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3.33 | 2 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 2022


1. Viens tâter d’mon Carrousel (3:56)
2. Quel sale Bourreau (7:25)
3. PN mais Costaud ! (6:38)
4. Saignant et à Poing (6:12)
5. Charmant Charnier (1:45)
6. Le Tango du Vieuloniste (4:56)
7. Fin Défunt (5:59)
8. La Semaine Sanglante (7:33)
9. Gnole, Torgnoles et Roubignoles (5:25)

Total Time 49:49


- Léon Harcore / vocals
- Jéhannum / drums
- Zacques / guitar
- Robert / guitar
- Le Grande / bass

About this release

Douce Fange [p] Downloadable, Streaming
2022 Lossless Digital Acteurs de l'Ombre

Thanks to silly puppy for the addition


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
In the world of modern black metal, perhaps no other nation has produced so many innovative experimental artists as France with the best known examples of Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord and Peste Noire leading the way however they have hardly been the only ambitious black metal acts emerging from this part of the world though with other bands like Escotrilihum and Véhémence expanding the boundaries of black metal even further. One of the strangest newer acts to emerge from France has been the crazy PENSÉES NOCTURNES which has essentially been the solo project of Vaerohn since 2008.

While black metal may have started out shedding all traces of traditional sounds that have gestated throughout time, modern black metal has catapulted forth by hybridizing with many of the traditional folk sounds of various cultures of the world ranging from the Central Asian sounds heard in Darkestrah to the Nordic sounds of various Scandinavian third wavers. PENSEE NOCTURNES has unapologetically mined the world of French traditional folk music, dark cabaret and most French sounding musical style of all, musette and stringing it all together in a black metal frenzy.

Vaerohn returns in early 2022 with the seventh PENSEE NOCTURNES album DOUCE FANGE (Sweet Mud) and unleashes another unthinkable mixture of circus music, jazz, musette and even tango with his usual blend of classical fueled depressive black metal madness. This is the kind of experimental black metal that will drive purists crazy. The pompous romp of tango fueled accordions with black metal blastbeats and over the top dramatic vocals that sound like the lamenting of a circus tent set aflame, PENSEE NOCTURNES’ propensity for super exaggerated juxtapositions of such elements is an attention getter for sure but given the fragile tightrope act of such metal hybridizations, it’s a very difficult juggling act to maintain over an entire career.

As with many similar styled bands that use black metal as a contrasting element to more traditional folk styles that also add in ingredients from other disparate genres, what begins as a recipe that incorporates adequate supplies of the metal part of the equation for the voracious consumers of head banging music, often the metal aspects get tamped down in favor of the folky elements. Such is the case of DOUCE FANGE. While PENSEE NOCTURNES began its run in a rather unique way on the 2009 debut “Vacuum” which crafted a classical music mix of high octane black metal, on 2013’s “Nom dune Pipe!” Vaerohn switched gears and offered the first true mix of black metal and the traditional French sounds of musette. PENSEE NOCTURNES has been a wild ride of carnival music fueled hysteria ever since.

While incorporating all of the elements that made PENSEE NOCTURNES what it is today, DOUCE FANGE seems to have gone for the jugular by adding even more ethnic sounds. The most glaring example is the Argentinean sounds of the tango on the album’s first single “Le Tango Du Vieuloniste.” This track despite its exquisite musicality supplies an ample dose of cartoonish absurdity and showcases an example of what it would sound like if Astor Piazzolla had hooked up with Yann Tiersen and perhaps early Summoning. Add some spoken word dialogue from some undisclosed source, plenty of frantic screams and a never-ending supply of black metal weaving in and out of the carnavelesque jocularity and DOUCE FANGE comes off as an even more avant-garde experience that will leave the uninitiated listener pushing the stop button in no time at all.

It goes without saying that PENSEE NOCTURNE is an acquired taste and shouldn’t really be thought of as a black metal act at all despite black metal sounds being a part of the recipe. This is an example of an avant-garde metal eccentricity completely escaping the playbook of any pesky definitions and artistic expression solely for the purpose of being artistic, a very French trait which has produced some of the world’s most enduring artists of many trades.

For my tolerant tastes i actually have an appetite for this exotic musical specimen that is part cheese, part bombast, part timeless authenticity and 100% insane! In comparison to previous albums DOUCE FANGE seems to have fallen off the rails a bit as i found 2019’s “Grand Guignol Orchestra” to sound a bit more balanced but i have to admit that this crazy concoction certainly is not without its appeal. Perhaps my least favorite PENSEE NOCTURNES albums but certainly engaging enough to appeal to my freakish avant-garde sensibilities. One of the drawbacks here is that the black metal has become too watered down with an assault of psychedelic organs, circus music effects and a nonstop display of uplifting folk moods in direct opposition to depressive black metal bleakness. It certainly offers a unique brackish water effect but seems to be the least focused album of this unique scatterbrained act so far especially when stray saxophone squawks enter the scene without any clear context.

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