Taking an over the top approach to their original neoclassical black metal sound, Pensées Nocturnes have well and truly screwed up my mind in trying to figure out what this combination of black metal and French classical music is supposed to achieve.
Originally starting off as a depressive black metal band, Pensées Nocturnes have shown less and less interest in being a black metal band as time has gone on. The use of classical arrangements has increased tenfold whilst the metal has been considerably dropped. The resulting sound being one that can only be seen as more classical than metal, not that that is inherently a bad thing of course but whereas sometimes experimentation can foster great success onto an artist, other times it can grind them into the dust. Instead of just a small blip in musical quality, Pensées Nocturnes have took a complete nose dive into the pit of mediocrity, releasing an album that has lots of ideas yet can't seem to find it's footing on stable ground.
Whereas the previous albums from Pensées Nocturnes flirted with the neoclassical and black metal elements suitably, the neoclassical never overpowered the black metal elements yet it remained a dominant force within the music. On Nom d'une Pipe
the classical arrangements have been increased dramatically whilst the metal elements lose its bite and becomes banal and lacklustre. The experimentation was certainly a wrong turn on Nom d'une Pipe
, in a vain attempt to make his music more avant garde than needs be Vaerohn has created an album that is so farcically overblown it becomes a complete parody of itself.
The classical elements simply do not fit in with the rest of the music, or rather the metal elements don't fit in with the classical, this is predominantly not a metal album, whatever elements of the genre are minimal and serve only to create a backdrop. The classical arrangements are first and foremost the centre of the music, whereas Nachtreich
were able to successfully create classical oriented music with a metal backdrop, Pensées Nocturnes seemed to have put too much effort in sounding as original and avant garde as humanly possible that the music just completely annihilates itself. The album lacks cohesion and structure, the songs flow haphazardly lacking any sense of direction, musical ideas randomly pop up out of nowhere, keeping me constantly scratching my head in trying to figure out what is going on. The metal elements are diluted, uninspired and boring, they're also way to quiet and not enough focus was given on them. As Pensées Nocturnes are a metal band I would expect them to focus much more on the metal than what is on display on this album, unfortunately Vaerohn must overestimate his musical ability to the point that he can release a sloppy and incoherent album and be blind to its flaws. I cannot fathom how Mr Vaerohn could consider the musical direction he took on Nom d'une Pipe
to be a good idea, I simply cannot understand this. His previous albums showed a much better and more refined sense of song structure and cohesion, whilst Nom d'une Pipe
seems to lose all sense of cohesion and degenerates into becoming a drunken and lifeless album.
It's always disheartening to see a band start off with such promise only to take a complete nose dive and run aground, experimentation can work when done correctly, but when a band already starts off with a unique and experimental sound then tampering with it further can garner mixed results. Pensées Nocturnes started off with an excellent musical vision yet tampered with the style so much that it collapsed in on itself like a dying neutron star, Nom d'une Pipe
is a complete parody of everything Pensées Nocturnes has released up to now. What started as a good idea soon devolved into a farcically overblown metal fanfare that is impossible to take seriously.