Pensées Nocturnes - _Vacuum_
(Les Acteurs de l’Ombre, 2009)
by: S. Martin (7.5 out of 10)
The debut release of Pensées Nocturnes, entitled _Vacuum_, is a grand release from this absurd French one-man act. It is comprised of unrelenting beauty found within the heartfelt passages, the layered melodies and everything in between. Whilst the influence is admittedly obvious, Vaerohn has played off these influences quite well, and used them to his advantage. Vacuum, at times, becomes quite reminiscent of the standard run-of-the-mill symphonic black metal, such as Swiss Morgart for example. Even so, Pensées Nocturnes has undoubtedly surpassed this, and all acts within the genre. Very rarely an album as synthetic as this is worthy of respect, in my opinion. Within the given boundaries, however, and given the fact that this man has single-handedly perfected the art of synthetic soundscapes, Pensées Nocturnes is a creation of pure genius.

It'd be near impossible to accurately place this band within a single genre. It may be summed up as symphonic black metal, though the influences are infinite: classical, DSBM, jazz, orchestrated interludes void of any black metal influence... the list goes on. Pensées Nocturnes have taken a large step from the symphonic crowd and have both reshaped the genre and almost created something entirely original. The highlight however is the implementation of French composer Chopin. I applaud Pensées Nocturnes on this. It justifies a true French genius.

The vocals are excellent, which the production certainly complements. The beautiful soundscapes are contradicted, however, amplified by the agonizing vocals and lyrical themes. The vocals are skillfully produced, and alongside the masterful instrumentation _Vacuum_ is truly ahead of its time. The compositions are what holds the release together; never in all my years of listening to music have I heard such instrumentation, it is well ahead of anything prior to this release, bar none.

Admittedly, and expectantly, as a debut release it's not entirely void of flaws. Present in a few of the tracks are many abrupt transitions; a stop-start effect within the music. With the complexity and creativity present within this release, it's almost expected. However, I see that the main problem is the drums. Obviously programmed, they have the cut and chopped sound to them; they provide rhythm, but no realism. The aforementioned, along with the over production, are the only true downfalls of such a release. The rest may come down to personal tastes.

It may go unsaid most of the time, but in a genre generally despised by the run of the mill metal fan, Pensées Nocturnes have, without a doubt, won the hearts of many, and I foresee that future releases will only build upon the foundation laid out by _Vacuum_ and improve not only the band's overall sounds, but will solidify their fan base; this band has loads of potential, it'd be a shame to see it go to such waste.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/penseesnocturnes

(article published 2/5/2010)


ALBUMS
5/12/2013 C Drishner 9 Pensées Nocturnes - Nom d'une Pipe!
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