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Every so often comes along an album which manages to draw a deep divide between its listeners. Such is the case with Velvet Cacoon. This band certainly wins the "band you love to hate" award for 2004. The band has stirred up a lifetime worth of controversy with the release of "Genevieve", their first official public release. Great art always draws sharp reactions, this is a prime example.
"Genevieve" is perhaps one of the greatest extreme metal recordings ever. The album encompasses all that makes the dreary art of black metal so pure and authentic. Void of all cliches and image-based marketing, Velvet Cacoon defy all stereotypes on "Genevieve" and travel their own path, whether people love it or hate it.
The guitar sound alone must be one of the most narcotic to ever be recorded. There is a slow-motion haze to the entire album, like a slow smearing of blurry black metal that wipes itself into every nook and cranny of the music and allows itself to simmer and smoke. The drums take on a very heartbeat type of sound and switch between fast and midpaced sections - but even in the fastest moments of "Genevieve", the entire album appears to be occuring in slow motion. It is the first successful attempt at creating ambience through a black metal design. This is jet black metal.
The vocals are just as original as everything else here. From vicious underwater snarls to distanced gurgling, the vocals echo and drown in the music creating a very surreal and mysterious aura which no black metal group has achieved.
The songs are kept around the 6 to 7 minute mark, and most include interludes or outros which weave complex ambience and acoustics through the murky atmosphere, complimenting the album and crowning it completely.
The final track is nearly 18 minutes of some of the most deep and droning ambient that has ever been created. Sub-bass drones wobble and throb in slow motion underwater blurbs that slowly flange in and out, anchoring the brain down into the blackest of depth.
Taking it all into consideration, it's actually quite easy to see why this band arouses such strong hatred in black metallers. Velvet Cacoon have no interest in the traditions of black metal, and their open admission that Satanists are just as mindless as Christians was enough to fuel just about every black metaller to hate this band with a passion.
Velvet Cacoon are a band who stand miles above the rest, not concerned with scene politics or making the grade. From their home in Portland Oregon, drunk and drugged, LVG and SGL are blazing uncharted territories. You're either with them or against them, and they don't care which side you're on. Pure art, the definitive elitist black metal album. Full Moon Productions unveil yet another gem.