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Pensées Nocturnes - Douce Fange review

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Band: Pensées Nocturnes
Album: Douce Fange
Release date: January 2022

01. Viens Tâter D'mon Carrousel
02. Quel Sale Bourreau
03. PN Mais Costeau !
04. Saignant Et À Poings
05. Charmant Charnier
06. Le Tango Du Vieuloniste
07. Fin Défunt
08. La Semaine Sanglante
09. Gnole, Torgnoles Et Roubignoles

The circus is back in town but the jolly times are ending and the abstinence is setting in.

Pensées Nocturnes has undergone plenty of fine-tuning throughout the years. The sheer amount of genres intermeddling with their black metal reached a chaotic climax with their third album, Nom D'Une Pipe! I personally found a lot of enjoyment in it, but it was like having a fever dream due to how fragmented it was. I kept forgetting what I just listened to. These maniacal Frenchmen took it down a notch with each release, horning their songwriting as less ideas were used. Their previous album, Grand Guignol Orchestra, seemed to touch a perfect balance with meticulous and engaging songs. It solidified the band’s identity with a colorful and highly charismatic circus-like atmosphere that was honestly one of the funnest times I ever had with an album back in 2019.

Douce Fange has now arrived and things seem to be getting darker and more decadent, almost like Leon and his comrades rediscovered some of the unstable black metal sounds of the first two albums. Try to compare the vibrant tone of the track “Deux Bals Dans La Tête” from the band’s previous output with “Quel Sale Bourreau” from Douce Fange and you’ll hear there is a different type of insanity at play, one that is more sinister, aggressive and morose. The black metal foundation definitely has a stronger hold now. The riffs (and the bass in particular) have a thicker sound this time around and the drumming is consistently violent; the same can be said about the vocals. Leon has always deployed very unsettling types of growls, shrieks, howls, cries and ringleader-like clean vocals, but here, they sound much more unhinged and desperate.

Remember that we are still talking about Pensées Nocturnes though. The album retains this fun merge of melodies and genres that only these Frenchmen can pull off. The circus is still open but there is a seriousness to it that makes it seem like the previous album was a test-run to lure the listeners in with the promise of a good time, and now the band is ready to unleash a bloody, disturbing surprise. The samples of the countryside give way to marching bands, swing, neoclassical, dark jazz and blues. There also appear to be a few musical references outside of the use of samples. “Fin Défunt”, for example, makes a callback to Johannes Brahms“Hungarian Dance No. 5”, and the way it is integrated in the song speaks volumes of the band's songwriting skills. All this is happening while the riffs and drums are doing their best to glue everything together. I must applaud Leon, because a concept so rich demands excellent delivery and he has assembled quite a group of musicians. Each of the instruments, from the accordion to the strings, or the brass instruments to the “regular” metal ones, is being played by a musician doing their absolute best in their department.

This concept, this identity of theirs, has been nailed exquisitely. One good look at the gorgeous yet putrid artwork and layout is enough to paint a vivid image of what types of horrors and pleasures Douce Fange presents to us. The extreme fans among us would also discover the band’s full dedication to their craft if they get their hands on the impressive wooden box version of the album. Just like with Celeste, I wish I understood French. From what I can translate, it is clear that Douce Fange is filled with puns, double entendre and other hilarious curiosities (“PN Mais Costeau!” is basically a diss track against Peste Noire).

This music can bring out a certain absinthe-like fatigue, but when you are in the mood there is simply nothing quite like it. It is a delight to embrace the madness. So if you felt that Grand Guignol Orchestra was a little bit too loony for you, listen to the more psychotic and vile Douce Fange. If you love black metal but you also love to have a flamboyant fun, listen to Douce Fange. If you want to listen to the most French album in the metal cosmos this year, then you know what you should listen to.

“Le bourreau l'appelle l'amour
Le bagnard la sainte retraite
Le bourgeois l’appelle l’humour
Et le Diable la beauté”

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 8

Written on 19.02.2022 by A lazy reviewer but he is so cute you'd forgive him for it.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 144 users
20.02.2022 - 06:20
SoUnDs LiKe PoP

Fun fact, this band's name translates to "Nocturnal Penis."
I lift weights and listen to metal
20.02.2022 - 08:19
Rating: 10

Written by SoUnDs LiKe PoP on 20.02.2022 at 06:20

Fun fact, this band's name translates to "Nocturnal Penis."

What ? Not at all ! The translating of the band's name is " Nocturnal thought" !
20.02.2022 - 08:47
Written by VikinkiQc on 20.02.2022 at 08:19

Written by SoUnDs LiKe PoP on 20.02.2022 at 06:20

Fun fact, this band's name translates to "Nocturnal Penis."

What ? Not at all ! The translating of the band's name is " Nocturnal thought" !

Not that big of a difference
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?
20.02.2022 - 09:08
Rating: 5
A Nice Guy
Written by VikinkiQc on 20.02.2022 at 08:19

Written by SoUnDs LiKe PoP on 20.02.2022 at 06:20

Fun fact, this band's name translates to "Nocturnal Penis."

What ? Not at all ! The translating of the band's name is " Nocturnal thought" !

The latter sounds better though
20.02.2022 - 16:57
Rating: 9
X-Ray Rod
Our dear Marcel, who never liked them, used to call them "Nocturnal Pansies". Still the best joke by far.

But pansies are they not. This rules.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.

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