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Paramnesia - Paramnesia

by H.P. Buttcraft at 03 May 2014, 1:07 AM

This self-titled album from French Black Metal band PARAMNESIA is their first full-length release after a successful debut on a split with the German band UNRU. A good description of PARAMNESIA’s music would be a Cascadian sound that hovers in limbo, never truly defining itself but drifting between atmospheres of the somber and the tortured. It all sounds vaguely familiar, as if you are experiencing a dream you had a long time ago all over again but the dream was laced with horrifying imagery and colorless wasteland landscapes. If Black Metal had a sour flavor of nostalgia, the name of that taste would be PARAMNESIA.

This release includes two of the five songs that the band has written so far, hence the numerical song titles. But when you realize that both “IV” and “V” are songs that exceed 20 minutes in length each, that’s going to be the biggest clue as to what kind of record this is going to be.

The sound of this band is quite immersive. I am especially impressed with the guitar compositions of each song, particularly on “IV”. The way the guitar player knows all of these expressive, menacing chords to strum and the transitions between them are really incredible to hear. The drums, performed by tattoo artist (who provides the cover art to this album) Pierre Perichaud are also really well done. Although they are not the most technically precise drums in Black Metal, the intensity and emotionality behind the playing really comes through.

As far as the vocals go, I can’t exactly say I enjoy them. The vocals on “Paramnesia” are just 40 minutes of non-descript screams and howls so I can’t exactly be too impressed. They do serve a constructive purpose for the music though, providing a horrifyingly feeling that someone is being tortured throughout both lengths of each song. Particularly on “V”, which turns out to be a much darker offering than the previous song, are accentuated by the ghoulish shrieks that reminds me a lot of the album “Dead As Dreams” by the band WEAKLING.

My problem with this record really has to do with the lengths of these tracks and not really with how they sound. You can notice that these songs will slow down in atmosphere and tempo after eight to ten minutes of bleak-sounding Metal. Then you look at the counter and realize there’s 9 more minutes of this song to get through. These songs were probably intended to be played for 20 minutes, pushing the capacity for song memory with everyone in the bane, but I can’t understand why the band just didn’t break these songs up into smaller, easier to digest songs. It’s really hard to get the feel of either of these two tracks because the audience completely loses touch with the riffs played in the first few minutes of the song when they make it fifteen or more minutes in.

I really enjoyed this record but I will say that it will challenge your loyalty as a listener. Making it through this album is not the real challenge but really getting a good memory for these songs is the struggle. Essentially, they are ethereal and the appreciation for these songs can only be ignited once again when you start listening to it from the beginning.

4 Star Rating

1. IV
2. V
Pierre Perichaud – Drums
Record Label: Les Acteurs De L'ombre Productions


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Edited 31 March 2023

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