PARAMNESIA - Paramnesia (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions - CD 2014)
I got to know Paramnesia only a while ago, when I had a chance to review their truly excellent split LP with Unru. I honestly loved both bands and their music, so I was looking forward to hear some more music from both… Paramnesia came first, with their debut album simply called “Paramnesia” and I was very eager to hear it. Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions kindly sent me a copy, so I did not have to wait long and once I finished with the excellent album of The Great Old Ones, I started to listen to “Paramnesia”.
One thing you must know about “Paramnesia” is that it is an album, which demands a careful listen. It is not one of those records, which can accompany you when you’re washing your dishes, play with your dog or pick the snots from your nose. No, it is an album, which works the best if you play it, sit and listen. Maybe the best would be to put the headphones on, so this way you’ll cut yourself off from your surrounding and let these sounds devour you fully. Otherwise I think most of the music from “Paramnesia” will sound too blurry for you, maybe too monotonous and definitely you won’t be able to not only distinguish one song from another, but most importantly you simply won’t be able to pick up all these great details, layers and everything what is going on in the music on Paramnesia. It is even more difficult hence there are just two songs on the album, each circling around 20 minutes length, so Paramnesia doesn’t even try to make your life easy. Bu that’s good, I guess. So, get yourself ready, throw your woman, kid and dog out, send them for a walk and when the house is empty play the album… and let it possess you. Because possessing it is!
As mentioned, on an uncareful listen this album may sound slightly unreadable, due to kind of fuzzy guitar tone it has and also because the music is quite derived of the catchiness or hooky, memorable moments. You know, harsh production, with this guitar sound and howling, furious vocals… it is very traditional black metal in that matter, but maybe it is not something what will be easy to listen to. It’s almost like some of the early Abigor material… first you hear the rough sound and wall of noise, but only later you realize that the music is actually quite complex and brings something more than just a simple, primitive, badly produced black metal. And the same case is with Paramnesia. You make a careful listen and realize that there are many layers, many complex arrangements, long songs, with intricate drums’ parts and so on and on... There are many fragments, when Paramnesia plays some furiously fast and harsh black metal, where there really is no forgiveness and the whole music sounds totally insane and possessed. But then there are also many moments of calmness, of softness, of more muted playing, with delicate guitars and almost sort of post black metal character and feeling. Put these things together and you’ll have a nice picture of what Paramnesia is about. Just listen to how this albums begins… after a peaceful introduction a real hell breaks loose, bringing such a ferociousness and viciousness that it is almost chaotic. It goes on for a while, until a killer, slower motif breaks this insanity. “IV” brings a lot of diversity, it also has some haunting melodies, so in the end I truly love this song. And the same I can say about “V” (where for example I really liked the opening theme!). I must say though that it took me a while to really discover the album and feel its essence and atmosphere.
Oh, by the way, if you ask why such weird song titles… The band’s debut EP had songs titled “I” and “II”, then the split with Unru had song “III”, so obviously now it was a time for songs “IV” and “V”. So it is kind of continuation and link between all releases, yes? A nice concept, I must say, sadly though I have no idea about the lyrics of Paramnesia, as they’re not included on the booklet. And besides, I think the band sings / howls in French, so I wouldn’t understand a shit at all anyway hehe.
Final rate: 80/100