Album Title: 
Paramnesia IV - V
Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Review Type: 

French act Paramnesia formed in 2005 and they released a first single, Les Contemplations, in early 2013. As from then on, the band decided to sort of number their tracks, and the self-released EP Ce Que Dit La Bouche De L’Ombre (‘what the mouth of the shadow tells’) consisted of the tracks I and II. Earlier this year, the band and Les Acteurs De L’Ombre released a split with fellow countrymen Unru, and Paramnesia’s contribution was called III. This explains why this new recording (the band’s full length debut) consists of the tracks IV and V. To avoid confusion, they even decided to have Paramnesia IV - V as working title for this album. Both songs last for about twenty minutes, by the way.

Once again, the stuff was recorded at the German Halle 14 studio, and the tape-version will be available via Red River Family Records. The lay-out is superb, with reflecting matter, strange yet intriguing art (hands with respectively four and five fingers stuck up, referring to the song’s titles), and a splendid cover drawing.

But nice artwork and / or a good lay-out isn’t everything. In the first place it’s the aural result that counts. But believe me: in Paramnesia’s case you do not need to be afraid. As a matter of fact, this material reminds me to a combination of the French and the Canadian scene (the Cascadian and the Quebecois). And since these are some of my preferred scenes…

IV opens with a short but little ominous semi-acoustic intro, and soon it evolves into a blasting attack of the most morbid kind. This stuff bring a bleak and grim, yet chaotic and, at the same time, melodic form of Misanthropic Black Metal with a timeless execution (no pure old styled supremacy, nor modernised malignancy). But it also brings one remarks to (my hyper-active yet oh so beautiful) mind: the mix. This one causes a deranged result, a sound that is neither a surplus nor an insurmountable problem. I would have preferred little more balance in between the different players, focusing on the individual characters to evolve into a perfectly poised consistency.

What’s nice are the many changes in tempo (there are a couple of breaks and decelerations) and the addition of acoustic pieces alike the introduction of this epic song. I do like the somewhat hysterical vocals too, though I am sure many purists will not agree. Okay, I do not understand any word of what’s ‘sung’ (and the song’s titles are not really helping either), but there is so much energy and emotion in it.

The same remarks, both positive and less positive (there is quasi nothing ‘negative’ to mention), go for V too. V opens somewhat oppositional-experimental, but it does set the tone for another twenty minutes of cold, eerie and asphyxiating Black Majesty. This composition too is based on fast, little melodious rhythms, but the structures are more dissonant and destructured. In comparison to the opening track, V is more oppressive and abyssal, and even more intense and suffocating. Especially as from half of this creation on, things are getting nastier, horrific, scarifying.

For fans of Panopticon, Wolves In The Throne Room, Weakling, Lurker Of Chalice, early Abigor, Ash Borer or Velnias.