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La Torture Des Ténèbres - V review

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Band: La Torture Des Ténèbres
Album: V
Style: Ambient black metal
Release date: April 2024

01. Eradication Of Inbred Scum
02. Descent Into Suburban Hellscape
03. Phantoms Over Altar Vista
04. Accelerated Degeneration Descent
05. Catalyst Of Tomb Reconfiguration
06. All Throughout The Citadel
07. Valley Of The Unclean

Lost in the dissonant void.

It isn't uncommon that I've encountered an extreme metal atmosphere so dense and noisy that it took many listens to properly process. I've ended up finding enjoyment in the raucous suffering made palpable on albums like Within The Vacuum Of lnfinity... by Arizmenda and Writhing Tomb Amongst The Stars by Venomous Echoes. But La Torture Des Ténèbres are in a class of their own, for better or worse.

As the band name (which translates to “The Torture Of Darkness”) suggests, the music here is not for the faint of heart. In 2016 and 2017, the Canadian one-man band released a whopping total of four full-length albums of abrasive, ambient black metal. Now, seven years later, a fifth studio album, simply titled V has emerged, plunging listeners once more into crazed, horrifying depths of aural chaos.

As I myself dive into this 40-minute nightmare of sound, I find myself entrenched in cacophonous noise, my bruised ears picking out traces of synths and miscellaneous audio samples that fleetingly drift by, before they are once more swallowed up in the indecipherable expanse. It's impressive to craft such immense and indiscernible cacophony, and I applaud the clear creativity behind the project. However, I’m not sure whether V has entirely won me over.

My main complaint is the lack of memorable melodies. Now, I realize that isn't the desired approach of La Torture Des Ténèbres, but it would be nice to have some kind of riff that stays in the background to guide the listener through a song, instead of completely leaving the listener alone to grapple amongst the dizzying racket. I can piece out individual instruments, unhinged shrieks, and some audio samples. And some calmer sections on “Catalyst Of Tomb Configuration” and “Valley Of The Unclean” exhibit admittedly nice, simple ambient tunes. But those moments are few and far between. Most of the time, the intense musicianship seems frankly all jumbled together without a clear design.

Sure, this is probably the intended idea, but I would vastly prefer music that, well, doesn't throw out all established conventions of music. Where are the riffs, damn it? Ah, well. I guess I’m thinking of bands like Burzum, Leviathan, or Darkspace that can craft a multi-layered, dense atmosphere, but simultaneously also have that central melody or theme to create a sense of purpose and direction. In contrast, La Torture Des Ténèbres clearly have the goal to stay as anti-musical as humanly possible.

Therefore, fans of aimless noise-filled atmosphere will be pleased to find that La Torture Des Ténèbres successfully continue right where they left off with their established style. Fans of more straightforward black metal, beware. Headaches await as you try to piece together music that does not form in any way a conventional puzzle should!

V, like all albums of La Torture Des Ténèbres, is a strenuous album to digest. Is there a plan, a meaning beyond the wall of noise that I have yet to uncover? Or is it folly to make sense of the senseless? In fact, in the end, why even attempt to understand? Music is food for the soul, not the mind. Thus, I dare to enter the void once more, allowing the torture of darkness to take control. Submerged within the deafening sound, the wretched screams of despair and the razor-sharp distortion tear a gaping hole in my soul, leaving behind the melancholic sensation of cold emptiness.

Written on 16.04.2024 by The sign of good music is the ability to both convey and trigger emotion.


Comments: 2   Visited by: 49 users
16.04.2024 - 23:26
A Real Mönkey
I like the raging against ivory-tower elitism theme this band's got going on; very Imperial Triumphant.
"Change the world. My final message. Goodbye."

~Last words of Harambe, seconds before he was shot, according to child he shielded from gunfire
17.04.2024 - 01:58
Rating: 8
Roman Doez
Written by A Real Mönkey on 16.04.2024 at 23:26

I like the raging against ivory-tower elitism theme this band's got going on; very Imperial Triumphant.

Their whole aesthetic is very reminiscent of the Art Deco / Metropolis vibes of Imperial Triumphant (using Hugh Ferriss' drawings for their cover arts is a clear givaway) and I think they explore this almost retro-futuristic vibe very well through their sound, which truly radiates this "post-human urban hellscape" vibe that I deeply love
I may be reading too much into it but damn their aesthetic is incredible and greatly contributes to the overall experience that is their music

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