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Pensées Nocturnes

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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Pensées Nocturnes Vacuum album cover
3.83 | 10 ratings | 1 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lune malade (11:20)
2. Flore (9:05)
3. Dés-espoir (10:39)
4. Coup de bleus (10:42)
5. Épitaphe (9:48)
6. Repas de corbeaux (8:24)

Total Time 59:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Vaerohn / performer, composer, production & mixing

- Jean Coumelongue / piano (4)

Releases information

Artwork: 3-Crosses

CD Les Acteurs De L'Ombre Productions ‎- AO-001 (2009, France)

Digital album

Thanks to UMUR for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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PENSÉES NOCTURNES Vacuum ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars France has been killing it in the 21st century when it comes to innovative, creative and out-of-the-box extreme metal that includes not only the big names of Deathspell Omega, Gojira, Peste Noire and Blut Aus Nord but many less known bands that have found a cult following including the tech death of Gorod, the avant-goth surrealism of Öxxö Xööx and the atmospheric out-there-ness of bands like Alcest and Akphaezya. Add to that list yet another band that simultaneously delves into several disparate arenas. The Paris based PENSÉES NOCTURNES isn't really a band at all but rather the solo project of one Valhôll (aka Vearohn) who after releasing a single Pagan black metal "solo" album under the Valhôll moniker in the form of "A la Mémoire de Nos Ancêtres" decided to switch gears and start releasing albums as PENSÉES NOCTURNES.

While PENSÉES NOCTURNES has become more synonymous with black circus metal music with a wild avant-garde approach of crafting soundtracks to your favorite goat sacrificing rituals by clowns and possessed barkers, on the debut VACUUM, the circus musical aspects while present are supplanted by the darkened dreary doom and gloom of depressive black metal most closely related to the melancholic wrist slashing music of Sweden's Shining complete with the same plaintive and agonizingly tortured vocal style, however PENSÉES NOCTURNES crafts a more ambitious mix of musical influences that includes Chopin inspired piano music as the basis of classical melodic developments that provide the canvas to paint the blackened guitar distorted tremolo picking, buzzsaw riffs and blastbeats upon.

Add to that a highly sensitized touch of symphonic neoclassical darkwave to create the proper lunar atmospheres and you have the recipe for a highly sophisticated slice of suavely crafted yet brazen black metal that strikes the perfect balance between the utter damnation of pitch black with the threads of light shimmering between the cracks of reality. In addition to the classical underpinnings, PENSÉES NOCTURNES delivers a diverse sense of style beyond the dominant depressive black metal overcast. The opening "Lune Malade" showcases the circus themed music that would become more prevalent on more recent releases and "Coups de Bleus" skillfully transmogrifies a piano-based blues into a screaming frenetic madman's unintelligible litany.

"Epitaphe" begins with simple, soft and subtle acoustic guitar arpeggios, clean vocals in French with female backing vocals. It almost sounds like a cyclical post-rock sort of intro when the violins kick in but also has a folky vibe to it before bursting into black metal. After a healthy dose of some of the most frenetic guitar work on the album, towards the end the violin based post-rock cops a waltz type of swagger with a touch of circus elements and finally fades out as a whispering wind howl. "Repas de Corbeau" sort of just continues the flow as it breaks into an atmospheric black metal with more deranged vocal utterances. Overall the tracks lengths are quite long with every one of the six tracks extending past the eight minute mark with the intro surpassing the eleven.

VACUUM is quite the accomplishment from a compositional point of view. While it delivers the black metal goods quite effectively, the true genius is in how all the melodic elements intricately entwine as well as the careful attention paid to the tempos, dynamics, timbres, tones and other subliminal features. It never occurred to me before but the vocal style initiated by Sweden's Shining and adopted by PENSÉES NOCTURNES at this stage actually does sound like a tortured circus clown who has lost his marbles and on the road to becoming a deranged psychopath. Overall this is an excellent debut that incorporates beautifully melodic constructs into the otherwise completely bleak sonic din without ever sounding cheesy. The line between brilliant and cringe-worthy is a thin one in black metal and in the case of VACCUM, i find all is well.

4.5 rounded down

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