Pénitence Onirique – V.I.T.R.I.O.L.


A darkly atmospheric wonder…

Released into the world on 19 September 2016 through Emanations, a division of French Avant-garde Black Metal label Les Acteurs De L’Ombre Productions, and reviewed here by Jason Guest

Like all releases from Emanations, this is beautifully packaged. Apt, given the quality of the music contained within. Five tracks between 8- and 11-minutes long, V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is a darkly atmospheric wonder. And where albums of this ilk usually yield to extended ambient passages or the endless repetition of riffs stretched to the point of tedium, Pénitence Onirique’s debut has a depth, a diversity and a dynamic that introduces a band with much to bring to the underground.

‘L’âme sur les pavés’ is intense from the outset, the flame burgeoning as it proceeds through wave after wave of blackened ire, a trait that is enhanced by the atmospheric that are more pronounced in ‘Le Soufre’. The dramatic ‘Le Sel’ is desolate and desperate, its journey more dynamic than the two preceding tracks, its tempos and feels shifting smoothly through a host of unsettling and curiously uplifting passages, something that the title track embraces and develops further, the sheer weight of this track being utterly phenomenal. And with closer ‘Carapace de fantasme vide’, the band return once more to the vitriolic and the vicious of the first two tracks to render what remains to the void.

Across the album, melody sits squarely at the forefront, their dark majesty surrounded by the blackest of fires and the bleakest of charred soundscapes. The album has an orchestral feel to it, its whole being much more than its instrumental parts, and the yearning and the melancholic heft is balanced beautifully with the raging and the harsh. Simultaneously cold and burning, there’s a passion and a brutality to each track that is masterfully sustained and developed in what could, given their extended duration, so easily become tedious. The duo of Pénitence Onirique have produced an enthralling and excellent debut. Well written, well executed and well produced, this is one to abandon oneself to.

Pénitence Onirique – 20178 out of 10

Track list:

  1. L’âme sur les pavés
  2. Le Soufre
  3. Le Sel
  4. I.T.R.I.O.L
  5. Carapace de fantasme vide