Pénitence Onirique

Album Title: 
Release Date: 
Friday, September 16, 2016
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~~Pénitence Onirique is born from an ancestral and powerful bicephalous mystical appearance…

“forget your world and open your souls because the great procession comes.”

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is taking us for an initiatory journey to the meaning of death…

…and so on…

In the very same mystic / mysterious and occult vein of most former releases, Emanations / Les Acteurs De L’Ombre have released the debut album from French duo Pénitence Onirique. Actually, multi-instrumentalist and music writer Bellovesos and singer / lyricist Diviciacos did offer this material in Spring 2016 via the digital sources (the Bandcamp way, you know) in their own management, and a couple of months afterwards, one of my preferred French labels decided to have it released on CD (digipack, six-panel, quite sober in its physical shape), as well as on their own Bandcamp page and in a limited ‘exclusive’ edition. Anyway, the recording sessions were mixed and mastered in Belgium, and the album consists of five tracks that last in between eight and eleven minutes each (total running time: forty-seven minutes).

The journey opens with L’Âme Sur Les Pavés (something like the soul on the street stones or the spirit on the cobbles), and as from the very first seconds it does truly overwhelm me. AllHellYeah, this is the kind of Black Metal that impresses undersigned immeasurably! Melody and power, darkness and enlightenment, mysticism and realism, timelessness and the glory of old, all those contradictions appear in a fabulous equilibrium. The opening riffs of that first song disclose a vision of the old days, when the archaic yet epic Nordic scene was about to construct the open-minded yet characteristic borders of what the Second Wave trend would become. Immediately, everything is quite striking, especially when talking about the balance of all opponents: glorious and epic guitar melodies are un-kindly supported by pounding bass riffs and hammering drums, and soon the vocals join in, spitting blood and sulphur at once. It’s like a colossal thunderstorm, rumbling forward the unstoppable way, like a bloodthirsty horde raping and burning the remnants of the (innocent?) enemy. The blood of the ancestors will be revenged!

Besides, there is quite some variation in song structure, tempo and melody, yet spawn from a mostly cohesive point of view. On top of it, I experience a certain melancholic touch of supremacy, without losing itself in desolation of grief (no DSBM right here, but the victorious and vengeful side of melancholy). But overall, it’s the atmosphere that strikes me. V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is so full of mystic and hypnotic, epic and even emotive elements, and that alone is enough to bewitch the listener whole of the time. For a big part this gets caused as well by the sound quality. The latter is totally secured to the execution, for there is a grandiose mix at the one hand, yet such a rough and nasty production at the other hand as well. That mix gets defined through a perfect balance in between all different players; the instruments and voices breathe coherence and interplay, simply strengthened by the craftsmanship done at The Rising Recording Studio. And there’s no background noise, nor irritating clutter in sound whatsoever; on the contrary – this is so ‘full’, so powerful and usurping – just excellent in its veins.

I cannot but mention the undeniably close link to the (Funeral) Doom (Death) Metal scene either. A grandiose and magisterial piece like Le Sel, for example – though this counts for excerpts in all compositions on this album – exhales those not-that-subtle links to the darkest dimensions of Doom-laden majesty. Don’t think that this album is a ‘slow’ one, for it is not. But it’s more than an additional element, and the reference to the Doom-areas isn’t just a hollow one, believe me.

I did express my unconditional appreciation for this excellent label (both Emanations and Les Acteurs De L’Ombre) several times before, and this album just strengthens my positive thoughts about them! Respect!