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Pensées Nocturnes - Ceci est de la Musique CD (album) cover

CECI EST DE LA MUSIQUE

Pensées Nocturnes

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Ceci Est De La Musique' - Pensées Nocturnes (6/10)

I am no stranger to the world of French black metal. I have long considered some of the world's best experimental and progressive black metal to share its national origin with fine wine, cheese, and the guillotine. Although names like Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, and Pest Noire first come to mind, Pensées Nocturnes also finds a place on that list of French black metal acts that aren't afraid to test conventions. As this project's third album certainly testifies, Pensées Nocturnes are a weird band with a strangely unique sound in black metal. All the same, while 'Ceci Est De La Musique' holds some truly haunting secrets for listeners to unlock, the mystique is marred with a mess of disconnected ideas and unfulfilled potential.

'Ceci Est De La Musique' is French for 'This Is The Music', and as the sombre album artwork goes to indicate, 'This' is not the cheerful variety. Like many artists in black metal, Pensées Nocturnes' Vaerohn manifests his madness and dark emotion in the music, be it through the chaotic sounds, jittery song structure, and the man's almost inhuman howls. 'Ceci Est De La Musique' is notable for being a one song album. At fifty five minutes, this is a dense composition with plenty going on throughout. Generally however, Pensées Nocturnes' music falls into two camps; the first being a form of depressive black metal, and the second being a more avant-garde take at classical music, most notably influenced by the work of Frederic Chopin. The classical orchestrations sound quite authentic and fleshed out, ranging from an all-out symphony sound, to a more traditional French tone of accordions and baroque pianos. This classical element runs parallel to the black metal, but very rarely do the two ever mix. Instead, Vaerohn will often have a classical passage erupt directly into a depressive black metal onslaught. While the parts of this album work well on their own, 'Ceci Est De La Musique' suffers from the patchy way it is all put together.

'Ceci Est De La Musique' is much like an avant-garde art film; there are plenty of beautiful ideas, but the way they are all put together is puzzling, and- in this case- ultimately underwhelming. Besides the aforementioned point about the album's two main styles rarely ever truly coming together as one, 'Ceci Est De La Musique' flows in a twisted, rhapsodic manner. Pensées Nocturnes throws a series of interesting passages at the listener, but the sequence in which they are presented feels random and disjointed. If Pensées Nocturnes had even developed a few of these ideas into larger themes, than this album would have felt more structured. Instead, the composition as a whole has little rising action to it, wandering around within this interesting style that Vaerohn has constructed. Just as a brick wall will fall to pieces without mortar, such is the same with this album.

Pensées Nocturnes is not a symphonic metal band by the typical definition; their use of orchestrations seems more geared to accentuating the feelings of despair and confusion rather than to sound 'epic'. Paired with an eerie black metal sound, it is a shame that the execution of this sound does not work out as well as it should have. Pensées Nocturnes is a very intriguing project, and 'Ceci Est De La Musique' has so many excellent ideas, but it is structured incoherently enough that it loses some of that magic.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |

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