - Grand Guignol Orchestra reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Pensees Nocturnes - Nom d'une Pipe! reviewed by Charles and quoted 83 / 100
Pensees Nocturnes - Grotesque reviewed by Charles and quoted 88 / 100
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