SMR – La Vie Est Une Farce, Apprends À Rire

Pensées Nocturnes – Grand Guignol Orchestra:
The Grand Guignol was a form of French theater known for its exaggerated performances that fused horror and comedy in revealing the most violent tendencies that lie hidden within every individual. Outlandish yet poignant and a precursor for what the best horror cinema had to offer. Pensées Nocturnes confuse this with the circus and make carnival music with a wide variety of instruments that eventually has to rely on dissonant Black metal riffs. Ideas aren’t connected to each other and the songs follow a riff salad pattern that sees the traditional instruments fade away for some sub-standard attempts at Black metal. Only the vocals manage to convey both horror and comedy as demented howls meet pseudo operatic singing. The constant need to shock the listener loses its potency as its predictable nature is quickly revealed as its base, this is bad Black metal taking from influences it doesn’t have the slightest grasp on to create the lowest denominator metal at which fails completely.

Tomb Mold – Planetary Clairvoyance:
The horse is no longer dead as Tomb Mold have beaten it to the point where its no longer recognizable. Riffs that were left over by other Incantaclone bands meet the calmer sections seen in European Funeral Doom bands. A jumpier sense of melody inherited from the Melodeath bands with the typical Hardcore influences expected from this band. No riff is memorable and there is no repetition as each riff is played a few times before transferring to the next one and the song ending at some arbitrary point. Vapid and boring.

Alder & Ash – “Sons and Daughters of the Slaughter”:
A martial pulse guides this song as dissonant cello melodies played on detuned strings play in counterpoint over an eerie base. A brief pause in the percussion allows for a build up in tension as the full range of the instrument is exploited with lines in different octaves create this harsh soundscape. Another break as a percussive bassline provides a different basis for a variation of the songs main motif that unfortunately doesn’t conclude in a satisfying way as the pulsing rhythms stops while the same melodies are repeated until ending abruptly instead of a grand destructive finale. The use of melody and multiple layers on one instrument works to give this song forward momentum while creating the at gloomy atmosphere not through aesthetics or exploration of tone character but through actual composition. A fitting ending would have made this into a great piece of abrasive music.
Listen here

Devil Master – Satan Spits on Children of Light:
Stereotypical Black metal motifs are briefly integrated in these pop-punk riffs that form short simple songs. Harmless music that lives on a Black metal aesthetic while playing somewhat catchy pop, making this the ultimate “Black metal for people who don’t like Black metal”. The lack of ideas gets tiring quickly as every song relies on the same handful of chord progressions and pop like repetition. If the band were to remove any pretense of playing metal this would amusing Rock music but its lost by trying to dumb down something that has been simplified far too much already.

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16 thoughts on “SMR – La Vie Est Une Farce, Apprends À Rire”

  1. Frozenlake says:

    Dear Nick,
    The beating you gave Tomb Mold is fair and well deserved. I’m astonished at the amount of mentions this uninventive stuff gets in year end lists. Then again, I suppose it’s the same ole’ story of big business catering to the “needs” of ignorant yet entitled minds. Pensées Nocturnes is more interesting but unable to hold intrest long as it is indeed badly put together. Now how about we look into stuff worthy of attention, shall we?I will start with the excellent Livre Second by Les Chants du Hasard, a one man project that seeks to reinstill life into black metal by dispensing with traditional instrumentation and tropes. No Darkthrony shrill tremolos nor blastbeats, no Burzumesque synths. The darkness, violence and transcendence are achieved through the means of voice and orchestra alone. Do yourself a favor with this one. Pen a review, even. And if you don’t like it, I’d love to know why.
    Secondly, Creature’s sophomore release “Contes Funèbres” achieves even tighter songwriting and orchestration than the first, which is saying a lot, considering how good it was. Worthy of a review as well.
    I will follow with yet another unusual take on BM, by Grylle. This is medievalist BM, with a flair that people like Obsequiae do not possess. Vehemence is also worthy of attention.
    Vous Autres is a slower, sludgier and overall quite thoughtful take on BM. Their 2019 release “Champ du Sang” is masterful.
    Yup, all these bands are French. I hope you do  not have a problem with that ;)
    Talking of which, DsO has released a great album in 2019, and if you are honest with yourself, you might even start reconsidering, ever so slightly, your quite harsh opinion of them. Few bands operate at the level of DsO and, let’s face it, it will take years before an outfit like Mefitis even starts comprehending what’s going on. Although they are pretty good at aping a variety of old-schoolisms, I’m still not quite convinced by what they are putting out. But, indeed, there is promise, I will give you that,a dn I’m looking forward to more mature compositions.
    Now, how about that list of yours? I mean, SMRs are all good fun, but really, what is the stuff you truly believe in? I get what you don’t loke. But you will agree that criticism and hatred come easy. I’m really hoping that you will move beyond the tired idea that “music from the past was better”. Every generation thinks that. It is only a symptom of clinging to what made us tick as a youth. I get it. But I also remember how older metalheads would dismiss Morbid Angel, Celtic Frost or Darkthrone.
    Art, like life, moves on, and it will always challenge our comfort zone.
    I wish you a happy new year.

    1. Psychic Psych Toad says:

      There’s no excuse for Chants Du Hasard, Livre Second is utterly forgettable pretentious monotonous drivel that well deserves it’s own dedicated SMR. It’s what the french call “les incompetents.” Sounds like a video game soundtrack mixed with corny circus music desperately wanting to be operatic. Works great for LARPing around in Paris with the 3 other people who listen to this.

      1. Frozenlake says:

        If Livre second is “pretentious monotonous drivel”, where does that put your comment then?

    2. Cynical says:

      lol u like deathspell omega what a fag

      1. Frozenlake says:

        Dear Mr Cynical,
        Thank you for your response to my comment. I was sorry to read that you did not seem to completely agree with the few ideas I was trying to express. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    3. bloodypulp says:

      none of that shit makes me wanna bang my head

      1. Optimist says:

        Neither does HLTO or Transylvanian Hunger

        1. bloodypulp says:

          they kinda do but in a more flowing style. creature is ok

    4. autist grinder says:

      half of that made pretty good sense but i’m gonna call you gay anyway because you think Dick Svck Omegle is good when they’re actually worse than tomb mold who are indeed terrible. this inconcistency in the most obvious judgments is the plague of the dmu hivemind. sell all your possessions to pay for a sex change op and travel the world providing free ass to the assless as the white christ instructed for the sake of accelerationism.

      1. Frozenlake says:

        DsO and Tomb Mold aren’t at the same level. Facts are facts. DsO is a hugely influential band because they showed it was possible to move out of the second wave BM rut. First and second wave BM bands were quite simple to copy, and this has spawned an overabundance of clones and an increasingly bastardized BM landscape. The combination of generic devices with the flavor-of-the-moment mainstream sounds has led straight to Deafheaven. DsO, on the contrary, by developping an idiosyncratic language, has set the bar and encouraged contless artists to aim for more accomplished forms. You do not need to like DsO to recognize that simple fact. And I would argue that hatred of DsO probably contributed as well to redefine the landscape. If only because haters took notice.
        A DMU Guest Contributor recently made rather interesting points about DsO in his piece “An attempt To Trace The Evolution of Underground Extreme Metal
        ( which he hailed both Gorguts and DsO: “But undeniable, in the evolution of extreme metal, the part of the instrumental way, Gorguts and DSO is the best for now, they have meritorious service, they represent a part of extreme metal like neo-Burzum or Celestite. Even it’s not what the oldschool fans like”.
        But haters be haters, and you can keep calling anybody that disagrees with your views a fag, it only makes you look stupider.

        1. autist grinder says:

          ok fag.

    5. The problem is that right now there are very few metal bands with anything lasting about them. If anything, metal is in a state of war against the mediocre but practiced, sort of like it was at the end of the 80s with glam (many of whom were great musicians making vapid music) and at the end of the 90s with tek-deaf.

  2. Storming Through Butt Gusting Clouds and Holocaust Shits says:

    Modern Metal pissing you off?

    Look at this old school primitive shit.

  3. Poontang Clan says:

    It’s best if everyone checks out from metal and find a new genre to enjoy.

    1. the opposite of preaching to the choir says:

      This site has long been a bunch of sheltered millenials embodying the old man yells at cloud meme.

      I’m just waiting for more articles on electronic music from Johan P.

      1. Me too. Best to explore quality in music widely, then return to metal. If you just stay in the metal ghetto, you find yourself praising music that is mediocre to the core but “unique.”

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