LA TORTURE DES TÉNÈBRES — Acadian Nights (review)

LA TORTURE DES TÉNÈBRES — Acadian Nights album cover Album · 2016 · Atmospheric Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
2/5 ·
Acadian Nights (2016) is the debut release by Canadian black metal act La Torture Des Ténèbres. Not much has been revealed about the artist behind the music as yet, but it seems to be a one woman band with Acadian Nights listed as her first album, though in a practical sense it looks to be more like an EP as it's running time is just 26:45 long. The release may be downloaded for free via Bandcamp, although there is also a very limited (20 copies) cassette run been released by Defiled Light.

However what Acadian Nights actually comes across as is a demo, as it unfortunately sounds more than a bit amateurish to my ears. Falling into the trap that is the notion that black metal needs to be poorly produced, which coupled with a rather chaotic manner of writing featuring blast beats and an incredibly high pitched guitar tone that after a while just seems to go right through you, and you end up with something that sounds varying degrees of messy during it's playing time, making it difficult to discern Acadian Nights as music rather than frantic noise. While there are times when the sound quality picks up and a few interesting ideas are revealed to suggest that La Torture Des Ténèbres has some potential it's abundantly clear that a lot still has to be learned at this point.

I'd like to be able to say the fault is all on the production front, but the actual writing isn't all that good either with the seven tracks here segueing into each other in such a way that its impossible to tell that the track has changed in more ways than one, as the musical patterns rarely produce a moment that actually stands out on its own. An ambient section emerges a way through a chunk of the longest track You Say it Best When You Say Nothing at All, which is the first and only real indication that any thought at all was put into writing Acadian Nights; when From Gigan to Pisces starts it's all back to business as usual for La Torture Des Ténèbres until the album's conclusion.

I'm not saying that Acadian Nights is entirely without worth as there is some small appeal in its chaotic atmosphere that sort of fits with the spacey, sci-fi vibe that the cover art, a picture by concept artist Frank Tinsley (1899-1965), suggests to be the intent behind the music, but I can't help feeling that the market for people who will love this one is going to be very niche. As a first release Acadian Nights has kept me interested enough to keep track of what La Torture Des Ténèbres comes up with next, but I don't see me personally returning to this particular release ever again now that I've completed this review.
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