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In the times before the faeries... - 59%

UCTYKAH, December 28th, 2010

Oh, the nostalgia. These days, I mostly accept NUIT NOIRE's ongoing fruitiness with calm and tend to enjoy the idiosyncrasies Tenebras chose to mantle himself in. Once upon a time NUIT NOIRE used to be a pretty "normal", lovable bunch of black metal fiends and even managed to record some listenable if less original music. This EP would make a good case-in-point while possibly even revealing tiny traces of things to come.

Having put together a primitive framework of atonal, high-end string melodies sitting atop of basic tremolo chords and supplemented with shrill, upper register screams and a shy, tiny flair of psychedelia, NN's erstwhile lineup had something half-decent going here. The title track is a definitive highlight by far. Opening with a stumbling staccato chord that for some reason reminded by of Neil Young (I suspect it could be the soundtrack for the movie "Dead Man" I was thinking of), the band finally burst into a derived, shaped melodic sequence, which is carried all the way throughout the track's duration by an assortment of drum fills, speed changes and underlying riffs that periodically supersede the main leitmotif but always bring it back around to the crest of the song, while its tail end is crowned by an atonal solo. The melody itself is considerably memorable and sorrowful despite its simplicity, and the track's overall feel and sound bring to mind the more pensively melancholic moments of the band's LLN counterparts along with perhaps mid-period COUNTESS. Horns up for this one! "Mystery I" is way more conventional in comparison, relying on more commonplace tremolo riffs and less distinctive melody. Nevertheless, the band still insist on throwing in another disharmonic guitar line towards the track's end, coming off almost like a poor man's SONIC YOUTH attempt. The third and final piece "Luttina - Lost in the Woods..." is a short, psychedelic reprise of the title track, with the band throwing pseudo-trippy pedal effects over the main melody.

I think the gist of the band's current sound can still be seen here and the line from past to present can still be drawn. In a nutshell, just swap the harsh vocals for the patented faerie cappella, inject sizable doses of punk and you have NUIT NOIRE circa now - nothing too outlandish. So the guy likes his faeries and wants to sound like one. Big deal! He still makes curious music, novelty or otherwise. Here is my brief, half-assed apologia for the poor fella.

Good things about Tenebras circa now are:
A) He does not try to be old school (like DARKTHRONE).
B) He does not try to be new school (like, say, DEATHSPELL OMEGA).
C) He does not try to be even more uber-modern and cool and play aggro-blackgaze meets post-black-n-roll.

Plus, he does not exactly have hordes of followers. Who the hell wants to be a faerie anyway?

By the way, anyone knows how big his female fanbase is? Could this be a rhetorical question?