PENITENCE ONIRIQUE - V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (EMANATIONS - CD 2016)
Yet another band, which I have never heard about before. And another one coming from France. This is Pénitence Onirique, one man project formed by Bellovesos. For his debut album “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” he was joined by Diviciacos, who did all vocals and lyrics. And the album was lately released by Emanations, which is a sub label for Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions. And as some of you may remember, LADLO specializes in usually experimental, avant-garde black metal projects. I don’t know what is the aim for Emanations, because I think that Pénitence Onirique would fit LADLO roster pretty well also. I suppose it doesn’t matter though. Let’s enjoy some good music.
One thing, which I’ve noticed already since first listen is that “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” sounds more aggressive than the majority of other releases from this label. And that’s something what I personally really like about Pénitence Onirique – that you can call them atmospheric black metal band, but at the same time they really sound vicious and nasty, with almost every song on “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” being fast and harsh. Definitely this is quite extreme and violent stuff, I have to say I didn’t even expect it to be in this vein.
I suppose it’s good that Pénitence Onirique found a good balance between the extreme part of their music and the atmosphere. Their music is quite cleanly produced, so it’s not noisy, primitive black metal. Their songs also blend melody within the aggressive, relentless riffage, so the result is then very interesting. Obviously there’s absolutely nothing groundbreaking or exceptional. I doubt if “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” will be remembered by many people after ten years or so. But it’s a solid album for sure and listening to it was surely not a wasted time.
There’s one thing, which I think didn’t work perfectly on the album and it’s a slight monotonous feeling that will pop up after few listens. Each of its five songs is like ten minutes long and I am afraid that after a while it all gets quite blurry and one dimensional. There may be some phenomenal riffs, some sound almost beautiful (like the one, which opens the whole album), but when the songs are so long and the music becomes repetitive, it becomes less effective. Generally the music has sometimes quite hypnotizing feeling, it also sounds rather simplistic and minimalist. You can feel like there are just three or four riffs that repeat constantly, so yes, it gets one dimensional. Anyways, with so many exceptionally good parts, the album is far from being boring and uninteresting. Due to the lengths of the songs, “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” will only simply require more attention and focus.
I love the opening theme for “Le Sel”. While the majority of the album sounds aggressive, this song is opened with rather quiet, melancholic and slow paced motif that sounds great. Pénitence Onirique really have good ideas to blend such atmospheric parts with blasting black metal. It’s just shame that quite often they tend to disappear in the too lengthy songs. That’s why “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” is not a perfect album and there are things, which I wish were done a bit differently.
Anyways, I enjoyed it, Pénitence Onirique deserves your interest and if there will be another album coming from Bellovesos in years to come, then I am sure that I will want to check it out as well.
Standout tracks: “Lame Sur Les Paves”
Final rate: 70/100