Paramnesia - Paramnesia
Les Acteurs de L'Ombre
Black Metal
2 songs (40:15)
Release year: 2014
Les Acteurs de L'Ombre
Reviewed by Goat

Opening deceptively with a still, melancholic drone before the blackened rage begins, the Strasbourg-based Paramnesia's d├ębut full-length album is an impressive follow-up to their split with Unru from earlier this year. Two twenty-minute songs are present, entitled IV and V (the band have named each of their songs numerically, with I and II appearing on EP Ce que dit la bouche d'ombre) and each offers a good taster of the band's take on the Cascadian style. There seems to be less of the post-rock influence that I noticed in III on the Unru split, instead focusing on the guitars and blasting drums. IV is probably the more distinctly post-rock of the tracks here, constantly building a chaotic mountain of sound atop waves of fuzzy yet melodic guitars, and it packs an atmospheric punch, as you'd expect.

V is easily the winner, however, suggesting works of real genius are in the future for this young band. Opening with strangely ominous melodic tones that build into a black metal storm, the move back towards a more traditional black metal sound works very well for Paramnesia. It's powerful, intense stuff for much of the running time, and the howling screams and screeches of vocalist Pierre Perichaud keep a finger on your nerves throughout. Towards the mid-point the track gets a little more experimental, using the underlying melody as an almost industrial pulse, before fuzzy riffs take back over.

You can always criticise bands that write twenty-minute songs, as there is rarely a reason why they couldn't have divided them up into shorter pieces. The stream-of-consciousness feel of Paramnesia's flow is harmed by this, but the overall effect is still powerful, and fans of the new wave of Cascadian black metal or whatever we're calling this will be pleased. I feel Paramnesia can do better in time, but this is a compelling start for the moment.

Killing Songs :
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